Notes from Pasture Cropping Workshop by Colin Seis

Great to see dozens of familiar and new faces at Colin Seis's full day Pasture Cropping Workshop at Paicines Ranch. Many of you (like us) were still in a happy daze from the Savory Artisans of the Grasslands conference the weekend before - just keeping the good times rolling!

For those who missed it, Colin kicked off by challenged everyone to rethink the "conventional" wisdom of modern agriculture - what are we doing because it's "always been done this way" instead of being thoughtful about natural systems? Why is modern agriculture making money for everyone except for the farmers and ranchers. He shared his personal tale of generations of high input cropping, soil erosion, and finally a brush fire that tragically decimated his farm and three quarters of his 4000 sheep. He had to farm differently and with fewer inputs because he was forced to. Colin's personal story brought home the need of farmers trying to wean themselves and their land off the high inputs of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and focus on building soil health instead.

He then posed this thought-provoker: Did you know that native grasslands supported as many as 50-60 grass and plant species, and an abundance of wildlife? What has gone awry with our modern, industrial agriculture that we are struggling to produce one or two crops on the same soil with more inputs every year? ...Is it the same soil?

...More to come!

Thanks to Sallie Calhoun, Elaine Patarini, Kelly Mulville and the rest of the Paicines team for hosting us on this big beautiful ranch!