Our Philosophy

A farmer at heart. Andre Voisin understood that if the soils and grasses were managed with care, they would in turn take care of the animals who lived on them.

Voisin Grazing Management is the foundation of our work.

In the late 1950s, revolutionary pasture management concepts were introduced in “Grass Productivity” by Frenchman Andre Voisin, who called this method “Rational Grazing.” In recent decades, with the introduction of portable, high-voltage electric fencing, his ideas have been put to use with enthusiasm in North America. The term evolved to Intensive Rotational Grazing and then Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) or, among many graziers, simply “managed grazing.”

Managed grazing involves moving a group of livestock through paddocks of high quality grasses and legumes, with stocking rates high enough so that the entire sward is grazed off before animals are moved to a fresh section of pasture. The grazed paddock is then allowed to rest and re-grow before it is grazed again. This method spreads fertility-building manure, contributes to soil health, cleans up weed species, strengthens roots systems and allows legumes to compete against taller, faster growing grasses. Pasture plants under managed grazing are more vigorous, nutritious and highly digestible than those in unmanaged pastures, so livestock are healthier and more productive.

Rational Grazing prevents the livestock from harmfully trampling the grass, saving calories for their own fattening, allowing for more productive pasture use. Subsequently, this results in a steady growth of multiple species, and, along with the dung, produces a progressive, beneficial incorporation of organic nutrients.

Voisin used an ingenious definition of grazing and considered it ” the encounter between the cow and the grass.” Pasture and animal grazing are interdependent and mutually necessary. One does not live without the other : both  are complemented and strengthened if they co-exist in harmony, while both are weakened or perish if they do not.

The four fundamental laws of Rational Intensive Grazing

According to Voisin (1971) there are four fundamental laws of Rational Intensive Grazing :

First Law: Before a pasture, sheared with the animals teeth, can achieve its maximum productivity, sufficient interval must have elapsed between two successive shearings to allow the grass:

(a) to accumulate in its roots the reserves necessary for a vigorous spurt of re-growth; (b) to produce a high daily yield per acre.

Second Law: The total grazing period on one paddock should be sufficiently short so that grass grazed the first day of occupancy is not grazed again during that rotation.

Third Law: The animals with the greatest nutritional requirements must be helped to harvest the greatest quantity of grass of the best possible quality.

Fourth Law: To get reasonable production (gain, milk) the animal should stay no longer than three days on the same paddock. Yields will be at their maximum if animals are on the paddock 12–24 hours.

Sustainable management benefits the ecosystem, production levels and, subsequently, the producer economy and the country as a whole.

Livestock grazing, one of the most important productive activities, has been blamed for contributing to environmental degradation. Signs of soil compaction, erosion by excessive trampling, water contamination by organic remnants, deforestation, landscape fragmentation and the production of greenhouse gases have been attributed to cattle production.

When managed responsibly and sustainably, however, grazing converts forage resources and agro-products not used by humans into foods of high nutritional value—such as meat and milk—to help ensure food security for a growing population. Livestock management is also a major source of employment in rural areas.

In addition, part of consumed nutrients are recycled to the soil through the feces and urine of animals. Agricultural production has the potential to be in harmony with the environment; our philosophical foundation now and into the future.

Sustainable management benefits the ecosystem, production levels and, subsequently, the producer economy and the country as a whole.

It is estimated that by 2050 the global human population will reach at least 9 billion people, with a 70% increase in demand for food. There are currently about 130 million cows (40% of the herd) on an estimated 330 million cattle heads in Tropical America. This is equivalent to 23% of the global herd, which graze on 400 million hectares of pastures, with a current degradation of 60% (FAO, 2012).

High land prices, extremely high production costs (infrastructure, manpower, equipment, supplies), coupled with climatic instability (hotter summers and colder winters), make sustainable livestock production in the tropics the only smart choice.

These challenges require the livestock sector to intensify and maximize production, with the goal of a healthier consumer, a healthier planet and an increased profit margin.

By utilizing a sustainable system and implementing environmentally friendly technologies, we can mitigate the impact involved in livestock production and drastically curb the continuing degradation of the soil. A sustainable approach will also be instrumental in redefining our current identity as major players in global warming and climate change.