KISS YOUR GRASS-FED BEEF GOODBYE! GMO GRASS ABOUT TO BE APPROVED

My one and only objection to anything about GMOs is the fascistic style, monopoly position held by the large chemical companies via government issued patents and copyrights. 

That is because I am a scientist and was a part of the testing necessary for the licensing of tebuthiuron (then marketed as “Grasslan”) in Colorado and Arizona.  As such, I am familiar with the extensive testing that the government mandates before these kinds of products can be released. 

They fed the stuff to every critter you can imagine. For those that may not know, the LD50 of a substance is a measure of toxicity. It is the dosage level in mg/kg body weight that will kill 50% of the population. The LD50 of tebuthiuron is LESS THAN TABLE SALT.

That experience, and a basic understanding of bio-chemistry, is what makes me so skeptical about statements like “Because of inevitable contamination, the grass is likely to be eaten by grass grazing animals.”

So what?

RoundUp-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass begins field trials

by CHRISTINA SARICH via INFOWARS.COM

While many of us rely on grass-fed beef as a source of healthful, properly raised meat, that option of healthy eating may just move down a peg? Why? Not because cattle may have to switch to GM grain, but rather because cattle may be forced to indulge in genetically modified grass.

The Scotts ‘Miracle-Gro’ Company which created genetically modified RoundUp-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass has announced that it will conduct field trials at the homes of Scotts’ employees. What’s more, they can do so without any government oversight because there are no laws that prohibit or limit the planting of GMO grass.

We already know that RoundUp ready crops have been linked (retracted, but read more on that here) via independent peer reviewed studies to inflammatory, genotoxic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disrupting diseases, as well as infertility. RoundUp also chelates important minerals from the body, robbing you of your good health.

Now, cattle will graze upon GMO Kentucky Bluegrass and people will ingest the RoundUp chemicals sprayed on the cow’s favorite meal.

You can guess who is behind this latest GMO development.

Scotts is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for the marketing and distribution of consumer RoundUp.

We are running out of time to try and get Scott’s from being able to market and sell this latest GMO product. You can sign this petition which will be sent to Hagedorn, along with the CEOs of Lowe’s and Home Depot who are expected to sell the GMO grass.

Read: The GMO Lawn Engineered to Eat Copious Amounts of Pesticides

“…GMO Roundup Ready grass will result in a further increase in the use of Roundup, which will contaminate our groundwater and drinking water. Imagine your children & pets frolicking around in a sea of herbicidal poison. Because of inevitable contamination, the grass is likely to be eaten by grass grazing animals. There has been no toxicity testing and the potential harm to animals eating this GMO grass is unknown. Will we be saying good-bye to pasture raised meat? Lastly, it is a scientific fact that weeds will evolve to develop resistance to Roundup, leading to ever increasing amounts being applied.”

Additionally, you can request that your grocery store only carry certified GMO-free grass-fed beef. The game is changing yet again as biotech tries to infiltrate every conceivable agricultural market on the planet.

While Jim Hagedorn, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is likely doing a happy promenade, those who love their grass-fed beef and rely upon it as a healthier source of meat can kiss it goodbye.

This article originally appeared at Natural Society.

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

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My Response to The Cowspiracy: 8 Ways Cattle Grazing Supports Wildlife

And the war rages on. — jtl

By Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

The folks behind the documentary “Cowspiracy” asked BEEF Daily Editor about her statement that cattle grazing supports wildlife. She responds with 8 resources to demonstrate the relationship between cattle and wildlife, plus describes what she sees on her own ranch.

When it comes to Internet activists and extremists, usually the best policy is to ignore them and focus on the 95% of folks who genuinely want to know where their food comes from and how it was raised. I have found that most consumers, once they get to know me or my peers in agriculture, truly like who we are and appreciate what we do on our farms and ranches. But every once in a while, there’s someone worth addressing directly, and that’s the case with the misinformation found in the documentary “Cowspiracy” and those who believe the drama and the hype it presents.

In case you missed my earlier blog post, I described how the documentary paints the beef business in a very negative light, citing cattle as the sole reason we have sustainability issues on our planet. In the trailer of the documentary, the creators insinuate they are taking a big personal risk, even endangering their lives, by making this film. Insert eye roll here.

READ: Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary “Cowspiracy”

After I wrote about the documentary, challenging ranchers to “beef” up on their knowledge of how cattle help the environment, a self-described “vegan idealist” blogger took me to task on my facts, which I promptly responded to.

READ: 6 Reasons To Ignore The “Cowspiracy” And Eat A Burger

Following that blog post, the folks behind “Cowspiracy” tweeted to me the following: “Tell us more about how grazing cattle supports wildlife.” They included a link to a video which suggests that ranching is detrimental to wildlife.

 I have to scratch my head a little bit because the blogger who took me to task insinuated that cattle gulp down a lot of water, so I would assume they wouldn’t appreciate wildlife drinking water either. But, I’ll happily answer the question, as we’ve written about the wildlife/cattle connection repeatedly on the beefmagazine.com site. So here is a roundup of 8 articles that show how cattle grazing supports wildlife:

  1. Why Consider Wildlife In Your Ranch Management Plans?
  2. Sage Grouse, Cattle Thrive On Rest-Rotation Program
  3. Can Wildlife And Cattle Coexist?
  4. California Research Shows Cattle, Wildlife Can Coexist
  5. LX Ranch Cattle And Wildlife Pasture Tour
  6. Study Shows Benefits To Cattle Grazing On Wildlife Land
  7. Yes, It’s True: Cattle Grazing Can Reverse Desertification
  8. Teaming Up With NRCS: Creating Cattle And Wildlife Haven

As I write this blog, I’m not envisioning some sort of unreachable utopia or imagining an impossible ideal.

But as I look out my window, I see many things that demonstrate the relationship between cattle and wildlife. On the horizon, I see our cattle grazing on rolling pasture hills. As they walk, they aerate the soil with their hooves, creating a healthy environment for bugs and native grasses to grow.

On their shoulders, birds stop to visit, nibbling on bugs. Pheasants waddle under foot, finding haven in the line of trees we planted. Rabbits hop in my backyard. Deer sneak vegetables from my garden and this fall and winter, they will feast on the food plot we planted. Fish swim in the creeks that our cattle drink out of. At night, we can hear the coyotes howl. And even a mountain lion or two has been spotted sulking along the river valley on our ranch, and we believe even killed a calf this summer for a tasty meal.

If the above description doesn’t sound like cattle and wildlife can’t coexist and thrive, I don’t know what does. It’s not a romance; it’s my reality. Raising cattle is something I’m proud to do. Plain and simple, cattle benefit the environment and feed and nourish families.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Agenda 21 – In one easy lesson:

“Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth…it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced”

As much as I hate Bareback Yomama (the worst of the worst ever), all fingers should not point to the left. After all, it was King George the Elder who signed the original UN document. 

Nothing hurts a cause worse than mis-information that is discovered to be mis-information. Read and understand this and then compose your arguments accordingly.

A full understanding of what is really going on makes it much easier to reject the “climate change” (and other related) nonsense. — jtl, 419

by Tom Deweese via What is Agenda 21.net

What is Sustainable Development?

Agenda 21According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.  Social Equity (Social Justice) Social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people “to benefit equally from the resources fforded us by society and the environment.” Redistribution of wealth. Private property is a social injustice since not everyone can build wealth from it. National sovereignty is a social injustice. Universal health care is a social justice. All part of Agenda 21 policy.

Economic Prosperity?

Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Special dealings between government and certain, chosen corporations which get tax breaks, grants and the government’s power of Eminent Domain to implement sustainable policy. Government-sanctioned monopolies.
Local Sustainable Development policies Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, STAR Sustainable Communities, Green jobs, Green Building Codes, “Going Green,” Alternative Energy, Local Visioning, facilitators, regional planning, historic preservation, conservation easements, development rights, sustainable farming, comprehensive planning, growth management, consensus.

Who is behind it?

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (formally, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). Communities pay ICLEI dues to provide “local” community plans, software, training, etc. Addition groups include American Planning Council, The Renaissance Planning Group, International City/ County Management Group, aided by US Mayors Conference, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Association of County Administrators and many more private organizations and official government agencies. Foundation and government grants drive the process.

Where did it originate?

The term Sustainable Development was first introduced to the world in the pages a 1987 report (Our Common Future) produced by the United Nations World Commission on Environmental and Development, authored by Gro Harlem Brundtland, VP of the World Socialist Party. The term was first offered as official UN policy in 1992, in a document called UN Sustainable Development Agenda 21, issued at the UN’s Earth Summit, today referred to simply as Agenda 21.

What gives Agenda 21 Ruling Authority?

More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy during a signing ceremony at the Earth Summit. US president George H.W. Bush signed theBush 41 document for the US. In signing, each nation pledge to adopt the goals of Agenda 21. In 1995, President Bill Clinton, in compliance with Agenda 21, signed Executive Order #12858 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in order to “harmonize” US environmental policy with UN directives as outlined in Agenda 21. The EO directed all agencies of the Federal Government to work with state and local community governments in a joint effort “reinvent” government using the guidelines outlined in Agenda 21. As a result, with the assistance of groups like ICLEI, Sustainable Development is now emerging as government policy in every town, county and state in the nation.

Revealing Quotes From the Planners

“Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth…it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced” Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet (Earthpress, 1993). Emphases – DR

Urgent to implement – but we don’t know what it is!

The realities of life on our planet dictate that continued economic development as we know it cannot be sustained…Sustainable development, therefore is a program of action for local and global economic reform – a program that has yet to be fully defined.” The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide, published by ICLEI, 1996.

No one fully understands how or even, if, sustainable development can be achieved; however, there is growing consensus that it must be accomplished at the local level if it is ever to be achieved on a global basis.” The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide, published by ICLEI, 1996.

Agenda 21 and Private Property:

Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice.”From the report from the 1976 UN’s Habitat I Conference.

Private land use decisions are often driven by strong economic incentives that result in several ecological and aesthetic consequences…The key to overcoming it is through public policy…”Report from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, page 112.

Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

Reinvention of Government:

We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better decisions, more rapid change, and more sensible use of human, natural and financial resources in achieving our goals.” Report from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development

Individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective.” Harvey Ruvin, Vice Chairman, ICLEI. The Wildlands Project

We must make this place an insecure and inhospitable place for Capitalists and their projects – we must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres or presently settled land.” Dave Foreman, Earth First.

What is not sustainable?

Ski runs, grazing of livestock, plowing of soil, building fences, industry, single family homes, paves and tarred roads, logging activities, dams and reservoirs, power line construction, and economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment.” UN’s Biodiversity Assessment Report.

Hide Agenda 21’s UN roots from the people!

Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy- fixated groups and individuals in our society… This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.” J. Gary Lawrence, advisor to President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. 


Tom Deweese the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and is the President of the American Policy Center, a grassroots, activist think tank headquartered in Warrenton, Virginia.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II (The Economics of Liberty)The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty will introduce the reader to the fundamental principles of the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School traces its origins back to the Scholastics of Medieval Spain. But its lineage actually began with Carl Menger and continued on through Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many others. It is the one and only true private property based, free market line of economic thought. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Billionaires and Communists Plan “People’s Climate March”

Among the groups partnering with the march are the Communist Party USA, the Socialist Party USA, numerous self-described socialist groups, Big Labor, the billionaire George “New World Order” Soros-funded MoveOn.org, myriad Islamic groups, crony capitalists, pseudo-environmentalist establishment front groups, and many more

What a caste of characters!!

To confirm or deny any “conspiracy theory” is pretty simple–find the money and follow it. — jtl, 419

 by 

Billionaires and Communists Plan “People’s Climate March”

With United Nations bosses gathering dictators and government representatives in New York next week for a “climate” summit amid the ongoing implosion of their man-made “global warming” theories, a coalition ranging from billionaire front groups to the Communist Party is planning what it calls “the People’s Climate March.” What critics refer to as the “global rent-a-mob,” organized in part by the Rockefeller-funded alarmist organization 350.org, claims the worldwide demonstrations demanding a UN global-warming regime will be “the largest climate rally in history.” They may well be, but that hardly changes the fact that most Americans reject failed anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) theories and that virtually every falsifiable “climate” prediction has been dead wrong.

The “People’s” Climate March, not to be confused with the open-air gulag UN member-state known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, is set to take place on September 21, the day before UN “climate dignitaries” converge in New York to plot anew anti-carbon regime for humanity. As with many other pseudo-popular movements, the establishment-backed march is there to provide some semblance of public support for deeply unpopular policy machinations. In this case, the goals include carbon taxes, energy rationing, mass wealth redistribution from Western taxpayers to Third World dictators, further empowering the UN, and imposing a draconian planetary regime supposedly aimed at curbing “global warming” that will devastate the poor.

It would be easy to assume that nobody bothered informing the organizers and their dupes that there has been no warming for 18 years and counting even as polar ice continues to hit new record-highs — defying every prediction and climate model advanced by the UN and its fellow warming alarmists over the last few decades. More likely, though, is that the establishment figures behind the “climate” coalition have ambitions that go far beyond stopping warming that, based on the undisputed temperature record, stopped almost two decades ago. “This is an invitation to change everything,” the People’s Climate March says on its website promoting the rallies.

Everything? Well, almost. “With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history,” the promo for the march continues. “We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.” Beyond New York City, the coalition is also planning “climate” demonstrations to “change everything” in London, Berlin, and other major cities. It remains unclear how many actual “people” will be turning out, but organizers claim it will be huge.

. As U.S. Communist Party boss John Bachtell wrote in the CPUSA mouthpiece People’s World in a recent propaganda piece promoting its “People’s Climate March”: “Solutions to the climate crisis inevitably collide with the capitalist system.” In other words, to solve the fake “crisis,” prepare to lose your prosperity and your God-given rights.

Another one of the outfits partnering with the march, Socialist Alternative, also recently outlined the real agenda being advanced by socialists purporting to be concerned about non-existent warming: “solving climate change” with global socialism. According to the outfit’s Pete Ikeler, capitalism combined with fossil fuels now threatens “all advances” made by humanity over its history. The problems are allegedly so bad that perhaps “industrialization” was not such a good idea after all, he suggested. “The solution, therefore, … is the replacement of capitalism with a rational, planned, and democratic economy — otherwise known as socialism,” it says. “Humanity is indeed at a crossroads — and capitalism is in the way. We urge all members of the 99% to join in the struggle for system change to stop climate change.”

Amplified by Russian state-owned propaganda outlets and Western propagandists styling themselves “journalists,” People’s March organizers, echoing UN talking points, claim to be creating the necessary momentum to provide enough cover for globalists to foist their climate regime on humanity. “The People’s Climate March can be — and in many ways already is — creating a tipping point moment for the world,” reads a statement from event organizers quoted by Russia’s RIA Novosti. “There’s real power in this kind of human energy.”

The Rockefeller oil dynasty-funded 350.org outfit, which seeks to impose a draconian UN-run regime to reduce concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, has previously organized major global-warming protests around the world. Unsurprisingly, the “green” AstroTurf (phony grassroots) machinations, which a recent Senate report once again confirmed are being bankrolled and used by what it called “the Billionaires’ Club,” always get plenty of establishment-media attention, too. However, the increasingly discredited “mainstream” press has consistently failed to tell the whole story.

For instance, take the basic premise behind the whole AGW edifice supposedly requiring global socialism: The notion that carbon dioxide — exhaled by humans and essential for plant life — is “pollution” that will supposedly lead to catastrophic warming. With no temperature increases for 18 years and counting even as CO2 levels grew, countless scientists who rely on the scientific method and observable evidence to reach conclusions concede that the theory must be incorrect. Dozens of excuses have been concocted to explain what alarmists refer to as the “pause” in global warming, including Obama’s favorite, the “Theory of the Ocean Ate My Global Warming.” The simplest explanation — the theory is wrong — remains off the table for the UN and most of its member regimes.

Beyond the obvious problems with AGW theories, the notion that CO2 is harmful is considered ludicrous by respected scientists who study the issue. “CO2 is ‘the gas of life,’” explained Dr. Tom Segalstad, associate professor of resource and environmental geology and geochemistry at the University of Oslo. “The more CO2, the more life. More CO2 means we can feed more people on Earth. CO2 is contributing very little to the ‘greenhouse effect’. Clouds have much more influence on temperature.”

Dr. Segalstad is a contributing author with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC, which produced a landmark survey of climate science and came to very different conclusions than the UN’s discredited “climate” fear-mongering reports. NIPCC lead author and meteorologist Dr. Madhav Khandekar, who also worked with the UN climate body until becoming outraged by its lack of interest in proper scientific review, also pointed out that human-added CO2 is not destabilizing the climate.

Even if CO2 were harmful “pollution,” rather than a beneficial and natural gas that is crucial to life on this planet, efforts to limit human emissions of the gas to control “climate” would still be beyond laughable. Water vapor, of course, is the primary “greenhouse gas” in the atmosphere, accounting for around 95 percent of the crucial-to-life so-called “greenhouse effect.” That gas is entirely beyond human control, and there is no dispute on any of those facts — even among the most devoted alarmists, whom critics ridicule as a “cult” for refusing to change their beliefs despite the undeniable evidence.

Carbon dioxide, meanwhile, accounts for about 0.04 percent of the gases present in Earth’s atmosphere. Of that, according to scientific estimates, less than 3.3 percent comes from human emissions such as the burning of fossil fuels. The vast majority comes from the oceans at around 42 percent, or the biosphere at about 55 percent — volcanoes, wild fires, decomposition, and more. In other words, around three percent of the “greenhouse gases” can be attributed to human activities. Of that tiny sliver attributed to humans, Americans are responsible for less than 20 percent.

None of that matters to the establishment forces whipping up “climate” hysteria to advance their own sinister objectives. Indeed, the “People’s Climate March” will hardly be the only global-warming alarmism event in New York City next week demanding UN “action.” Among other happenings, a pseudo-religious “climate” festival dubbed the “Religions For The Earth Conference” will be asking the gods to forgive humanity for its carbon sins. Separately, a coalition that includes top international mega-corporations, dubbed “The Climate Group,” will be organizing global-warming “awareness activities” all week as part of “Climate Week NYC.”

As what top establishment figures refer to as “useful idiots” converge on New York to demand their own enslavement under the guise of stopping a demonstrably manufactured crisis, the Obama administration has already indicated that it plans to foist the UN climate regime on America by decree. Instead of obtaining Senate approval as required under the U.S. Constitution, the White House intends to use “executive action” to further devastate the U.S. economy and what remains of the market amid its absurd war on “the gas of life.” Americans, a solid majority of whom consistently reject discredited AGW theories, must ensure that their elected representatives take action to protect the public, the economy, and the Constitution from the lawless machinations.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached atanewman@thenewamerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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10 Ways to Have A Stress-Free Weaning Day

By Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

Many ranchers are gearing up to wean calves. Here are 10 ways to make it a stress-free experience for both the livestock and the rancher.

Even though we are busy in the field harvesting corn this week, we will take a break from running the combine and grain cart to wean calves on Saturday. Of course, rain is in the forecast for the latter part of the week, and snow is expected this weekend, but the calves are big, and corn stalks are waiting to be grazed. So, as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on.

As we prepare for weaning day, I thought I would compile 10 ways to have a stress-free weaning. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section below.

  1. Take inventory of your stock.

There’s nothing worse than rounding up the pairs and bringing them home, only to find there is a calf or two missing. Santa isn’t the only one who should make a list and check it twice. Make sure all your calves and cows are accounted for before moving them too far down the road.

  1. Line up enough help.

In a perfect world, all you should need is your dog, your horse and your wife (or husband) to help work cattle, but for big working days, this isn’t always the case. Being shorthanded can result in accidents or overworked help. It’s better to have too much help than not enough. Plus, the more the merrier really rings true when you have family, friends and neighbors on board to visit with while you work.

  1. Follow vaccination protocols.

Do you have your cooler of ice ready to hold your vaccines? Do you have all doses you’ll need? Have you read the label to double-check that protocols haven’t changed since the last time you used the vaccines? Follow protocols as prescribed to get the most out of the medicines used.

  1. Take note of poor disposition.

As you’re working calves through the chute to get weaning weights, administer shots and possibly castrate or dehorn, pay attention to disposition. While it’s understandable for a calf to be a little worked up on its first visit through a chute, notice the ones that jump and bang against the paneling. Mark down the ones that race out of the chute at lightning speed. These observations should go into your considerations when choosing replacement heifers. Perhaps the wild, high-headed heifer shouldn’t stick around.

  1. Acclimate the calves to people.

Hopefully, you spent the summer riding through your pastures and checking calves or filling creep feeders, so your cattle are used to seeing people. If you haven’t, now is the time to gently introduce your presence to the stock. Walk quietly through the pens. Don’t holler, use the hot shot, or scare them in any way. You want them to feel comfortable and safe in the lot — not looking for a low spot in the fence to jump over.

  1. Keep the crew happy.

Weaning can be a long day, especially if you add vaccination, dehorning, weighing, and castration to the mix, as we do. It’s important to keep your crew happy and taken care of throughout the day. Have plenty of hot coffee and cold pop on hand. Make sure you take a decent lunch break for a pot of hot chili or beef stew. Keep your crew hydrated, and have a treat or two on hand. The happier your help, the more productive everyone will be.

  1. Consider fence-line weaning.

Maybe it’s because our fences in the pasture are subpar, or maybe it’s because we’ve always weaned calves the same way, but we’ve never tried fence-line weaning. However, from what I’ve read and from conversations with other ranchers, it is one of the least stressful ways to wean calves.

  1. Keep the dust down.

A lot of guys sell their calves right off the cow, so they don’t have to deal with bunk-breaking and fall vaccinations, but it’s been shown that having a calf that knows how to eat, drink and is comfortable in a feedlot adds value to the calf when it comes time to market the animal. We typically precondition our calves for a month or two before selling them, so they are over the stress of weaning, and all vaccinations, castration and other fall work is well behind. One of the immediate challenges of having calves in a lot right after weaning is dust. With rain in the forecast this week, it probably won’t be an issue for us, but if you’re in a dry year, keep the dust down in the lots by spraying water periodically. Dust makes for calves with runny noses and a cough. Less dust means you’ll have healthier calves.

  1. Be mindful of sudden noises.

For the first week, newly weaned calves in a lot can be skittish. Once the bawling dies down, the quiet of the farm yard can be filled with unexpected and never-before-heard noises. A dog barks. A cat hisses. A door slams shut. These little noises can set off a group of even the tamest calves. Be mindful of these noises as calves get used to their new environment. Work quietly around the cattle. The last thing you need is calves to get scared and blow through a fence.

  1. Introduce feed right away to the weaned calves.

Take note of the calves that go straight from their mom to belly up at the feeder. These calves are taking the stress of weaning well. More than likely, they have a good disposition. If they are eating, they are less likely to be the ones losing strength and getting sick. Offer grain right away to help comfort and ease the transition.

When do you plan to wean your calves? How do you market your calves each year? What tips do you have for a stress-free weaning. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Posted in Cattle Production, Herd Management | Tagged , | 1 Comment

6 Reasons To Ignore The “Cowspiracy” And Eat A Burger

And don’t forget that planned grazing: 

1. sequesters carbon which seems to be important to vegan enviro wackos, and 

2. improves the water cycle and increases the water holding capacity of the soil.

No, you can’t fix stupid but you don’t have to tollerate it. — jtl

A vegan blogger has taken BEEF Daily Editor Amanda Radke to task over her post about the documentary, “Cowspiracy,” which charged beef production with being a huge waste of water. She offers 6 reasons to ignore the “cowspiracy” and eat the burger anyway.

I was recently taken to task by Loghan Call, a self-described “idealist” vegan blogger, who has a goal to “end factory farming in America by 2016.” I’m not sure if Call has ever been to a farm or ranch, or where he envisions getting his food from if there are no more agriculturalists by 2016, or if he has ever wondered how much water it takes to make the nut butters and tofu for his vegan lifestyle, but those are topics for another day. Today, I want to address his criticism of my evaluation of the documentary, “Cowspiracy,” which essentially blamed a world water crisis on beef cattle.

Read my original post: Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary, “Cowspiracy.”

If you want to read his musings to make sure I cover everything in my rebuttal, click here.

To start, I’ll admit that Call is good at math. He broke things down so well that it seems like a cut-and-dried argument that to eat a burger is a greater culprit for water waste than anything else. However, he hasn’t looked at the whole picture. You see, comparing the water used to produce a burger to what it takes to make a t-shirt or manufacture a car isn’t comparing apples to apples. But, of course, it was my example in the first place, so it’s obvious I need to add a few more considerations to clarify my point.

I won’t attempt to dazzle you fancy math, but I will invoke some common sense.

Here are six reasons you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a burger.

1. The water used by a cow helps to convert grass into food for people. Cattle graze on land that is too steep, hilly or rocky for crop production. Cattle can utilize terrain that would simply have no productive use if we didn’t graze cattle on it. Thus, they can convert forage growth on untillable land into a top protein, and their grazing supports wildlife, aerates the soil, and helps reduce wildfires.

2. Cattle don’t just provide us with beef, but byproducts, too. Consider the water usage needed to make synthetic replacements for all of the byproducts we get from beef — insulin for diabetics, stearic acid for use in our tires, crayons, deodorant, makeup, etc. To be able to replicate these items without beef by-products would not only require a lot of water, but also fuel for manufacturing and transportation.

3. If we want to talk about water waste, let’s look at our own usage. My original example only looked at the water that was wasted from leaks in New York City. Let’s consider the water actually used by American citizens on a daily basis. In just the morning hours, a typical morning might look like this — drink a glass of water, brush our teeth, take a nice hot shower, use water to make our coffee, wash our breakfast dishes, and perhaps start a load of laundry before we head off to work. These would be considered essential uses of water in a first-world country, but what about the non-essential use?

4. Did Americans feel bad about participating in the ice bucket challenge, as they poured water over their heads to raise money for a cause? How about watering the lawn to make sure it stays a beautiful shade of green and letting part of that water run down the street and into the storm drain? If you like to golf, the course stays perfectly green, which also requires water. Are these effective uses of water? Does thiswater help feed the world and offer important byproducts? Hardly.

5. Water is essential to life, something we are in dire need of in many parts of the nation. California and parts of Texas continue to suffer from drought, so it’s important to be conscious of our water usage. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. To blame water waste on a cow when we have a growing population demanding more and more water for our personal use is simply ridiculous. We must look internally in how we can reduce our water use. This means shorter showers, skipping the coffee, turning off the water when we brush our teeth, washing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher, judicious watering of our lawns, and skip dumping water on our heads and just donating the money to our favorite cause.

6. Finally, “Cowspiracy,” is using fear to create buzz and make money. Fear-mongering is what makes a mom afraid to buy anything but organic food for her kids, and it makes her worry about whether the food she buys is safe to eat unless she paid a premium for something all-natural. Because today’s consumer is three generations removed from the family farm, it’s harder to understand where food comes from because most folks don’t get to see it being raised outside their backdoor. That’s when folks turn to the Internet. Unfortunately, all too often, the information found there is based on speculation, sensationalism and a motivation to make money. That’s why it’s so important for ranchers to be a part of these online conversations, lest we leave the talking up to the entertainment industry.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Posted in Cattle Production, Clean Water Act, Climate Change, Global Warming, Planned Grazing, Restoriation Grazing, Water Issues | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Opinion: Bulls Should Be Masculine And Cows Should Be Feminine

I have to agree with Alan on this. In fact, just this past Friday and Saturday I attended a Stock Horse Clinic put on by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. 

The cattle used for the clinic were on loan from a local rancher. They were his open heifers and were, therefore, headed for the feedlot. 

One of the extension agents commented on one of the heifers that she looked really masculine. I agreed and we concurred that was likely the reason she wasn’t bred. — jtl

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II (The Economics of Liberty)The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty will introduce the reader to the fundamental principles of the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School traces its origins back to the Scholastics of Medieval Spain. But its lineage actually began with Carl Menger and continued on through Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many others. It is the one and only true private property based, free market line of economic thought. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

Posted in Cattle Production, Herd Management | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Wyoming Wild Horse Roundups to Continue

It seems that push back from the Western States is becoming more and more common. That would be a good thing. Think secession. At least it is a step in the right direction.– jtl

Wyoming Wild Horse Roundups to Continue

According to Gov. Matt Mead, “Wyoming is not against wild horses on public lands, but they must be managed appropriately.”

The following article is from the Office of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Wyoming’s favor on a wild horse management case. The Court denied a request for an emergency injunction by wild horse advocates, clearing the way for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove horses from private lands in southwest Wyoming.

“Wyoming is not against wild horses on public lands, but they must be managed appropriately. Today’s ruling allows that to happen and protects Wyoming land, supports ranchers and wildlife, and it benefits wild horse populations,” Governor Matt Mead said.

The BLM is planning to roundup wild horses in an area where private, federal and state lands intermingle. The BLM’s plan complies with an agreement between the BLM and a group of local ranchers. Wyoming points out unmanaged wild horse populations negatively impact habitat health on public lands.

Source: Office of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
Posted by Haylie Shipp

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

Posted in Herd Management, Horse Slaughter, Horses, Public Lands, Wild Horses | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Restoring Desert Grasslands with Livestock

Here we go again. More on the one and only grazing method that can double (at least) carrying capacity and triple (at least) cash flow laced and tainted with “global warming” and “factory farm” communist bullshit. Of course, all you would have to do to realize that is to read the author’s “credentials” — research intern with the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project. Gag.

Indeed, we do “sequester carbon” but, as with all things good and moral, we do it because it makes money in the form of increased cattle production and improved land value.

But seriously, I do wish SI would check the facts and give up on this nonsense. It is probably the single largest deterrent to the acceptance of planned grazing.   — jtl

circle_ranch_tx_quail_4Last week we posted a brief explanation of Keyline theory.  This week, we share a concise explanation of holistic planned grazing, which uses animal impact to restore grasslands

By Carol Dreibelbis via Circle Ranch Blog

  • In this series, we interview inspiring people that our readers have nominated. These individuals are working on the front lines to improve the global food and agricultural systems. Want to nominate someone? E-mail your suggestions to Laura Reynolds!

    Name: Seth Itzkan

    Affiliation: President of Planet-TECH Associates, a consultancy focusing on trends and innovations.

    Bio: Seth has 25 years of experience consulting with private and public agencies on strategies for success in changing times. He is interested in the mitigation of climate change and is investigating new approaches to the problem, particularly focusing on the role of soils and grassland restoration through “holistic management.”

    In 2011, Seth spent six weeks at the Africa Center for Holistic Management in northwest Zimbabwe, the sister organization of the Savory Institute in Colorado. While in Zimbabwe, he saw firsthand the restoration of degraded lands through improved land and livestock management. Since his return to the United States, he has advocated for holistic management to be considered as a methodology to address both desertification and global warming.

    Seth recently gave a TEDx talk on the topic of “Reversing Global Warming with Livestock?” and presented at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. With colleagues at Tufts, he is helping to organize a conference in January 2013 on holistic management, titled “Creating the Future We Want: Holistic Solutions to Global Challenges.” Seth is co-manager of the Google group, Soil-Age, which explores the opportunities and potential impacts of soil restoration. He is a graduate of the Tufts College of Engineering and the University of Houston Masters of Science Program in Studies of the Future.

    What is holistic livestock management, and how does this idea challenge conventional grazing systems?

    Holistic management seeks to restore grassland ecosystems by using livestock as a proxy for the wild herds of grazing ruminants that the prairies and savannas of the world co-evolved with and depend on. Due to the pressures of predation, natural herds form tightly packed groups that are continuously on the go, moving in a pattern that is unlike conventional livestock management. This natural herd action is essential to plant grazing and nutrient and water recycling and distribution. It was the abundance, not the paucity, of these grass-eating creatures that sustained the verdant regions of most continental interiors. Thus, holistic management recognizes that fully functioning grassland ecosystems cannot be sustained without herds of grazing animals.

    Recognizing the severing of the ecosystem that resulted from the decimation of the great herds, holistic management attempts to restore balance by moving livestock in a manner that simulates the pack density and mobility of the wild grazers. This helps recreate the desirable ruminant impact while eliminating deleterious effects of conventional livestock management. It is achieved through adherence to a grazing plan that stimulates plant growth, provides natural fertilization, and keeps the herds from returning to eat the same plants until they are fully re-grown.

    Holistic management poses two major challenges. First, it challenges the idea that conventional grazing—including keeping livestock sedentary and corralled in permanent fixtures—is sustainable. Second, it challenges the idea that the weight of livestock is all that matters to the rancher. Holistic management strives for economic, social, and environmental success factors. By focusing on more than one variable, we can see improvements across all three. Natural systems, like grasslands with ruminants, cannot be managed with reductionist thinking. There must be a holistic framework.

    What are the indicators for improved ecosystem health under holistic management techniques?

    More grass cover:This means an increase in the density of the plants. In a healthy grassland system, there should be no space between plants—i.e., no bare ground. Any water from the sky should land on leaves, not dirt. Achieving this state using livestock is possible through holistic management, even in areas of low seasonal rainfall. When animal movement is done properly, plant growth is stimulated through grazing at the opportune time, soil health is enhanced with essential nutrients, and the land is “impacted” through hoof action, trampling plant litter and seeds into the ground along with manure to assure cover for new growth and moisture retention.

    Increased surface water:Increased surface water is one of the most important indicators of ecosystem recovery. In low, seasonal-rainfall grassland and savanna environments, the measure of surface water health that a land manager can readily see is how long springs or watering holes sustain into the dry season. When the soil is healthy, it is rich with organic matter that absorbs water, pulling it down and replenishing the water table. When soil is depleted, rainwater flows away, creating gullies and carrying topsoil with it. The erosion process can drain the water table. However, the opposite is also true. Improved soil health will replenish the water table. As this happens, the change in surface water will become apparent: streams and surface pools remain wet longer into the dry season and may also widen. Additionally, grass cover in riparian areas will extend to the edge of streams, and there will be an increase in aquatic plants and animals.

    Enhanced plant and wildlife diversity: As grasslands recover, plant and wildlife diversity increases. This is driven by the changing biological composition of the soil—the bacterial and fungal communities that hide away carbon and exchange nutrients with roots. This soil community is enhanced by ruminant manure, which is loaded with water, minerals, and billions of essential bacteria that serve as “reinforcements” to their fellow microbes in the ground, particularly important in the dry season. As plants diversify, so will the bugs, birds, and larger wildlife.

    Eradication of problem or invasive species:As properly timed grazing restores the grassland soils to their prior state, new conditions will favor the native species. Invasive species that had benefited from depleted soil will no longer be advantaged. Additionally, livestock, including cattle and goats, can be used as tools to directly eradicate undesired species. For example, goats can eat prickly pear, and cattle can disrupt the life cycle of cheatgrass and trample and kill woody brush.

    Why is holistic management significant to the issues of desertification and mitigating and adapting to climate change?

    Desertification coincides with the removal of the natural impact of herding ruminants. Although much desertification is rightly blamed on poor ranching and agricultural practices, holistic management postulates that the rootcause of grassland desertification worldwide is the decimation of large herding animals, and their predators and cousin creatures that were essential to ecosystem health.

    circle-ranch-buffalo-skull-pileThis one bison skull pile was three stories high and larger than a football field.

    In North America, for example, we saw the elimination of approximately 70 million buffalo, 2 million wolves, and 4 billion (yes, billion) prairie dogs. By the 1890s, most of these creatures were near extinction. The dust bowls of the 1930s are attributed to drought and poor farming methods; however, the seeds of desertification were set nearly a century earlier when the wholesale slaughter of native wildlife became common practice.

    Holistic management offers a solution to this. It presents a natural approach for restoring grasslands that in turn play a major role in atmospheric carbon capture and climate stability. Although rarely given central billing in the climate change narrative, grasslands are actually the largest terrestrial ecosystem and one of the greatest stores of atmospheric carbon, on par with, if not greater than, that of forests and the atmosphere itself. Unlike forests, however, where carbon capture is predominantly held above ground and only for the lifetime of the trees, grasslands build soil that can grow to meters deep and sequester carbon for millennia.

    circle_ranch_elk_9

    The challenge for the climate change community is to realize that grasslands cannot be restored without the impact of herding ruminants. And without the carbon capturing services provided through grassland photosynthesis and soil formation, there is no mitigation of global warming. Even if all fossil fuel use is ceased, without addressing the worldwide problem of atmospheric carbon loading through land degradation, we will continue down the path of a runaway climate catastrophe. One way or another, large grazing animals in significant quantities are on the critical path to a livable future for humans on this planet.

    Using cattle to mitigate global warming might seem counter-intuitive to many, especially in light of estimates that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. What would you say to someone who questions the role of livestock in reversing climate change?

    I would say they are right to be suspicious, because the history of livestock management has been deleterious and the modern behemoth of industrial livestock production is a major polluter of land, water, and air. But this predisposition, although understandable, misses the point about how ruminants are meant to interact with their grassland environments, and how livestock can, if we chose, be managed for restorative effects over vast expanses of deteriorating rangeland.

    cowtown

    The phrase “livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions” also underscores a profound misunderstanding. It is not the livestock that are responsible for these significant greenhouse emissions, but the fossil fuel-intensive livestock industry. Any living creature is naturally in balance with its ecosystem, including all the minerals and gases that enter or leave it. The 18 percent figure stems from the 2006 UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. This report included all production-related environmental impacts, such as fossil fuels, irrigation, grain, fertilizers, and land degradation.

    images-4

    It also accounted for the methane problem of CAFOs [factory farms] where manure is held in anaerobic lagoons. It is a proper indictment of the fossil fuel livestock industry, which is indeed destroying land and contributing to global warming.

    This report, however, has nothing to do with animals living in balance with their surroundings, nor with holistic management, the whole point of which is to help stop the degradation of industrial livestock production and restore grasslands to health through proper ruminant action. Seeing as holistic management uses range-fed cattle that are managed for ecosystem recovery (and thus carbon capture), none of the numbers associated with the FAO report are germane. They are entirely different systems. The only thing that is common is the cattle, and cattle aren’t the problem: the industry is, and that must change.

    Holistic management provides a model for what that change could look like, and it would be helpful for future assessments to consider this option. Range-fed cattle that are managed for ecosystem recovery will be helping to enhance grass cover and build soil and thus will actually be carbon negative. This will be true until such a time that the soil is maximally restored. That could be decades or centuries.

    It’s important to remember that ruminants evolved to be in balance with grassland ecosystems, playing essential roles in maintenance of plants and soil health. Atmospheric loading of carbon dioxide in the case of industrial livestock does not come from the animals, but from fossil fuels and improper land use. Those are human-induced ills that can be changed. Additionally, the methane released by ruminants should be balanced by the intake of methanotrophic bacteria naturally present in healthy pastures. Finally, manure should be in the fields, building soil, not in anaerobic lagoons.

    The conclusions of the FAO report should be a call for us to do the right thing, and that is to stop growing grain for cattle and to restore livestock to their proper place as soil-enhancing ruminants. The potential of carbon capture via grassland restoration is enormous, and without proper ruminant action, either through wild herds or livestock managed as a proxy, desertification will continue and this opportunity for carbon capture will be lost.

    Many practitioners will posit that not only is holistic management essential to reverse desertification, but it is the only means available to restore enough of the world’s prairie and savannas fast enough to avoid a climate catastrophe. I find this a compelling argument.

    You spent six weeks at Zimbabwe’s Africa Centre for Holistic Management (ACHM). How do experiences with holistic management in southern Africa relate to western rangelands of the United States?

    ACHM is a 6,000-acre Holistic Management instructional ranch and learning site on communal lands in Zimbabwe. The terrain is “high veldt,” or high desert, similar to northern New Mexico, with a mix of arid grassland and forested savanna ecosystems. The biomes in southern Africa are quite similar to those on western rangelands in the United States, as are the needs and goals of the ranchers and agriculturists in both regions.

    The successes in southern Africa show that even in the world’s most impoverished areas, where the mismanagement of land and livestock has created high rates of desertification, reversal of fortunes is possible. Using livestock as a restorative tool can increase the grass cover, improve the water cycle, and provide viable livelihoods for land managers and their communities. If it can happen in southern Africa villages, it can—and does—happen on the American ranch.The Savory Institute in Colorado helps facilitate training and implementation, for example, and a new organization, Grasslands LLC, provides an outsourced ranch management service utilizing holistic management practices.

    On a personal note, what I found most revealing was the story from one Zimbabwean village woman about how, in the past, before holistic management practices were begun, the presence of biting ants made walking in the field intolerable. People without shoes had to wear plastic bags on their feet. The ants also attacked the baby goats and birds. It was horrible. Authorities told villagers the only treatment was expensive chemicals. However, once holistically managed grazing was started and the grass cover improved, the ant problem vanished. This is an invasive species issue, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a human story. People anywhere will want to benefit from healthy land. Nobody wants biting ants.

    What are the challenges of and potential for integrating holistic management practices into development policies?

    The potential for integrating holistic management into development policies is enormous and grows as the failures of our current models become more apparent and costly. The ranch in Zimbabwe hosts a steady stream of representatives from development NGOs who are eager to learn about holistic management and put the tools into practice. They are looking for solutions that are practical, affordable, and that can simultaneously address the multitude of issues that accompany land use decisions. There are pilot projects throughout Africa and growing interest for major efforts throughout Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa.

    In January 2013, the Center for International Environmental Resource and Policy (CIERP) at the Fletcher School at Tufts University will host a conference on holistic management, titled “Creating the Future We Want: Holistic Solutions to Global Challenges.” In addition to showing the benefits of holistic land and livestock management, this conference is intended to show that the holistic framework for decision making can be used in any situation involving the management of complexity, as do all development projects and policies.

    The challenges of integrating holistic management into development policy are threefold. They are: 1) the fragmentation of traditional policy formation (rather than dealing with multiple development issues in unison), 2) the frequent misrepresentation of holistic management in academic literature (often associating it with rigid grazing systems), and 3) the reticence of policy institutions to entertain any policy that includes livestock as a “solution.” Although each is a formidable challenge, there is encouraging progress on all fronts.

    circle_ranch_tx_quail_3

    The paradigm hurdle that most policy institutions have yet to clear, is that the same creature that contributed to soil erosion is also essential for its repair. The moment we shift our collective mental rudder toward a worldview that includes properly managed livestock as an agent for restoration, is the moment that previously intractable problems cease to be quandaries and we are on course toward a hopeful future. Esteemed policy institutions, such as Worldwatch, can be leaders in this transformation.

    For more information on holistic management, visit the Savory Institute website.

    To read the full text of Seth’s interview, click here.

    Now it’s your turn: Do you think livestock have a role to play in mitigating climate change? Please let us know in the comments below.

    Carol Dreibelbis is a research intern with the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project.

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

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Restoring Desert Grasslands: Yeomans Keyline Subsoiling Results at the Circle Ranch, August 2014

Be sure to watch the drone video–the next generation of rangeland monitoring. — jtl

by  via Circle Ranch Blog

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  • Here is a cheap, fast, environmentally-friendly alternative to range poisoning with herbicides. When combined with holistic planned grazing of cattle, and a diverse population of wild animals, this practice leads to rapid conversion of subsoil to topsoil, increases soil fertility,  improves and restores water function, and, is sustainable.

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    Beginning in September 2013, we subsoiled around 1,100 acres in the Lopez Pasture, located in Circle Ranch’s northern high grasslands. We used a Yeomans Keyline plow pulled by this 67 hp tractor.  Plow lines were set on contour using a laser transit.

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    2013: Over time, plant communities died out leaving extensive areas of the ranch bare. These areas are showing surface erosion. In the left-center and lower-right are two creosote bushes which died from lack of water.

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    This is a typical response on the bare ground, which is interspersed with grass. Thistle, broom weed, croton, and many other forbs have sprouted in the furrows. No seeding was done.

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    A close up of sprouting forbs, showing bare ground beneath and around.

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    Another area showing response of bare ground.

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    Almost all of the 1,100 acres have responded at least this well.

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    In addition, many areas have sprouted new grass. Some of these plants are new; however, many are sprouting from old plants that have been comatose and dying for many years.

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    Some of these new grass plants represent rejuvenation, while others are seedlings.

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    September, 2013: Typical area just after subsoiling.

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    Same area in August 2014.

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    Typical response one year later. Note the proliferation of forbs in the plow lines, and the bushy grass plants in between those lines.

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    This pronghorn is grazing on new weeds, which are growing in the plow lines, appearing as green streaks. Pronghorn depend on weeds, which are disappearing because of range poisons and cattle removal. Pronghorn are disappearing fast and no “expert” can say why. Once there were as many as 50 million. Pronghorn were never found apart from bison. Hoof action of the great bison herds, and later cattle, sheep and goat herds, stimulated the growth of pronghorn food (weeds) as well as grasses. Pronghorn have big livers, allowing them to eat weeds that are toxic to many animals. Today, dying pronghorn are often infested with intestinal parasites, which in my opinion, are suppressed by the toxic weeds, critical to pronghorn diets. These same weeds are critical to quail and deer. Cattle, the bison substitute, get up to one-third of their food from forbs (weeds).

    Poisoning these weeds with herbicides like Tebuthiuron (Spike) destroys the diverse plant community on which all grasses depend, and kills the food plants critical to the wild animals that such poison programs are intended to help. Plus, Tebuthiuron is highly toxic to animals.

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    Just as plants need all of the other plants in order to be healthy, so do animals. Creatures like this wild burro co-evolved with pronghorn. Horses and their ancestors have been in our deserts for 50 million years. Human impact caused them to disappear 5,000 years ago. They have been back for 500 years, and yet, our game “managers” say that these animals harm pronghorn. An entire industry has grown up around  the eradication of wild plants and animals that are declared to be “invasive” based on the false science of “Invasion Biology.” Invasion Biology is more akin to a religion since its deeply-held eradication beliefs have no scientific basis. Its practices are a costly boondoggle which harm habitat and wildlife.

    In fact, desertification coincides with the removal of the natural impact of herding ruminants. Although much desertification is rightly blamed on poor ranching and agricultural practices, the rootcause of grassland desertification worldwide is the decimation of large herding animals, and their predators and cousin creatures that were essential to ecosystem health.

    That is why at Circle Ranch, even though we have run as many as 1000 steers, our primary source of animal impact comes from mule deer, pronghorn, desert bighorn sheep, elk, aoudad, llamas, alpacas, burros, horses and even a little herd of goats which we keep for cabrito. And we leave the predators alone. Our bottleneck is water for the animal numbers needed to ‘mow’ all the plant growth.

    Everyone advocates biodiversity.  Use your common sense:  We cannot restore biodiversity by destroying biodiversity!

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    It has to rain! Planned grazing and subsoiling will not work without rainfall; however, even deserts get amazing quantities of water. Circle Ranch gets 12 inches per year: 1 acre-foot per acre, times 32,000 acres. That’s 10.5 billiongallons of water. Most of this runs off or evaporates within hours. Recapturing just a fraction of these billions of lost gallons creates more water than thousands of desert wells could produce.

    To quote my friend Steve Nelle, NRCS-retired range scientist: “When you pray for rain, just make sure you can take care of what you get. This is the essence of good range management in far-West Texas. ”

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    4,800 feet: In this photo, we are about 1,000 feet lower in a very large area of completely bare ground. The green grass grew after treatment three years ago. We have re-treated and gotten a lot of new plants, which need more rain in order to continue to grow.

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    Same area, extensive bare ground is seen in the far distance. In these areas, we mowed the creosote before subsoiling.

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    In the lower desert, we treated 700 acres in the 17 Draw Pasture. Here, we have a good comparison of planned grazing versus set stocking, and Keyline subsoiling versus no treatment.

    Immediately below is a video taken from a small drone, using a random spot along our fence line. I was very surprised by these comparative outcomes, which are not visible from ground level.

    Our neighbor ranches in the traditional West Texas manner. He runs a few cattle, perhaps 30 in this pasture, year-round. Just over his fence, we grazed 450 cows and their calves for 25 days in the winter of 2013. Our approach required and removed more grass than his approach. We did the subsoiling at the same time the cattle were being grazed, so we had both mechanical and animal impact (including that from all the wild animals mentioned above) on the soil.  I find the results both dramatic and satisfying.DSC_9438

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    If you want eye-opening new insights regarding what is going on in your pastures, a video drone is a very useful tool.

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    My family and I wish to thank the NRCS for its assistance with our Yeomans Keyline practices.

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