July 2, 2010; Pelzer, South Carolina. In 1989, dairy farmer, Tom Trantham, was facing almost certain financial collapse on his conventional, 92 cow dairy farm operation. With the costs of animal feed skyrocketing, many farmers were turning to BST to increase milk production, a hormone purported at the time of being safe, and as the only way to offset higher production costs. Trantham refused to go this route. One day, his cows broke through the confinement gates and began feeding on a nearby pasture of grasses. At the next milking, each cow had produced an extra two pounds of milk, this from a dairy that already topped the state charts for milk production.
This fortuitous discovery led Trantham to seek research and grant assistance from the Southern’s region, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE has worked closely with him since, ultimately their collaboration together has resulted in his profitable and highly successful Twelve April’s program that serves as a model for other dairy farmers. Look for his story, and detailed information on his Twelve April’s grazing program, coming soon on CUpS.