Trees Remove E. Coli Pollution From Streams

This blog post was modified to become an oped piece for the Bay Journal News Service.  They distributed it on March 7, 2017.  USA Today published it on March 17th as “Want a cleaner river? Keep cow pies out, plant trees”. E. Coli Cut By One Third One of the most polluted rivers in Virginia flows […]

Biosecurity & Stream Exclusion (JMU Students)

Beef cattle biosecurity and stream exclusion are very important to this large animal veterinarian. His First Week on the Job On his first week on the job as a veterinarian back in 1993, Scott Nordstrom treated a case that would stick with him the rest of his life. Shockingly, half of a herd of cattle […]

Biosecurity and Stream Exclusion

Beef cattle biosecurity and stream exclusion are very important to this large animal veterinarian. His First Week on the Job On his first week on the job as a veterinarian back in 1993, Scott Nordstrom treated a case that would stick with him the rest of his life. Shockingly, half of a herd of cattle […]

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 […]

Swoope Almanac – Summer 2014: Tomatoes, Bobwhites and Middle River Flowing Like Chocolate Milk

I love the smell of hay…and putting it away for the winter.  It’s a good feeling; knowing all the winter feed for the cows is ready. Jeanne is now in the throws of bush hogging the pastures with her new fifteen foot wide “bat-wing” mower. We mow the pastures to cut the seed heads off […]

Why Do Farmers Fence Their Livestock Out of Streams?

Why do farmers fence their livestock from ponds, streams and wetlands?  Of the hundreds of farmers I have talked to that have done it these are the top four reasons: 1. They need more water and better water distribution over the farm. 2. To improve herd health and reduce bio-security risks. 3. To eliminate calving […]

Progressive Farmer Magazine Features Valley Farmer, Conservation and CBF

Deborah Huso, Free Lance Writer for the Progressive Farmer Magazine called me back in July.  “I’d like to do a story on stream fencing, the Farm Bill and conservation.  Do you have any farmers in mind that I could interview”, she said.  This was music to my ears. I didn’t have to think twice.  For […]

In The Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Agriculture is Half Way in Doing Their Part to Restore the Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation asked me to write several articles about farmers doing their part to improve the soil and water resources on their farms.  These articles are designed to showcase how and why, these farmers installed Best Management Practices such as “stream-side fencing” to exclude livestock from streams. The article on this post is […]

Tree Shelters, Are They Worth It And If So When Should They Be Removed?

When converting grasslands to forest it has been a common practice to plant bare-root, hardwood tree seedlings directly into the sod.  Most recently tree shelters have been used to increase the growth rate and survival of hardwood (not pine) tree seedlings.  Shelters are recommended in Virginia’s Hardwood Tree Planting Guide. Many wonder, “are they worth it?” […]