Custom grazing is a professional, and sometimes neighborly, arrangement through which farmers and landowners and land managers collaborate on management of the land by skilled farmers and grazing animals. Practiced by shepherds and herdspeople for many many years, there's a great deal of current interest in this creative and collaborative approach.
Just a few of the ways that the practices are currently occurring in Vermont:
- Using sheep to graze (instead of paying people to mow) the plants under and around solar arrays
- Managing buckthorn with goats on Putney Mountain
- Grazing heifers so dairy farmers can concentrate on their breeding and milking operations
- Using grazing cows to boost soil organic matter on degraded lands that will eventually be rehabilitated into productive pasture