The Meet Your Herdmates Sodcast

59 Jim Gerrish

May 27, 2021

"If we are interested in ecosystem function, if we are interested in wildlife diversity, going on a 100% plant-based diet is absolutely the worst choice that anyone can make." 

Grazing expert, author, consultant, and speaker

Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing services to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across five continents. Jim received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and MS in Crop Ecology from University of Kentucky and joined the faculty of the University of Missouri where he conducted beef forage systems research and outreach for 22 years. The University of Missouri-Forage Systems Research Center (FSRC) rose to national prominence as a result of his research leadership. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing (MiG). At the same time, he stayed in touch with the real world on a 260- acre commercial cow-calf and contract grazing operation. In doing so, he took a worn out marginal crop farm and converted it to a highly productive grass farm. After moving to the Pahsimeroi Valley of Idaho, Jim keeps his day-to-day grazing tools sharp through management of a ranch unit consisting of 450 acres of center pivot irrigated pastures, 90 acres of flood ground, and several hundred acres of rangeland.

Jim has authored two books on grazing and ranch management. “Management-intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming” (2004) and “Kick the Hay Habit: A practical guide to year-around grazing” (2010). These and other materials are available at He has written a regular monthly column in The Stockman Grass-Farmer magazine ( for over 20 years. 

Jim was co-founder of the very popular 3-day grazing management workshop program at FSRC. These schools. Fifteen other states have conducted grazing workshops based on the Missouri model and Jim has taught in eleven of these states. He is an instructor in the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy held annually near Salmon ID. He is a frequent speaker at producer-oriented workshops, seminars, and field days around the US and Canada.

Jim was deeply involved in the Green Hills Farm Project (, a grassroots producer group centered in north-central Missouri and emphasizing sustainability of family farms. His research and outreach efforts have been recognized with awards from the American Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, National Center for Appropriate Technology, USDA-NRCS, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Progressive Farmer, and American Agricultural Editors Association.

Call @ 208-588-3900 for information on how to get Jim to your next event or your ranch.

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