Livestock and Pasture: The Foundation of Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Soils

These photos and drawings show an organic crop sequence (rotation) that includes livestock, pasture, hay, grain and fresh vegetables. A typical rotation includes some “permanent” pasture that is never turned under. Photo No. 2 shows permanent pasture that has been in continuous production for over 60 years without the addition of petroleum-based fertilizers, GMO seed or chemical weed sprays.

No. 1
Milk cows on pasture, no animal confinement and no year-around manure accumulation. 1951 photo courtesy of the Boys Town Hall of History.

No. 2
High protein pasture with NRCS damn as water source, owned by Massena Farms, South of Massena, IA, 2006 photo.


No. 3
This concept drawing shows mobile pasture coups for poultry. Confinement buildings are not required and manure does not accumulate. Drawing by Bruce Arndt, 2013.

No 4.
Spring compost being made with livestock manure collected from winter shelters at the former Boys Town dairy farm. Photo by Bob Steffen, circa 1970.


No. 5
Well-cured compost for fresh vegetable production at Massena Farms near Bennington, NE. Photo by Jim Steffen, circa 2000.


No. 6
Vegetables fertilized with well-aged compost at Massena’s Bennington farm. No petroleum- based chemicals are required. Photo by Jim Steffen, 2004.


No. 7
Old alfalfa with new frost-seeded grass on Massena’s Bennington farm. Photo by Jim Steffen, 2008.


No 8.
Combine on oats over new alfalfa at Massena’s Bennington farm. Non-GMO oats and other small grains feed people and livestock while protecting new hay without farm chemicals or irrigation. Photo by Jim Steffen, circa 2000.

Posted 01-17-2017


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