Edith and Alfred Gross from St. Helena Parish are among producers traveling to Lexington, KY for the annual Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) conference, January 25-28.
They are serving as presenters at this year’s conference on the topic of “Intensive Cattle Grazing on a Small Scale.” This retired couple talks about making a profit on a 25-acre, 12-cow herd.
The Grosses have owned and managed Two G Ranch, a 25-acre Black Angus ranch, since 2007. They were seeking higher ground from weather like Hurricane Katrina. Alfred became sold on the rotational grazing strategy after traveling with the Southern University Agricultural Extension Center to a training featuring Dr. Ann Wells (2017 presenter). Thereafter, Alfred participated in an SU 18-month Agriculture Leadership Institute and numerous workshops and seminars (including three SSAWG Conferences) on fencing, grass management, animal health, and marketing strategies.
After retirement, Edith participated in a six-month SU Agriculture Leadership Institute. She has led sessions on record keeping and farming as a small business. By using a combination of marketing techniques—private sales and stockyards—they have developed a profit-making operation. Alfred and Edith are active members in the local cattle group, St. Helena Cattle Company, and Louisiana Ranchers and Farmers Association. Because they are late starters in the farming community, they welcome the opportunity to share their story with others who have shared goals.
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, commonly known as Southern SAWG, was founded in 1991 to foster a movement towards a more sustainable farming and food system – one that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane. It functions as a regional entity, working with and through hundreds of associated organizations across 13 southern states. By building partnerships, sharing information and conducting analysis, it transforms isolated ideas and innovations into practical tools and approaches for widespread use.