Posts by Troy Bishopp

Troy Bishopp, aka "The Grass Whisperer" is a grass farmer and grazing specialist for the Madison Co. Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition in central New York.  To read more of Troy's essays, visit
Site by fall of 2012 18yp3h5

Wetland Restoration: "What Do You Want to Do That For?"

By Troy Bishopp / October 7, 2013

Enhancing wetland areas on your farm can bring a whole new community of wildlife to your land. The title in layman’s terms is really pronounced, “Whatta ya wanna do that for”, driving my spellcheck into utter meltdown. It’s a common phrase used by folks who don’t understand a decision, idea or action. It’s exactly what farmers (and…

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A Four Dollar Grazing Chart

By Troy Bishopp / January 7, 2013

  My farm teetered between a D1 and D2 (Moderate to severe) on the U. S. drought monitor scale most of last summer which tested my 26 years of grazing experience and thinking skills. Although I must admit to being up for the challenge, at times it was a highly stressful endeavor to manage a…

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Grazing Management in the New Normal

By Troy Bishopp / June 27, 2012

As a veteran grazier, I’m concerned about the phrases, “The 300 year flood, Peak Soil, Peal Oil, Climate Change and The New Normal” frequently heard in the news. Should I discount them as just an anomaly or should I be planning on how this will affect my grazing operation? For me, it boils down to…

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A Yarn about Mittens

By Troy Bishopp / April 2, 2011

Several years ago I had the very good fortune of being a grazing mentor for the Regional Farm and Food Project.  In that capacity, I worked with an incredibly passionate grass farmer from East Meredith, N.Y. named Catharina Kessler. This descendant of Swedish royalty carefully nurtured her Black Angus cattle, multi-colored sheep and pastured poultry…

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I’m Sorry I Made You Cry

By Troy Bishopp / January 9, 2011

French writer, Antoine Rivarol said, “Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.”  I have seen plenty of this human rain in the most telling and unexpected places.  I’m also not ashamed to have contributed to the water table.  Frankly, I don’t know how you…

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Harvesting Water is a Breeze

By Troy Bishopp / October 3, 2010

When Jonathan Barter and his family arrived from Pennsylvania in 2006 to take over a fallowed, 210 acre farm in Yates County overlooking Kueka Lake, little did they know how lucky it was to live on a breezy knoll in wine country.  “We had a vision of turning the goldenrod into lush green pastures with…

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True Capital is Biological Capital

By Troy Bishopp / October 3, 2010

3 Days of Inspiration from a South African Rancher When a farmer whose family lineage on the same land dates back to 1863 speaks about taking back our own destiny from the very people who keep us in fossil fuel/ low price farming bondage and advocates for spending more time watching your kids, animals and…

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A Truck Transition

By Troy Bishopp / October 3, 2010

‘A Truck Transition’ first appeared in Lancaster Farming on May 22nd, 2010 and is reprinted with permission.  A tear fell from my eye onto the window sill below as I watched my youngest daughter travel down the driveway on her first solo run.  As she drove away in my old battered, slightly rusted, bumper stickered…

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