Restoring grasslands in the US 
with 100% grass-fed beef 
Ridge Shinn 
ridgeshinn@gmail.com 
BLC Conference at Tufts 
Nov....
Three topics in this presentation: 
I. Dire impacts of today’s beef industry 
II. Multiple benefits of rotational grazing ...
I. Dire impacts of today’s beef industry
The feedlot diet harms animals and people: 
E.coli 
Mad Cow 
Growth hormones 
Antibiotics in feed 
Omega 6 overload 
Low-n...
97 million acres oxidizing carbon 
Grassland is plowed to plant corn, which is 
subsidized by our tax dollars. The corn is...
Devastating practices of corn production 
Monoculture, plowing, herbicides (i.e. 
glyphosate), pesticides, and chemical fe...
Autism-Roundup (glyphosate) correlation in US 
*Plot provided by Nancy Swanson, with permission 
Data sources: autism - US...
II. Benefits of grazing ruminants
Rotational (pulse) grazing 
• Sequesters carbon 
• Builds soil health and fertility 
• Saves energy and water, 
• Provides...
Pulse grazing then and now 
The mob moves on to a new bite. 
The grazed area rests and regrows. 
Buffalo – 18th century Be...
Fertility improved by rotational grazing 
Grass quality and volume in adjacent fields: 
rotational grazing vs. conventiona...
At end of New England growing season. . . 
On left: paddock in a rotation has lush grass, deep roots. 
On right: large “al...
Different management on adjacent farms 
Rotational grazing (left) created 16 inches of top soil in 10 yrs. 
Photo courtesy...
Deep roots of perennial plants, plus microbes in 
manure, foster the soil food web
Glomalin* “significantly increased” 
by rotational grazing 
*Glomalin: glues aggregates together, stores carbon, holds wat...
III. New grazing pilot for the US Northeast 
• 100% grass-fed-and finished beef 
• Northeast beef for northeast markets 
B...
Industrial system sends cattle west: 
Average beef herd size in US: 40 head 
Total number of beef cattle produced 
by New ...
New 2-part program: 
1) 100% grass-fed cattle will be collected from 
numerous small farms in New England and New 
York......
Imported grass-fed is already 
in NE stores 
Kroger’s- $6.99 Target-$6.99
PRICE 
Candy bar - $.92/ounce Grass-fed beef - $.44/ounce
Winter grazing = new farm economics 
Good nutrition for cattle - $$ savings for NE farmers 
Good forage even under snow Wi...
Winter forage nutrition equal/better than hay or balage 
Pasture sample analyzed by Cornell and in February
“Eating is an Agricultural Act.” 
Wendell Berry 
Contact: ridgeshinn@gmail.com 
www.ridgeshinn.com
Ridge Shinn - A New Program to Restore Northeast Grasslands: 100% Grass-Fed Beef
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Ridge Shinn - A New Program to Restore Northeast Grasslands: 100% Grass-Fed Beef

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Ridge Shinn - A New Program to Restore Northeast Grasslands: 100% Grass-Fed Beef
From Biodiversity for a Livable Climate conference: "Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming"
Saturday November 22nd, 2014

Published in: Environment
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Ridge Shinn - A New Program to Restore Northeast Grasslands: 100% Grass-Fed Beef

  1. 1. Restoring grasslands in the US with 100% grass-fed beef Ridge Shinn ridgeshinn@gmail.com BLC Conference at Tufts Nov. 22, 2014
  2. 2. Three topics in this presentation: I. Dire impacts of today’s beef industry II. Multiple benefits of rotational grazing III. New grazing pilot in the US Northeast
  3. 3. I. Dire impacts of today’s beef industry
  4. 4. The feedlot diet harms animals and people: E.coli Mad Cow Growth hormones Antibiotics in feed Omega 6 overload Low-nutrient food Glyphosate in food Pollution Wasted energy Wasted water Climate emissions
  5. 5. 97 million acres oxidizing carbon Grassland is plowed to plant corn, which is subsidized by our tax dollars. The corn is used for livestock feed, ethanol, and corn syrup.
  6. 6. Devastating practices of corn production Monoculture, plowing, herbicides (i.e. glyphosate), pesticides, and chemical fertilizers combine to destroy soil microbes needed for soil health, water retention, and fertility.
  7. 7. Autism-Roundup (glyphosate) correlation in US *Plot provided by Nancy Swanson, with permission Data sources: autism - US Department of Education; Glyphosate - USDA
  8. 8. II. Benefits of grazing ruminants
  9. 9. Rotational (pulse) grazing • Sequesters carbon • Builds soil health and fertility • Saves energy and water, • Provides nutrient-dense food.
  10. 10. Pulse grazing then and now The mob moves on to a new bite. The grazed area rests and regrows. Buffalo – 18th century Beef cattle – 21st Century
  11. 11. Fertility improved by rotational grazing Grass quality and volume in adjacent fields: rotational grazing vs. conventional management Massachusetts South Africa
  12. 12. At end of New England growing season. . . On left: paddock in a rotation has lush grass, deep roots. On right: large “all season” pasture has little grass left. Rotational grazing Conventional grazing
  13. 13. Different management on adjacent farms Rotational grazing (left) created 16 inches of top soil in 10 yrs. Photo courtesy of Christine Jones, Ph.D.
  14. 14. Deep roots of perennial plants, plus microbes in manure, foster the soil food web
  15. 15. Glomalin* “significantly increased” by rotational grazing *Glomalin: glues aggregates together, stores carbon, holds water.
  16. 16. III. New grazing pilot for the US Northeast • 100% grass-fed-and finished beef • Northeast beef for northeast markets B e nefits Grassland restoration Carbon sequestration Nutrient-dense food Humane livestock treatment Energy and water saving Local economic development
  17. 17. Industrial system sends cattle west: Average beef herd size in US: 40 head Total number of beef cattle produced by New England and New York farms each year: 310,000 Almost all aggregated by dealers and trucked west to be finished on feedlots.
  18. 18. New 2-part program: 1) 100% grass-fed cattle will be collected from numerous small farms in New England and New York... 2) ...and fattened on forage-only at several large finishing farms in the North East– instead of going west to feedlots.
  19. 19. Imported grass-fed is already in NE stores Kroger’s- $6.99 Target-$6.99
  20. 20. PRICE Candy bar - $.92/ounce Grass-fed beef - $.44/ounce
  21. 21. Winter grazing = new farm economics Good nutrition for cattle - $$ savings for NE farmers Good forage even under snow Winter pasture tested better than hay
  22. 22. Winter forage nutrition equal/better than hay or balage Pasture sample analyzed by Cornell and in February
  23. 23. “Eating is an Agricultural Act.” Wendell Berry Contact: ridgeshinn@gmail.com www.ridgeshinn.com

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