Pasture Pro: Cutler Fence
“Dependability and durability make Gallagher products easy to sell” Randy Cutler “Cutler Fence is one of Passion for Pasture's model dealerships,” describes Cody Dvorak, Business Development Manager with Gallagher’s Passion for Pasture Program. “Randy Cutler has a load of knowledge.” Cutler Fence has supplied materials and installed fence and portable water systems for Wisconsin livestock farmers since 1990. “We are happy to support grazers of all livestock species by providing materials, installation services, rotational grazing design, electric fence charger repairs, and fence troubleshooting services,” explains owner Randy Cutler. The business has been a longtime advocate for grazing in Wisconsin. “We are available by phone or email almost every day and try to be open for business when customers need supplies or service,” he shares.
Changing the Wisconsin Landscape
Much of Cutler’s work includes Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) projects. “The NRCS, local county land conservation offices, and some Resource Conservation and Development districts have been a major force in converting highly erodible land and critical soil types from row cropping to rotational grazing enterprises here in Wisconsin,” says Cutler. “We have done countless fence installations for designs made by many NRCS and county Land Conservation District (LCD) employees.”
Randy Cutler appreciates the input of these technicians, as well as other independent specialists, and knows they have made a big difference in the landscape of the Badger State. He says “Several top quality designers have influenced a large number of livestock producers to convert part or all of their operations to rotational grazing enterprises.”
Cutler tells customers they will see some quick benefits when converting marginal land from traditional row crops to a rotational grazing system. “Simplicity and lower management costs happen right away, as well as fewer labor and fuel needs,” he explains. “Happier animals and workers are another quick advantage.”
He counsels it may take longer to notice improvements in soil health and increased productivity with lower inputs. “Improved wildlife habitat, especially for grassland birds, will gradually appear,” he says. “Water quality and less soil loss will also happen over the long term.” Those benefits appeal to hunters and environmentalists, as well as farmers.
Wisconsin has achieved exceptional success increasing grazing acreage. “Dairy farming in this state has been going through some challenging times with the ‘get bigger or get out’ advice of the last three or four decades,” he describes. “Organic milk sales have been a powerful incentive to get dairy cows back to grass.”
Cutler’s Farming Experience
In addition to being a grazing expert in America’s Dairyland, Randy Cutler is also a farmer. “Randy focuses on the development of his operation as a permaculture system,” shares Dvorak.
“We raise a number of livestock species and have personal experience with many breeds and types of farm animals from peacocks to llamas,” describes Cutler. The family has raised dairy cattle, beef, hogs, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits and all kinds of foul.
“We currently own 50 registered Bluefaced Leicester ewes, a few registered Dexter cows, a couple of American Quarter horses, and some laying hens,” says Cutler. The family also raises pastured meat chickens for daughter, Hana Cutler, to serve at her Emy J’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
“High quality, portable fencing has enabled us to utilize forages that were difficult to get to,” he explains. With these products, farmers can use forages often abandoned. “Crops such as corn stalk fields, land that has become too wet for harvest, crops overgrown with weeds or instances of crop failure can now provide nutrition to grazing animals.” What once was a financial loss becomes productive again.
“Today some landowners are interested in improving their woodlots by using livestock to help destroy invasive species such as multiflora rose, Japanese barberry, wild parsnip, and many others,” he explains. Temporary electric fence gets livestock into irregularly-shaped parcels of land where traditional barbed wire is too expensive to use.
Gallagher Products and Technology
Decades ago, Randy chose Gallagher to fill his need for high-quality fencing materials. “We have been farming since 1976 and realized Gallagher products were the most dependable and longest lasting,” he shares. “Gallagher has been easy to sell and to recommend because of the support we get from company representatives.” Randy was among the first grazing experts in the United States to receive Pasture Pro Certification in 2018.
“Gallagher products are always on the leading edge of technology,” Cutler says. He cites new post designs that have increased the longevity of permanent fencing as just one example. Additional Gallagher products which Cutler Fence customers have found especially useful and innovative include the Smart Fence 2, the volt-ohm meter and fault finder, and chargers including new ones that are solar powered.
“Producers with small ruminants are impressed with Smart Fence 2’s ease of installation and take down compared to portable netting,” Cutler advises. “Its 330-foot length makes it more practical than the shorter netting products.”
The volt-ohm current meter and fault finder has become an essential tool for most of Cutler’s customers. These tools make fence repair and system maintenance easier.
“The dependability of Gallagher fence chargers and their durability has made this product an easy sell,” he adds. “New portable solar-powered chargers fill a niche that was previously void of any high powered products.”
Cutler’s advice to other Gallagher dealerships includes becoming an active grazing advocate, participating in grazing conferences and pasture walks throughout their state. “Attending and exhibiting at grazing workshops and grazing-related activities has been most beneficial to my increase in sales,” he explains. “Having a diverse inventory of fence and water system products, along with answers to grazer’s questions and the ability to repair and supply parts for these products, are the keys to my success.”
“Gallagher has taken a leading role in rotational grazing support in North America with the Passion for Pasture Program,” he concludes. And Randy Cutler is making a difference in Wisconsin, one pasture at a time.
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Karena Elliott is an International Freelance Writer who specializes in the agriculture industry. She makes her home in Amarillo, Texas.
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