University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Building or Beginning Your Grazing Operation

The Center's Pasture Team (Jenn, Kimberly and Juan) is here to help Vermont's livestock farmers. Whether you've got a new farm and your first animals and are seeking to get started on grass farming right, or you're a seasoned farmer looking to convert to or improve your grass-based operations, we're here for you..

We hope you'll feel free to check out information about our Pasture Program and contact us to discuss how we can help. In the meantime, we offer this information about current research and findings (below), and invite you to peruse upcoming Pasture events, learn about the Vermont Pasture Network, or check out the videos on our YouTube channel.

  • Addressing Pasture Compaction

    Weighing the pros and cons of two options: Keyline plowing and the use of tillage radishes.

  • Pasture Management & Soil Conservation

    Livestock farms in Vermont can improve soil and water quality through pasture management. By keeping soils covered, and allowing pastures enough time for rest and recovery, soil health can be built and water quality can be improved..

  • Pasture Management & Water Quality

    Water quality can be directly benefited by well-managed pastures.

  • Bedded Pack in Vermont: Five Stories

    Happy, healthy, profitable animals are the central goal of livestock farmers. Bedded pack housing can be a path to that goal.

  • Why Management-intensive Grazing?

    Managment-intensive Grazing is an approach that rotates animals between 10 or more paddocks to ensure that animals are always receiving the most nutritious forage, while letting grazed paddocks get enough resting time for a vigorous re-growth..

  • Teaching Livestock to Become Weed Managers

    Smooth bedstraw, goldenrod, Canada thistle, spotted knapweed, milkweed and wild chervil are usually considered undeirable weeds, but are nutritious plants found in many pastures. If animals learn to eat them, it can increase production - and reduce management efforts to get rid of the weeds.

  • Forage Radishes & Keyline Plowing to Build Soil

    Forage radishes produce a nutritious, high-yielding forage and large taproot capable of penetrating compact soil. Keyline plowing is a mechanical method to alleviate compaction, and a subsoiling practice that is refined in order to avoid turning over soil and decomposing organic matter.

  • Agroforestry

    Agroforestry integrates crops, trees and livestock and can create long-lasting sustainable farming practices.

  • Bedded Pack (Fact Sheet)

    Bedded packs (BP) are alternative livestock housing systems that can provide animal welfare, waste management, soil fertility and water quality protection from nutrient overloads..

  • Grazing Assistance Charts

    These charts were developed by the Grass Whisperer Troy Bishopp after seeing what a difference the use of charts made on his farm.