Ready to shop for the ranchers in your life? Here are some great ideas suggested by the people who work on our ranches, managing them for healthy soil, livestock and ecosystems.
Top on the wish list for Noble consultation manager Josh Gaskamp is cover-crop seed. Whether it’s being planted in farm fields or ranch pastures to armor the soil, build soil health or prevent erosion; to attract and feed wildlife; or for garden or homestead use, a seed mix of cover crop species right for the region and purpose will be appreciated.
A FENCE TESTER THEY’LL USE EVERY DAY
Several Noble Ranches managers mentioned a fence tester as a great gift, with ranch facilities manager Curtis Lawson saying he uses his every day. They favor the Fault Finder from Gallagher, a current meter and digital volt meter that identifies and locates faults in electric fence lines.
Brooks Braunagel, a Noble ranch foreman, says he doesn’t leave home without a good set of cutters, like the KNIPEX Tools high-leverage flush cutter, made for cutting polywire, other soft metals and plastic.
READING FOR THE REGENERATIVE JOURNEY
Books always make great gifts.
Joe Pokay, general ranch manager at Noble, recommends the brand-new book “A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food,” by a pioneer of the regenerative movement, Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia. It’s available in print, on Kindle or as an audiobook read by Harris.
Another favorite is “Green Grass in the Spring: A Cowboy’s Guide to Saving the World,” by Tony Malmberg, a third-generation rancher from the Sandhills of Nebraska, also in print, Kindle or audiobook read by the author.
When it comes time to pull samples for soil tests in the spring or evaluate soil health any time, here are the essentials our ranch managers have on hand:
- A good stainless-steel shovel.
- A soil probe for extracting soil cores.
- A metal laboratory scoop/spatula or similar tool to measure and take a 6-inch sample out of the core, as well as other uses, like cleaning the tip of the soil probe when the soil is sticky.
AN ESSENTIALS COURSE FROM NOBLE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Yes, we’re biased, but we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend one of the valuable new in-person courses from Noble. Sign up your favorite rancher for our VIP list to gain early access to our 2024 sessions of Essentials of Regenerative Ranching or Essentials of Regenerative Grazing (see email sign-up at the bottom of either page). He or she will also get news of new products and course offerings.