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Grazing and Soil Building

16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT

Livestock, humans, and grasslands have co-evolved for more than 10,000 years. Modern farming techniques can capitalize on this relationship to feed our livestock, heal our landscapes, sequester carbon in our soils, and create ecologically sound, humane farming systems. Join Sterling Farm Manager Gwyneth Harris and the Vermont Pasture Network’s Jen Colby to explore grazing systems and techniques. Together, we will look at the ecology of grasslands, savannahs, and woodlands, and the place of livestock animals in their development and maintenance. Next, we will look at how farms can mimic natural patterns to develop effective on-farm grazing systems. To this end, the class includes a master class session, Developing the Graziers Toolbox, with independent grazing consultant and author Sarah Flack. We will focus on measuring and maintaining biodiversity in your pastures; matching animal numbers and types to grazed and browsed landscapes; varying grazing impact to match the needs of the season and your herd/flock; and discuss non-ruminant livestock on the grazing landscape. We will also take a wide-angle look at the role that grazing systems can play in positive global environmental change with Judith Schwartz.