River Walk at the Farm

In celebration of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week (June 4 – 12) Jeanne and I are hosting a “River Walk at the Farm” on Sunday, June 12th at 3pm.  Meet at the intersection of Boy Scout Lane and Trimbles Mill Road in Augusta County, Virginia. Space is limited to the first 50 participants.  This event is […]

Swoope Almanac April 2016: Fox Kits, Frogs and Warbler Fallout on the Farm

We live on a farm in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River – a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that? We started this year’s calving season on March 1st with 122 pregnant beef cows. All of them have calved except nine.  Cow #65 and #X6 had twins. I write this on Earth […]

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay One Small Watershed at a Time (JMU)

Virginia Wildlife magazine published my article “Poague Run: Restoring Trout, Restoring Hope” in the 2016 March/April edition.  It’s the story about the people that restored a 3,000-acre watershed.  More information about Virginia’s premier wildlife magazine and to subscribe, check them out at www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia-wildlife. It’s happening.  Throughout the 64,000 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, […]

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay One Small Watershed at a Time

Virginia Wildlife magazine published my article “Poague Run: Restoring Trout, Restoring Hope” in the 2016 March/April edition.  It’s the story about the people that restored a 3,000-acre watershed.  More information about Virginia’s premier wildlife magazine and to subscribe, check them out at www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia-wildlife. It’s happening.  Throughout the 64,000 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, […]

Historic Win For the Chesapeake Bay TMDL

Chesapeake Bay TMDL Wins in Court Five years of court battles are over.  Today, a leap day that will never be forgotten in watershed restoration, the Chesapeake Bay, with over 10,000 streams and all its inhabitants won in the Chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Today the U.S. Supreme Court denied […]

Improve Herd Health with Abundant Clean Water

Livestock Drinking Dirty Water is Not Good For Herd Health Humans don’t drink dirty water and neither should your livestock. Aristotle recognized the value of boiling water and burying feces to prevent disease back in 350BC. We’ve been learning ever since.  Just as with human health, herd health improves with abundant clean water. At Least […]

Bobby’s Free ebook: Selling Riparian Forest Buffers

How do we accelerate the planting of riparian forest buffers? All the states in the Chespaeake Bay watershed are falling behind their targets for excluding livestock from streams and planting riparian forest buffers. I’ve spent a lifetime “getting more on the ground” and I want to share how we made it happen in the Shenandoah […]

Brook Trout – Environmental Refugees From the Middle River

Middle River flows through our land.  Brook Trout, Virginia’s state fish, used to thrive in it.  They migrated or died long ago, environmental refugees from the sediment laden waters of the river.  The river is slowly being restored and one day, we will re-introduce this native fish to the waters that flow through our farm. I […]

The Pope on Climate Change and Monks on Water Quality

The environmental world got a boost last week when the Vatican released the Pope’s Encyclical on climate change.  So now we have science and religion on the same side; no big-bang theory v. evolution on this issue.  Who can deny climate change now?  Here’s a link to a youtube trailer “Pope Francis: The Encyclical” which […]

The Queen Bean, Tofu & Dead Zones (JMU Students)

Tofu. That’s what most people think soybeans are grown for. But most soybeans in the U.S. are grown for oil and livestock feed. It’s big business. America is the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybeans with almost 75 million acres planted annually. It is second only to corn, planted on roughly 84 million acres. […]