Author: Jesse McDougall

  • The Story Behind Studio Hill’s Expansion! New Land, New Farm Stays!

    The Story Behind Studio Hill’s Expansion! New Land, New Farm Stays!

    Hello! Be warned: I’m writing this post while full of hope, sadness, reflection, and too much coffee. Stick with me. In the end, it’s energizing. The story of Studio Hill’s expansion is also a family story. The two stories are intertwined. As some of you know, my older brother Jamie died of cancer in May—leaving […]

  • VIDEO: On Becoming a Savory Influencer Hub

    VIDEO: On Becoming a Savory Influencer Hub

    Last year, Cally and I made the decision to apply to become a Savory Influencer Hub. We have long-admired the work of the Savory Institute and the inspirational land managers around the globe in the Savory Global Network of hubs and projects. We had met and spoken with Allan Savory on a few occasions and […]

  • On Becoming a Savory Institute Accredited Holistic Management Professional

    On Becoming a Savory Institute Accredited Holistic Management Professional

    As many of you know, we’ve been practicing some facsimile of Savory’s holistic livestock management on our farm since 2012—to tremendous effect. Our yields are up. Our resiliency is up. The nutrition of our forage is up. Our sheep are incredibly healthy and now 100% grass-fed. Our dollars generated-per-acre is WAY up. And our inputs […]

  • Stockpiling Grass for Early Spring Grazing

    Stockpiling Grass for Early Spring Grazing

    Last season, the sheep grazed our South Meadow in mid June, and instead of mowing and baling the second growth in August or September, we let that grass stand and go into winter.  About two weeks ago, we brought the sheep out of their winter paddocks and started them back on their grazing rotation in […]

  • Studio Hill Featured in Patagonia’s Worn Wear Campaign

    Studio Hill Featured in Patagonia’s Worn Wear Campaign

    This video came out a few months ago, but I realized only recently that I hadn’t posted it here! So this video came about after Patagonia reached out to us—through a friend of a friend of a friend kinda connection—to see if we had any Patagonia clothing that might have come down through a few […]

  • Of Hogs and Hugels: Creating a Perennial Food Forest

    Of Hogs and Hugels: Creating a Perennial Food Forest

    As regenerative farmers, our top priority is to sequester carbon into the soil. There are many methods to do this—and the most effective method for a piece of land depends upon the makeup of the land being regenerated. Since our farm is mostly pasture, we use sheep and poultry to holistically manage the land’s water, […]

  • 2017’s Vermont Regenerative Soils Program

    2017’s Vermont Regenerative Soils Program

    I’m excited to tell you that, earlier this month, Senator Campion introduced a revised and updated version of our regenerative soils bill to the Vermont legislature. The bill is S.43: An act relating to establishing a regenerative soils program. (Full text here.) It is currently with the Senate Commitee on Natural Resources and Energy, and […]

  • Personal Thoughts on the Upcoming Vermont Regenerative Soils Program Legislation

    Personal Thoughts on the Upcoming Vermont Regenerative Soils Program Legislation

    Today, Senator Brian Campion will introduce to the Vermont Legislature our second attempt at a bill that, if passed, would incentive the responsible stewardship of our state’s ecosystems through the regeneration of our state’s soils. I’m immensely proud of this bill and will publish a post tomorrow with the nitty-gritty details and text. For now, […]

  • The Regeneration at Studio Hill: A Slideshow

    The Regeneration at Studio Hill: A Slideshow

    I had the pleasure of presenting the story of our farm—from it’s roots as a dairy in the ’30s right up to it’s current iteration as a regenerative farm—at this year’s Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) Conference at the beautiful Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. I was joined in our workshop by […]

  • Jesse Discusses Regenerative Agriculture in this Upstream Podcast

    Jesse Discusses Regenerative Agriculture in this Upstream Podcast

    This spring, Mark Phillips, on a tour of regenerative projects in the northeast, was kind enough to stay in our area for a night and spend the day walking around our farm. In the afternoon after our tour, I had the honor of sitting down with Mark in the studio on top of Studio Hill and talking about […]