Turning Cows Out

Turning cows out marks the beginning of summer as our cattle graze on a Public Lands permit or “the range” from June to October. Public Lands are a huge blessing as the feed is very affordable, although it is labor intensive. Between maintaining fences, hauling the cattle out and back, and gathering them in the fall, it can be demanding.

A cattle truck being unloaded as cattle are being turned out onto a Public Lands Permit in Oregon.

The Benefits of Turning Cows Out

It always amazes me to look at the Public Lands that cattle graze and the positive impact they have on it. When managed appropriately, cattle provide immense benefit to the land. As cattle work their way around the forest, they are helping with many things. Carbon sequestration is one of those “things” that cattle play a critical role in.

What is carbon sequestration?

Sometimes we hear big words and use big words without ever truly knowing what they mean. I can attest to my own ignorance. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and storing it long-term in plants and soil. When turning cows out onto rangeland, cattle are able to convert the plants that are storing carbon into pounds of bioavailable protein that nourishes families around the world.

Following cattle out onto rangeland horseback.

Rangeland Heroes

These amazing four-legged creatures meander the range, promoting biodiversity, positively impacting overall plant health, decreasing the fine fuels to prevent severe forest fires, and help sequester carbon. Wow, I am starting to feel like I am not contributing enough to the world.

The next time that you see cattle out grazing on rangeland or pasture near you, take a moment to appreciate them. The work they are doing on our behalf to take care of our environment and nourish out bodies is remarkable. Although it can require a lot of work, we take great pride in turning our cattle out. We see the value in what they do during this season for our forests, and we are here for it.

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