31. Rachel Wagoner – Multigenerational Family Farm in Transition

In this episode of The Grazing Grass Podcast, Cal talks with Rachel Wagoner of Tall Pines Farms. Tall Pines Farms LLC is a multigenerational family farm in transition in Darlington, Pennsylvania. They raise beef cattle and hair sheep on grass to produce freezer beef and lamb seasonally. For the Overgrazing Section, we focus on Livestock Guardian Animals.

  • [01:32] -About Rachel and her operation
  • [05:41] -Managing the pasture for grass-fed cows
  • [06:51] -Parasites and rotational grazing
  • [09:17] -About the kind of fencing she has 
  • [11:50] -Number of strands in fencing for the lambs
  • [13:44] -Voltage she runs on the fence
  • [14:20] -Backstory of her animals
  • [19:57] -Location of her farm
  • [20:36] -Kind of forage she has there
  • [25:33] -The watering system she has
  • [30:53] -Grazing sheep with the cattle
  • [32:09] -Winter lambing the sheep
  • [34:42] -Handling the new lamb and calf
  • [38:32] -Managing weekends while working on farms
  • [40:31] -Challenges she came across with rotational grazing
  • [43:21] -Her future plans for her farm
  • [45:30] -The Overgrazing Section- Livestock Guardian Animals
  • [55:00] -Her favorite grazing grass related resource
  • [56:06] -Her favorite tool on the farm
  • [57:47] -Her advice to new farmers

Notable Quotes:

  • [11:22]- “Everything has a different use for a different time, different animals.”
  • [18:37]- “You can read all the books and read all the online resources, but what’s going to help is go to different farms and see how people are doing things.”
  • [57:59]- “Try something out on your farm with whatever you have. It might not be perfect; it might not be exactly what you need, maybe you don’t have the best fence. It’s all going to be a learning experience, and you’re going to do better next time.”
  • [58:56]- “Just start somewhere, try something. Don’t compare someone else’s journey to your journey because they were in a different place with different situations.”
  • [59:31]- “You don’t have to be someone else. Just be yourself, do whatever works for you.”

Miscellaneous Information:

  • [42:13]- I found rotating helped our lambs to gain weight better, which is hard on being just grass-fed.

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