Saturday, June 27, 2009
Don’t Try Mob Grazing Unless you are a Thick Skinned Masochist.
I have to admit that all my life I have seldom cared what others thought of me and it has served me well, especially now. Attempting to mob graze your cattle will make you an “idiot”, “stupid”, “crazy” pariah in your local ranching community. When not talking behind your back about how stupid you are, they will pull you aside and tell you how “mob grazing won’t work in this area”. It will probably start with “What’s gonna happen when it rains 3 inches?” and when it rains 3 inches and the grass grows back thicker than ever it will become “What’s gonna happen when it turns off dry?” and when it dries up and your pastures still look great it will change to “soil compaction” issues or whatever else they can think of. Your peers will want you to fail….they need you to fail so that they feel better about themselves for not doing it….and consequently no matter how well mob grazing works for you, they’ll find reasons to tear you down. Think back to your younger days when someone said “I’ll bet you can’t do x” and you did it, and the accuser says you simply got lucky, so they say “bet you can’t do it again” and you do it again. In fact, you do it 9 times in a row, and when you fail on the 10th time, your accuser shouts with joy screaming “I TOLD YOU!!!! HA HA HA HA!!! I TOLD YOU YOU COULDN”T DO IT!!” and he runs around telling everyone he can find how right he was that you couldn’t do it. That’s your future with mob grazing. I have no problem dealing with things like this, but here is where it gets frustrating. I recently lost the opportunity to rent a 3000 acre ranch because the land owners “weren’t so sure about that intensive grazing stuff”. It gets even more frustrating when the person that gets it turns 1000 head of cows out into the entire thing…..one 3000 acre pasture…not a gate closed on the entire place. I’m reminded of the old Saturday Night Live skit of a presidential debate where Dan Akroid exclaims “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” That’s how I feel…and you’ll feel the same way. Mob grazing is not for the faint of heart.