The riparian buffers on our farm on Middle River are now fifteen years old. Fifteen years ago, the "River Farm" was basically a cool-season grass pasture with a few scattered mature trees along the banks of the river. Now, in addition to excellent forage for cattle, there are hundreds of...
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...
Two events were held in the Shenandoah Valley for Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week. One on David Surratt's farm in Fishersville, VA and another on Jeanne Hoffman's farm in Swoope. Both venues are in the Middle River watershed. Surratt Farm Event Mr. Surratt and his family excluded their cattle from five...
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...
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...
Winter in Swoope. I walk along the banks of Middle River on our farm in search of treasure. Dexter, our Border Collie usually walks along with me but he passed on and I sure miss him. Cold air seeps through the opening in my collar; the brown, frozen grass crunches...
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...
Let me apologize right up front to all my ethical hunter friends. Thank you for hunting. It is a true American tradition and it's needed to manage wildlife populations. Hunters also feed the hungry. But today I gnash my teeth and rub myself with ashes because of the scum...
I finally found a plant that will take over tall fescue – wingstem, but I’m not sure I like it. Let me explain. Both plants are invasive, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a non-native invasive plant; wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) is a native plant that is invasive. Invasive Plant Definition What...
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...
“I read every one of Bobby’s blog posts. They keep me informed on everything from their cattle farm operation to their best management practices in action. His blog always features relevant information on keeping our waters clean, our soil out of the runoff, and other environmental issues of our time.”
Logan KendleJMU ISAT 424 2012
Blog Post Categories
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline
- Cattle Farming
- Chesapeake Bay
- Climate Change
- 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