We are excited to introduce you to Leslie Svacina, a goat farmer using rotational grazing in Deer Park, Wis. Pasture raising, holistic farm practices and her use of technology are why Leslie was selected as this month’s Leaders of the Land™ feature.
Introduce yourself and tell us about your farm.
I’m Leslie Svacina. I farm in Western Wisconsin near Deer Park. My farm is Cylon Rolling Acres and I raise meat goats and sheep on pasture. We sell and market nutritious meat products to families across the country.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means utilizing and caring for natural resources. We are continually looking for ways to improve and make the farm better. We not only want to enhance their natural resources, but we also want to improve their practices to continue to learn and grow. The resources start with the soil beneath our feet. The soil supports the entire ecosystem surrounding our farm. It is all integrated with our air and water.
A large part of Cylon Rolling Acres is rotational grazing. Grazing practices are the basis of how we farm and dictate how we care for the land and the resources that we have.
How do you keep water clean?
We think of our farm and resources as a whole system. As we utilize rotational grazing, we are really thinking about where and when we move our animals. We keep our animals away from vulnerable areas to minimize erosion and runoff risk.
We also try to be low input. As we are using tools and resources on our farm, we keep in mind how those tools might have a greater impact on our land and water.
How do you protect your resources?
When we utilize and protect our natural resources, I look at it in a holistic manner. We follow the seasonal cycles of our land and the ecosystems around us. We follow the queues of nature in how we manage our land and resources. I am always thinking of the long-term impact and the overall health of our environment when we make management decisions and herd moves.
How does technology help you be more sustainable on your farm?
One example of how we are using technology on our farm is through our rotational grazing system. We have a portable electric fence system that runs on battery or solar power. Portable paddocks help us segment areas of our pasture for even distribution of grazing and manure. Goats and sheep can be notorious for getting out of fences so using these tools keeps the animals safe.
Why is sustainability important on your farm?
Conservation and sustainability are at the core of what we do here, especially with our rotational grazing practices. We are always looking to try new things and improve our practices. We want to produce a high quality, sustainable product for consumers across the country.
Leslie sells and markets nutritious pasture raised meats to families across the country. You can find her products on her website – Cylon Rolling Acres. She also offers consulting services to beginning grazers through Grazing with Leslie.