Hooves on the ground in Nova Scotia’s community pastures

The Chronicle Herald
Aaron Beswick
June 12, 2020

Dan Thompson idled down in the valley, allowing his transmission to cool before ascending the winding dirt path through old hardwoods with cattle trailer in tow.

Up on the plateau Cate Davis was making a final check on the electric fence with the voltage meter to ensure there was continuity of current over the kilometres of wire waiting for their cattle.

“Of course a moose never goes back out the same way it comes in,” said Davis.

Two nights earlier a moose charged through the electric fence hauling a half dozen posts with it.

After what must have been a lovely feed on the Cape Mabou Community Pasture’s luscious spring grass, it trotted back into the woods hauling more wire and posts with it.

“That’s why they call them ‘Bull’ moose I guess,” said Davis.

Over the coming days nearly 400 cows belonging to 20 farmers will be hauled up to the community pasture looking out over St. George’s Bay.

It is a welcome rite of spring coloured this year by the uncertainty and opportunity of both COVID-19 and a review of the entire community pasture system commissioned by the Department of Agriculture.

The full Chronicle Herald article can be found here.