Back in 2010 I did a Science Circle presentation on sustainable farming and I thought I might revisit that topic today some twelve years later.

Academically, I am interested in human behavior. My interests in farming are personal as I live in rural Texas on my family’s land. We use a number of sustainable methods but I’m not an expert in agriculture. I do have friends who are experts however and I think because we all eat, that food crops and products are of interest to us all. So, today we will re-examine the role of science in one area of modern food production.

I want to give an example from the dairy industry. I have farmer friends who are implementing these methods on their family dairy farm and I have directly observed their practices. In order to both reduce erosion on the land and improve the health of their cows, my friends divided 30 acres into 25 paddocks. All divided by solar-powered electric fences. These paddocks were planted in grasses and legumes and allowed a year to rest. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used.

They let their herd of dairy cows graze in each paddock for a day. During that day the cows eat and deposit manure and tramp around. Then, that paddock is left alone for 24 days to re-grow the grasses and process the manure. This creates a self-sustaining environment. Some acreage is also planted in the same manner, but cut and stored for Winter. When it is very cold, the cows need to go to the feed lot to stay warm and are fed the stored hay. This process of managed grazing results in lowered costs, healthier animals, and, in the end, an organic glass of milk.

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About Author

Deepy (Deepthinker Oh) is an educational psychologist with a long standing love of journalism and previous experience as the editor of MANIERA magazine. Deepthinker Oh's use of the SLBN logo does not constitute approval by or a representation or endorsement from Linden Lab.

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