Livestock

In North America, vast herds of grazing animals used to roam.

Our rangeland ecosystems evolved under this high intensity, short duration grazing.

Nomadic herds no longer range from north to south and back again, but with careful management livestock can fill the void. Well-managed livestock are a useful tool for rangeland, forest and fisheries restoration. Instead of being a threat, well-managed livestock can reinvigorate landscapes that have devolved into barren unproductivity, helping restore other essential ecological processes along the way.

Livestock, on the range, efficiently convert the sun’s energy locked within plants into edible protein. Livestock, in intensive confinement, provide a haven for problems, ranging from their own behavior and health including the rise of disease, to environmental concerns such as non-point source pollution arising from collected waste.

Latest articles

Read more about the benefits offered by domestic animals:

Lessons From the Prairie

 A Land-Management Legend Offers 50 Years of Soil-Nourishing Wisdom.

Baby Boomers Are Leaving Behind a Trail of Luxury Ranches

It is true that Western legend no longer captures American imagination as it once did. But the main reason many Colorado – and Western – ranch sellers can’t sell their big ranches is that so […]

Goats Clearing Meadows and Forest at Pitchstone Waters #1

On the Fall River in Idaho, 5-miles from the southwest corner of Yellowstone Park, we use goats instead of herbicides to control weeds and stimulate grasses in forests and meadows. It is fascinating to watch […]

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation: an Analysis by PERC (Property and Environment Research Center)

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the basis on which public wildlife and habitat is supposed to be managed in the United States. Central ideas are that science will govern decisions, and human […]

Farm Animals May Soon Get New Features Through Gene Editing

Hybridization of plants and animals is as old as agriculture. However, most GMOs have made plants more tolerant to herbicides, and thus are essentially drivers for the agrochemical companies that sell both the seeds and […]

Back to Nature: Making Money While Restoring The Land

Going against the grain has paid off for these beef producers and even encouraged other conventional farmers to change course.

Who Gets to Own the West?

This article complains that private landowners won’t open their land to the public in Idaho, a state in which about 70 percent of all land already belongs to the public, but is mostly controlled by […]

Liquid Blood Is Extracted from 42,000-Year-Old Foal Found Frozen in Siberia

The intriguing possibility of resurrecting an extinct horse highlights difficult questions and contradictions of modern wildlife thinking.   Would a horse cloned from a species extinct for more than 10,000 years, be a “native” if […]

Pitchstone Waters Roads #1

Eco-friendly forest thinning and road building next to Yellowstone Park, in Idaho.

Learning to Migrate

Animals are much smarter than most people realize and they share enormous group knowledge. Ranchers know their old cows teach the youngsters where to find feed, water, shade and shelter from bad weather. This, and […]

Shooting Sportsman: The American Prairie Reserve

A visionary conservation success is taking shape on the high plains surrounding the Missouri River in northeastern Montana. Texas could – and should – have its own version.

Extremely Old MacDonald Stays on Farm

The proliferation of labor saving devices has made it possible for today’s farmers and ranchers to remain active longer than previous generations could. And, as mentioned in this article, many young women are able to […]

Saving the World with Fake Meat?

According to the author, the UN’s most recent conclusion on climate change is that we must all adopt “demand reduction” of meat if the human species wishes to survive. In short, everyone must learn how […]

“Conserving” Wild Bison?

The conflict between private landowners and the bison and elk living in Yellowstone National Park exists in large part  because the Yellowstone herds are infected with brucellosis. Brucellosis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that […]

6 Reasons Why The Practice of Silvopasture Will Help Save Modern Farming

Silvopasture (in Latin, silva means forest) is the practice of combining woodland (trees) and the grazing of domesticated animals in a mutually beneficial way. Specific silvopasture benefits are discussed below.

Can Cows Help Mitigate Climate Change? Yes, They Can!

Livestock and other so-called “invasive exotic” animals can replace missing wild animals’ beneficial effects on plants when they are managed to copy natural grazing patterns. These and other innovations of restoration agriculture practices are discussed […]

Female Ranchers Are Reclaiming the American West

Here is an inspirational report about the growing leadership of women in ranching. Our mechanized era has eliminated women’s disadvantage in terms of strength. With the removal of this handicap, women’s nurturing instincts and intuitive […]

Living Soil Film

This 60-minute documentary features innovative farmers and soil health experts from throughout the U.S. Our soils support 95 percent of all food production, and by 2060, our soils will be asked to give us as […]

22 Out of 25 Burger Chains Get F For Antibiotics in Beef Supply

More than 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to confined livestock—cattle, pigs and chickens—and by some estimates, about 75 percent of those antibiotics are passed through to humans.

America’s Ten Most Popular Cattle Breeds

European cattle descended from the species Bos taurus, unlike many Indian, Asian and African breeds which descend from Bos indicus. Beef lovers take note: The most successful commercial breeds in the United States are European […]

Aberdeen Angus Cattle: America’s Most Popular Breed

The Aberdeen Angus, sometimes simply Angus, is a Scottish breed of small beef cattle. It derives from cattle native to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in north-eastern Scotland. Aberdeen Angus cattle have been recorded […]