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At times, beef cattle get negative press for the amount of land that they need in order to produce protein.

Here are two simple things that are often left out of those negative references:

1. Beef cattle traditionally graze on what might be categorized as “marginal” land. Or, land that cannot be used for anything else, like farming.

For example, a pasture in grass with a lot of hills or a creek running through the middle. This is not good farm ground because the soil will erode and tractors can’t conveniently plant and harvest.

However, this “marginal” land that is not good for farming, can be wonderful for raising delicious, affordable and nutritious protein through grazing cattle.

2. Grazing is good for the land. One of the things I always remember my father saying as a child was, “Historically, whenever the grazing species are removed from the land — all across the world — the grass eventually dies.”

Grazing animals, like cattle, have a positive relationship with the grass. They graze, the grass grows, they graze, the grass grows.

When grazing animals are removed from that cycle, the grass grows…eventually falls over and dies. This cycle repeats and eventually there is too much dead grass and the new shoots cannot regrow.

Like people, grass needs to be renewed and grazing is that method.


This week we finished taking the majority of the cows and calves out to their summer pasture. These photos show John and Ron bringing the pairs home from the calving pasture to be worked and then hauled out.

Joslyn and I stood at the end of the road to:

1. Block traffic. (No cars/trucks/tractors came down the road, surprise!)

2. Make sure the cows rounded the corner to go into the pen and didn’t keep heading down the road.

The cows seem to know they are “going home” and always make the turn pretty well. I think they remember where they are going. The baby calves are clueless and tend to run right under the temporary fence we set up. This time, they all did just fine.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting my blog!


1 Comment

  1. Laurel Wilson

    Cattle do a pretty good job of fertilizing marginal land also!

    Joslyn is getting cuter every week.



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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!