I recently attended a "Stream and Buffer Ecology Workshop" at the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pennsylvania. Stroud is a world-class research facility for fresh water science. This year their “Moorhead Environmental Complex” was awarded a “Platinum LEED” rating, which is the nation’s highest certification for green construction. The Stroud...
Here in Swoope, it's been raining for three days - we've had 10.5 inches of rain. Our Middle River has been out in its floodplain for the third day in a row. Flood waters have completely covered much of our pasture and our single strand of electric fence that...
A watershed moment for the Shenandoah River and the Chesapeake Bay occurred on Tuesday the 23rd of April. Ownership of the former Virginia National Golf Course located on the banks of the Shenandoah River in Clark County was handed over to Shenandoah University . Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of the University said...
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...
This past week Swoope bore the brunt of the Snowquester, a.k.a. winter storm Saturn. It gave us almost two feet of snow - unwelcome weather for cattle farmers during calving season. A calf born in this weather can perish quickly. We were lucky. The storm left no casualties among our...
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...
This week's flood prompted this post on how we deal with floodwater from our river with our cattle. It was an out-of-bank flood event but it didn't wash our cattle crossing out because we've learned to work with the river not against it. Middle River is a tributary of the...
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Bay states, the District of Columbia, federal agencies and thousands of volunteers including teachers and farmers have been working to restore the Chesapeake Bay since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. There are many successes. For example many of the localities...
One evening when I lived in town a lawn fertilizer truck stopped in front of the house. The driver got out and asked me if I wanted him to fertilize my lawn. He didn’t know I was an agronomist. I politely said, “no thank you.” He then proceeded to tell...
Scroll down to see the pictures of James Madison University's "Hillside Project." The native prairie is now in full bloom. You can see it from I-81. Some think it looks terrible and want it put back in manicured lawn. Help save this wonderful outdoor classroom by posting your comment...
“I have not met a more capable person than Bobby to explain, in understandable terms, the challenges we face in agriculture today and the opportunities before us to rise above them.
This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the Chesapeake Bay and how best to work constructively with farmers to chart a sustainable path forward.”
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
- Cattle Farming
- Chesapeake Bay
- Climate Change
- Environmental Justice
- Herd Health
- Invasive Species
- Nutrient Management
- Quail Habitat
- Riparian Buffers
- Riparian Forest Buffers Ebook
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Soil Erosion
- Stream Fencing
- Student Required Reading
- Swoope Almanac
- Water Pollution
- Watershed restoration