Organic Prairie cows grazing in a pasture.

Benefits to the environment

Pasture-based farming lets the animals do the work. They harvest and feed themselves and fertilize their pastures, overseen by the farmer in a carefully-managed system. The net result is significantly less fossil-fuel consumption, less erosion, less air and water pollution and greater soil fertility.

Studies show that, compared to plowed cropland, pasture can bind up many more tons of carbon dioxide in the organic matter of soils. This is an important factor in the reduction of greenhouse gases, meaning that increased amounts of land in pasture may even help to slow global warming.

Farmer walking across a pasture with cows in the background.

Benefits to the Farmer

"When they come to pasture farming, it is such a relief for farmers. They get rid of all these problems: crop failure, pesticide failure, huge debt." — Bill Murphy, Pasture Expert

Pasture-based farming can free farmers from the large, expensive machinery used to grow feed crops. Plus they don't have the waste disposal and disease issues that come with confinement feeding. Their farms become safer places for children to be around the animals and help with farm work.

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