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In need of suggestions on how to start small

 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Hi Adam, thanks for being such a positive voice for dairy farming. Can you please advise a once rural, now city slicker, soon to be rural farmer on a good approach to getting into dairy farming on a small scale. I'm interested in advice for under 20 acres (East Coast farming), advice for someone who has husbandry experience but not with huge cattle. I dream of Jersey but want to figure out how much rotational grazing I will need per cow and have been unable to find durable numbers. I know "it varies" is the most logical statement but I'm looking for estimates on land consumption and general suggestions for someone who isn't afraid to dive in but will always put animal welfare first and therefore reticent. Thanks so much!
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
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David Miller wrote:Hi Adam, thanks for being such a positive voice for dairy farming. Can you please advise a once rural, now city slicker, soon to be rural farmer on a good approach to getting into dairy farming on a small scale. I'm interested in advice for under 20 acres (East Coast farming), advice for someone who has husbandry experience but not with huge cattle. I dream of Jersey but want to figure out how much rotational grazing I will need per cow and have been unable to find durable numbers. I know "it varies" is the most logical statement but I'm looking for estimates on land consumption and general suggestions for someone who isn't afraid to dive in but will always put animal welfare first and therefore reticent. Thanks so much!


If you have excellent quality pasture, managed optimally, you can get your numbers close to one cow per acre, on average over the course of the pasture season (Apr-Nov). That is assuming a lot of best case scenarios in terms of soil minerals, water availability, and pasture management.

In all honesty, cheesy answer, but you should read my book cover to cover. It is written exactly for someone in your position. It is the book that I wish was available when I was starting out with dairy farming.

good luck!
 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Thanks man, I will definitely take your advice, looking forward to it as long as you can promise me that its more than 1/2 pracital info and not just preaching to the choir about the terrible state of the world I've had a few disappointments lately in that regard.
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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David Miller wrote:Thanks man, I will definitely take your advice, looking forward to it as long as you can promise me that its more than 1/2 practical info and not just preaching to the choir about the terrible state of the world I've had a few disappointments lately in that regard.


I hear you David. I wrote the book to be timeless, as relevant now as in a hundred years. So there is not a single bit of soapboxing about the state of the world. For me, that is just beating a dead horse. We have good work to do, and need the tools to do it. I honestly believe that my book, Dairy Farming: The Beautiful Way is one of those tools. Please let me know what you think once you give it a read.

Stay positive!
 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Good to hear, looking forward to it!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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