Allan Savory tackles the topic of livestock and how proper herd management improves soil health.
Allan Savory, of the Savory Institute, is known world wide for his expertise in soil management and how that relates to livestock management. In this informative video Allan discusses how we can use livestock to mimic natural cycles and thus improve soil quality the most. https://vimeo.com/8239427
When it comes to raw milk production, these principles can be applied to dairy herds.
Farmers who are producing raw milk using management practices based on holistic livestock management, are contributing restorative practices that lead to higher quality soil and improved health of the eco systems such as Allan Savory comments on in his lecture.
Raw dairy consumers can easily become informed on these practices and choose to support dairy farmers who employ holistic herd management.
What you want to look for:
- Grass based farms. Farmers practicing holistic herd management will have rotational grazing in place. Cows will be grazing on pasture rather than relying on conventional grain for their feed. As cows graze, they will leave their manure adding to the topsoil.
- Diversity of animals. Farms will have several species of animals who they rotate in the pasture. For example, cattle or dairy cows will graze in a pasture. Chicken or turkey will follow a couple of days later to clean up from the herbivores, spread the manure and eat the insects attracted by the cattle. In turn, the birds will leave their manure adding nitrogen-rich compounds to the soil. This method of mimicking natural eco systems helps bring the best nutrients to the soil and health to the animals.
- Diversity of land use. Look for farms that have some fields, some forests and some ponds or wetlands. Each of these types of eco systems serves a valuable purpose on a farm and helps produce the balance needed for the best soils. If a farm is predominantly forest or field, that might limit the amount of livestock they are able to support on their farm.
Are you a farmer or producer? Do you have any other ideas or input for what consumers should look for in holistic herd management? Please share your thoughts below so people new to these ideas can learn from those who have been practicing them for years.
To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org