Tag: Mobile livestock shade

Prioritize Comfort for Profitable Grazing

Will Winter, DVM, is a firm believer in the benefits of keeping livestock comfortable. Shade is a key aspect of animal comfort, and providing mobile shade for grazing animals is not just humane, it makes economic sense.

Studies at the University of Kentucky’s Animal Research Center indicated beef cows with portable shade during heat stress periods of spring and summer gained weight at an increased rate of 1.23 lb. per day over those without shade. If you have 100 animals, that equates to 3,690 additional pounds of grassfed beef in a 30-day period. Clearly, mobile shade is a smart investment.

The Importance of Comfort
Shade is just one aspect of animal comfort, but perhaps the most critical. “The world is heating up, there’s no question about it,” says Winter. “As we face more climate extremes, grass farmers are going to have to be more vigilant to stay profitable.”

Winter, who transitioned from a traditional large animal veterinarian to holistic practices in 1980, was initially surprised by the lack of research on animal comfort. “I found that interesting because of how much it contributes to monetary profits,” he notes.

In Winter’s opinion, farmers who claim they “don’t pamper their animals,” are missing out on optimal returns on their investment. As a holistic livestock consultant, he advises farmers to prioritize livestock comfort, which includes providing mobile shade, especially while grazing in paddocks with no natural shade.

While Winter believes any type of mobile shade is better than none, he considers the Shade Haven mobile shade system the best commercial option. “I was lucky enough to experience Shade Haven firsthand,” he explains. “There’s nothing above it in terms of portability.”

Beyond Health
Mobile shade not only improves animal health and performance, but also enables the farmer to control grazing patterns. “Rotational grazing with mobile shade helps our pasture get stronger,” says Winter. “When people work on their pasture, they can double or triple their profit per acre, their pounds per acre.”

Mobile shade also mitigates the impact of temperature extremes on gestation and fertility. Additionally, it prevents livestock from cooling off in ponds and streams, reducing the risk of foot rot and other diseases, and keeping contaminates from making their way downstream.

Perception Impacts Profits
In 2020, Winter visited the farm of Shade Haven founder Vince Hundt. “When you drive in the driveway at Vince’s farm, you start smiling and you don’t want to leave,” he recalls. “You see those cattle on pasture under the Shade Haven. They are comfortable and healthy.”

The image of well-cared-for animals influences purchasing decisions – another way comfort equates to profitability for farms who sell their proteins direct to customers.

Winter is critical of factory farming and encourages consumers to know their farmer and value the health benefits of grassfed beef. He is optimistic about the growing trend of regenerative agriculture among young farmers. “We are luring a much younger crowd with grassfed and regenerative agriculture, because it’s fun, it’s not toxic, and you are making incredible food. It’s all a big upgrade in the way we treat livestock.”

Today, Winter chooses consulting over veterinary work. “If I do my job, you don’t need a veterinarian. When animals are comfortable, treated humanely, and eating properly, you don’t need any drugs. Of the 60 producers I currently work with, nobody vaccinates, nobody needs chemical dewormers, nobody uses antibiotics. My job is to get them to that stage and to get them into profitability.”

To learn more about Winter’s holistic consulting services, check out willwinter.com

Read more on Winter’s insight on the importance of Shade in “How and Why Smart Farmers Are Creating Mobile Shade for Their Livestock” published in Stockman’s Grass Farmer, 2021.


Will Winter is a retired veterinarian and holistic herd health practitioner. He has been the herd consultant for Thousand Hills Cattle Co since 2004, and  recently founded the American Holistic Livestock Association. He is the local chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation for Minneapolis-St. Paul. Winter provides consultations, workshops, lectures and access to natural livestock supplies for farmers and ranchers throughout the country,



3 Golden Rules of Grazing

Grazing guru Dr. Allen Williams shares insight on adaptive grazing rules and how he uses Shade Havens in his own grazing practice.

Dr. Williams is a sixth-generation farmer and the founder of Grass Fed Insights, LLC, Understanding Ag, LLC, and Soil Health Academy. He helps farmers and ranchers graze successfully and profitably using the three rules of adaptive stewardship: compounding, diversity, and disruption.

Rule #1 – Compounding. The first rule is to understand that everything we do on a farm has compounding effects – either negative or positive. “Our job is to implement practices that create a series of positive compounding effects,” Williams stresses.

Rule #2 – Diversity. Increasing forage diversity is fundamental to successful grazing.

“Not only do your animals perform better, but you can get rid of your vet meds, your dewormers – you don’t need them anymore,” says Williams. “It saves you a lot in input costs. Your performance goes up, your profitability goes up.”

How do you achieve that high level of diversity? Mother Nature has already done most of the work.

“What we do is utilize the rules of adaptive stewardship and adaptive grazing to be able to access or tap the latent seed lines that everybody has in North America,” says Williams. “The latent seed lines are loaded with dozens even hundreds of different plant species that most people rarely see because of the way they graze.”

Williams has documented 140 different plant species growing in the pastures at his farm, BDA Farm in Uniontown, Alabama. “Our livestock eat all of it – all 140. And we planted none of it. They are a result of the latent seed lines.”

Since 2019, Williams has used four SH1200 mobile shade systems with multiple species that graze at BDA Farm. The Shade Havens protect the livestock from the hot Alabama sun. They also aid in achieving forage diversity. “When cattle or other livestock congregate underneath the portable shade, that creates a high-density impact,” says Williams.

“If you move the shade structure around frequently, you are creating a high-density impact wherever the shade was, and that applies a lot of fertility, a lot of biology to that soil. At the same time, it stimulates the latent seed lines, so you create greater diversity. Everywhere you put that shade and move it like you should, you are creating what we call biological hot spots, highly diverse hot spots.”

Increased plant diversity has positive compounding effects, including better animal health. “The reason we want diversity is because many, many plant species can also be medicinal and anti-parasitic in nature. That means our livestock can self-medicate, can self-deworm,” notes Williams. “We don’t have to give them pharmaceuticals, and we never have to deworm them. They’ve got everything they need.”

Higher plant diversity also leads to greater diversity in the soil microbial population, which leads to a greater array of phytonutrients in the plants themselves. The broad array of plants supports life above the soil, not just your livestock, but other wildlife, birds, insects, and pollinators.

“It benefits your livestock, it benefits your soil, it benefits the plants themselves,” reiterates Williams. “So you get restoration of fully functioning ecosystems. It’s a win-win-win all across the board.”

Rule #3 – Disruption.  Avoid stagnation with the final rule by adding disruption to your grazing plan. Williams suggests altering your stock density, altering rest periods, changing your paddock figuration and rotational patterns.

Portable Shade at BDA

BDA Farm is a 6,200-acre certified organic produce and livestock operation in Uniontown, Alabama. With a focus on regenerative agriculture, BDA produces more than 40 varieties of vegetables and herbs and moves 1,000 beef, 500 sheep and 3,000 laying hens across 4,000+ acres.

Like most grazing operations, BDA has fields without access to shade. The four SH1200 mobile shade systems at BDA Farm boost pasture health and protect the dairy cattle, beef, sheep, pigs, and chickens from the blazing sun. “We get extremely hot. Our livestock must have shade,” notes Williams. “Natural shade is a preference. You can plant it, but it takes a lifetime to grow it. So portable shade comes in extremely handy.”

The Shade Havens compliment BDA’s adaptive grazing strategy. “You want quality portable shade that holds up in all conditions, and it’s easy to move, because you don’t want to just park it in one place. You have to be able to move it around,” says Williams.

Williams appreciates the portability of the Shade Haven whether it’s for livestock or humans attending the many workshops held at the farm. “Because it is so portable, you don’t have to dedicate it to just one species, or just one spot. I can take it to wherever I need it at any time.”


Shade Haven Passes the Test

Univ. of Massachusetts – Amherst

University livestock programs throughout the U.S. give Shade Haven mobile shade systems an A+ for improving animal wellness and boosting pasture health. Shade Haven systems are part of grazing and livestock programs at USDA facilities and universities in Arkansas, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Tennessee, with increasing interest from other institutions throughout the country.

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville purchased two SH1200 mobile shade systems in 2017 for use in its Beef Heifer Development Program, which takes on the often-costly task of developing replacement heifers for Tennessee cattle producers. The development facility takes in spring- and fall-born heifers for 10 ½- and 11-month periods.

“We develop those heifers with the best management protocols, put them through an artificial insemination program, and get them bred and returned back to the producer,” explains Kevin Thompson, director of the Middle Tennessee Ag Research and Education Center.

At the Development Center in Lewisburg, some 300+ heifers rotate through multiple pastures; not all pastures offer access to natural shade. “Those Shade Haven structures have been invaluable in terms of helping us manage the welfare and comfort level of the heifers that we raise,” notes Thompson.

While the Shade Haven structures contribute to cattle health by providing relief from the hot Tennessee sun, the impact on pasture health is equally important and most obvious, notes Thompson. “We are not wearing down and over grazing in certain areas, so we’re not getting a lot of invasive forages, and we are able to maintain our fescue orchard grass pastures. We also utilize those shades in some of the native warm season pastures that are grazed during July, August and early September, so we are able to maintain the integrity of those pastures. Anytime you are able to do that, you are impacting soil health as well, if you look at it from a holistic perspective.”

Univ. of TN – Knoxville

Alston Hillard, Small Farm Outreach Program coordinator at Virginia State University(VSU) also observes vibrant pastures where Shade Haven structures are used in his program, though no formal research has been conducted. “I see good regrowth in those pastures,” notes Hillard.

Virginia State University

VSU purchased two SH600 structures and one SH1200 in 2021. All three Shade Havens were used with cattle in the 2021 grazing season, notes Hillard. This year, one of the SH600s provided heat relief for 40 goats.

Prioritizing animal comfort and welfare is the primary focus in both university programs. “If the cattle are comfortable, they are going to be performing,” says Thompson. “And if they are performing, we are doing what we should as stewards of the livestock.”

Needed protection from heat stress spurred the 2022 purchase of a SH600 Shade Haven at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFÉ). The center had limited shade near the barns where they monitored their Belted Galloway dams and calves. After one season with the Shade Haven, they are pleased with the results.

“In the past we have had some significant heat stress in the calves that we attend to,” explained Bob Skalbite, CAFE farm manager. “This year with the Shade Haven, even with the high heat and severe drought conditions we have had, we didn’t have problems with heat stress. The cattle had plenty of shade and were able to get out of the sun and keep their core body temperatures at an appropriate level.”

Skalbite adds, “The ability to move the shade around lets us spread the manure around a little more, which reduces mastitis rates by being able to move it to a clean area.”

University of MA – Amherst

As climate-smart practices become more and more necessary, mobile shade plays an important role in the future of farming. “You can better manage grazing with the Shade Haven, which would help with carbon sequestration; being able to give grass longer rest periods, increase forage growth, and spread manure out,” says Skalbite on mobile shade’s role in climate change mitigation.

Skalbite, Thompson and Hillard all complement the ease of use, transportability, and durability of the Shade Haven mobile shade systems. After two years of use, the Shade Havens at VSU have sustained no damage due to weather or wind, reports Hillard.

After using the Shade Havens for five years in his program at the University of Tennessee Ag Research Center, Thompson notes, “Those Shade Havens are just like they were when we received them. We have made no repairs whatsoever. I can’t say enough about the quality of construction of the Shade Haven.”

How and Why Smart Farmers Are Creating Mobile Shade for Their Livestock


by  WILL WINTER, DVM (As appeared in Stockman Grass Farmer, 2020)

There’s a somewhat popular phrase that has been going around in our livestock producers circles for quite a few years and I feel compelled to state right up from that the saying kind of irks me.  The saying is  “We don’t pamper our cows”. Pamper? Wait a minute? Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing? (Poet ROBERT BLY has stated that “wait a minute” are the three most powerful words in the English language.).

Well, looking at it another way, I do understand part of the logic behind the phrase, there is an extreme which is usually good to avoid,  but still that doesn’t justify the use of the “no pampering” concept to deprive any farm animals of their basic needs and comfort. More about animal comfort later.


But back to pampering, I believe that not only is it the right thing to do, it is actually very closely connected to the creation of a financially profitable herd. That’s the main difference between providing for essential needs, the basics of life, as compared to artificial living through drugs. Sure, an animal or even a human, can exist without comfort throughout their life, but why? Why live that way when a blessed life is equally possible? Why even consider it when, even at the most basic level, animals living in comfort will make us more money?  What I’m going to show you is that animals that have all the comforts are not really “pampered poodles”, but they will do better, and in turn, they will help you do better.

As a funny side note to this, I grew up in a Kansas farm family and I have some love/hate memories of plowing wheat fields in July and August following harvest. In addition to baking my brains out, I was able to accrue enough skin damage from the sun to last me a lifetime at the dermatologist. Shortly after I moved to Minnesota, I clearly remember seeing my first tractor with an old-fashioned beach umbrella mounted over the tractor seat!  Brilliant!! I was stunned that no Kansan I ever saw had figured it out. Now, of course, it looks odd to see someone on a tractor without a cab to protect the farmer from the elements. My how we evolve!

This whole issue of properly and profitably raising cattle in hot summer weather really came to light for me when I visited the Wisconsin farm of VINCE HUNDT.  Vince is the person who lead the team that developed and created the Shade Haven Portable Shade Mobiles and he really helped me understand the solution to an oft-ignored problem. Vince saw a need and was able to rely on his manufacturing and farming  background to create a tool for solving the ubiquitous problem that may occur at certain times of the year wherein animals are too hot to graze.  All shade has value, but we have all seen the pasture damage created when the only shade comes when the livestock can bunch up under trees. The concentrated manure can also become a fly breeding ground making those matters worse. (heavy fly pressure also makes cattle want to congregate tightly in the shade where they are obviously not grazing, not making profit. This is yet another reason to do everything within your power to lower the fly population! See our previous messages about the Top Ten Ways to get rid of flies).

JOEL SALATIN, editor of the Stockman Grassfarmer magazine, long-time grazer and creator of his own home-made shade mobiles stated in the magazine that he “looks forward to the day when shade mobiles will dot every livestock farm in the nation”. I think he’s exactly right. Joel was even clever enough to assemble his own shade mobiles utilizing nothing more expensive than used farm junk, for a materials cost of near zero. Not pretty, but the cattle have never once complained!


Obviously the easiest would be to buy a pre-made and well-designed commercial unit.  A Shade Haven for example. (see shadehavens.com for full pricing and more details). They are a work of art,  and perhaps the ultimate in function. These 30-40’ circles fold up into a narrow strip like an Asian fan so they can roll down the highway or be trailed behind an ATV. They are easy to quickly deploy. It’s almost impossible to fault them in any way. They are built to withstand wind gusts up to 50 mph, and many other weather extremes. Accessories include mineral hoppers, oilers for insect repellent, even back scratchers.

RON and JUDI LOCKE,  ranchers in SW Missouri are a classic example of happy Shade Haven customers. After early retirement they have been raising cattle for the past 20 years. It has dawned on them improving their soil microbial health is their number one ranch goal.  However, 15 of the Locke’s 27 paddocks have no shade. Two of those the without shade are warm season grasses, most productive from July through early September when temperaturess in Missouri soar above 90 degrees.

“So here I have these wonderful warm season paddocks and no shade,” says Ron Locke.” I couldn’t put my fall cows in those fields, because it was too hot and they didn’t have shade. Now I can put my cattle anywhere I want. It has completely changed my ability to graze my fields the way I want to graze them.

The Locke’s raise black Angus, which, frankly, are cattle that were designed to live and perform in the lovely , cloudy and cool highlands of Scotland. Sure, the Locke’s could have switched to red cattle or the heat-tolerant-designed and highly recommended Misouri-bred Southpoll breed, but it would still not have the desired effect they hope to achieve with overall pasture utilization and protection of the soil microbia.

There are hundreds of similar success stories from other Shade Haven customers. There are few if any unhappy customers and the number one reaction after their first experience is to come back for several more units.

The most beautiful and perhaps most efficient home-built were designed and created by TED STEVENS for his Texas cattle. Born of sculptured aluminum pipe, his devices roll easily on used aircraft wheels and tires, these machines look as if they could fly. They don’t, but his include mineral hoppers, oilers and even a portable water tank along with mister spray nozzles all around to make grazing near them a happy place.

Minnesotan rancher DUANE MUNSTERTIGER and son TONY have also constructed rugged and muscularly handsome shade units using nothing more exotic than iron pipe and I-beams. (see pictures of both below). They also include mineral hoppers and oilers for flies, one even has a back scratcher.


  1. BETTER ANIMAL FERTILITY, HEALTHY AND WEIGHT GAINS–     And now we are talking about how to make a shade mobile pay for itself. And, yes, it’s true, they will. After one gets over the original sticker shock of the price, the best part is yet to come.  Actually, the main reason we would want to provide portable shade is quite often completely overlooked. We now see the purchase not as an expense or a cost but as an investment.  Take it directly from DR ALAN WILLIAMS, who lives and does ranching research in hot and humid Mississippi. He has documented that cattle, no matter where they live, will consume 50 to 70% less dry matter when they are suffering from heat stress. So, not only are they not gaining, they are actually losing condition. Putting condition back on that has been lost is a massively expensive proposition. Vince Hundt speculates that just this savings alone will pay for a commercial shade mobile in just a few years.

Studies show that cattle start feeling heat stress at any temperature above 72 degrees F. In fact, the copious heat that arises from the 50 gallon fermentation tank called the rumen means that cattle handle cold weather better than hot weather, actually finding peak function and comfort at around 42 degrees F. Scientific studies show that cattle with access to shade gained 0.47#/day more than identical cattle and pasture but without shade. This adds up!

2) BETTER PASTURE UTILIZATION–  It’s quite common to see pastures that are underutilized solely because the cattle don’t have what they need, which often includes lack of shade. Getting into these pastures is essential for maximum utilization of the entire paddock, farm or ranch. Dr. Williams also points out another aspect of shade in general. In this case the overall shade protection that keeps soil temperature cooler. Full-pasture shade can be created by allowing grasses to reach the mid-stage of maturity. This will  create soil that is more moist, more cool. Dr. Williams’ study shows as much as a 50-degree improvement, often seeing soil temperatures variance  from 80 to 140F when comparing a well-managed pasture vs. one that is poorly managed. This means that cattle standing on poor pastures with overheated soil is about the equivalent of us standing on a hot blacktop road in August in Texas. When that soil temperature reaches 140 degrees F, and it will, we have just destroyed soil livestock populations.  When we successfully graze  with proper rotation and rest periods, we are sequestering carbon, building more carbon. With each 1% increase in organic matter in the soil, we can store an additional 20,000 gallons of water per acre.  Additinally, when you see patches of thistles or other invasive weeds in a pasture, you know exactly where to park your shade mobile!

3) HELPING TO REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE– No matter what one’s beliefs about climate change are, no one can argue with the facts, figures and observations that we are getting hotter, we have more extremes, more droughts, more flooding and more storms than before. There are few, if any, technologies that do more to protect our climate than sustainable, regenerative livestock grazing. We strive daily to achieve the elimination of all bare soil, preventing overgrazed/dead areas and the creation of a full mat of plants. This creates a year-round protection umbrella over the land that we love. The primary tools that we use include portable water systems, portable fencing, adequate free-choice mineralization of the livestock, and now we can measure the value of creating portable shade.

4)  WHY SETTLE FOR LESS THAN “FEEL GOOD” FARMING?   After all these thoughts about the comfort of the animals, animal performance, soil and plant health, and even the saving of the planet itself, what about us? Even the most remote ranch or farm is also not out of reach of city people or other concerned citizens that are worried about whether or not farmers care for their animals. People that could report your herd to humane organizations.  The fact is, fear of cruelty to animals drives swarms of people to vegetarianism or, worse, the dangerous cult of veganism. When passersby see a shade mobile with happy-looking cattle under it, it’s a real traffic stopper. They smile, they take photos, they tell their friends.  One highly significant ray of light we can give to the people that eat our livestock is to show them in every way possible that we DO care and we do provide comfort, and, well, yes, pampering to our animals! Almost everyone resonates with happiness whether it’s thriving green plants and flowers, calm, grounded and centered farm animals, and, luckily for us, they want to see farmers that are healthy, concerned for all life and happiness!


All in all, I think we are approaching a cusp in thinking, call it a paradigm shift if you will. I think it’s clear to se that before long,  every single successful livestock producer will have that same “Aha’ moment!  We started with portable fencing, we got portable water, portable mineral hoppers, and now, portable shade mobiles!  I think the time is at hand when we all realize that we can never again afford to put our livestock into a shadeless paddock on a hot summer day. If that shade is portable and easy to move, the benefits multiply even more! I look forward to that day! I know that all of our livestock feel the same way!

WILL WINTER is a retired veterinarian, a holistic herd health consultant and livestock nutritionist who hangs his hat in Minnesota. He is also a traveling lecturer and teacher focusing on sustainable livestock production and traditional nutrition. He provides consultations, workshops, lectures and access to natural livestock supplies to farmers and ranchers.



Five Years with Shade Haven

Photo credit: Jamie Tiralla, All Ag Media

Jason Leavitt is the fourth generation to work his family farm situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River in Owings, Maryland. Leavitt transitioned from mostly grain to grassfed beef, but with no trees in his pasture, he needed shade.

“I tried to construct my own with hay wagons, but once we had a thunderstorm it pretty much got annihilated,” says Leavitt. “I needed a legitimate mobile shade, so I looked around the internet and found Shade Haven.”

That was five years ago. Today this rotational grazier couldn’t be happier. “The Shade Haven pretty much enables us to do what we do,” says Leavitt. “From late May to mid-September, it is not unheard of for temps to be in the 90s, even 100 degrees. We run black Angus, and I, in good conscience, can’t send them out in the fields when it is 100 degrees and let them bake.”

Leavitt moves his 75 Angus daily. “I have to have something I can move from field to field with them. The Shade Haven works awesome. It’s phenomenally easy to use.”

After five years with a Shade Haven, Leavitt wouldn’t want to graze without it. Neither would his cows, who Leavitt says choose to be under the Shade Haven even in paddocks with natural shade.  “I think that is because there is natural convection, there is always somewhat of a breeze or air movement under there.”

The Shade Haven keeps the cows cool, happy and healthy, and it helps Leavitt maintain a healthy pasture. “With the Shade Haven, you have complete control of where the majority of the nutrients are disseminated – especially when it is hot outside,” he adds.

Though he hasn’t kept detailed records on production and conception rates, Leavitt is confident that both have improved since adding mobile shade. Last year was a record year for calves born on his farm. “We had 36 brood cows and 34 calves. That is the first time that has ever happened. Whether that is related to the Shade or the bull, I’m not exactly sure, but something is working out right.”

At the end of the grazing season, Leavitt will clean up his Shade and store it in his barn to prevent damage from snow and ice. He knows that with basic upkeep his SH1200 will be ready for another grazing season. “Just regular maintenance, greasing it, oiling it. I power wash it at the end of each year and put it away correctly in the winter. I’m amazed at the minimal amount of maintenance and attention it needs.”

To find out more about Leavitt’s farm, check out his website, wilsondowellfarms.com.  He sells his grassfed beef, pork and goat products through the website and through Southern Maryland Meats.

Tennessee Grazing with Shade

Click photo above to view video

Retirement goals often include travel, boats or spending more time on the golf course. John Abe Teague’s retirement dream was to farm and raise cattle, and that’s what he did. In 2014 Teague started with 13 bred Angus cows at his farm in Jonesborough, Tennessee, but with limited trees he was challenged to supply the shade his cattle needed. Then in 2015 he purchased a Shade Haven mobile shade system.

“It has allowed me to do what I do—have cattle and do rotational grazing,” says Teague. “I could not farm without the Shade Haven. It’s that simple.”

For rotational grazing, Teague knew he needed grass, water, fencing and shade. After failed attempts to construct his own shade solution, he found what he needed at Powell Farms, which utilizes nine Shade Havens in its grazing plan. “I was sold the minute I saw it,” says Teague. “I picked the phone up and ordered one.”

Teague moves his cattle and the Shade Haven daily across 15 acres established in five-acre paddocks, which he divides into 8 to 10 smaller paddocks with electric fence on reels. When the cattle at Mire Creek Farm see the Shade Haven, they know it means fresh green grass and a cool place to lie down. “I cluck at them and move the Shade Haven and they follow me,” says Teague. “I tell people, they would follow me all the way to town if I wanted them to. They love the Shade Haven.”

An advocate for rotational grazing, Teague welcomes groups to his farm who want to learn about it. He knows the benefits of managed grazing and mobile shade for animal health, production and profitability. “The bottom line is they get shade when they need it. It gets 95 degrees here in summertime and black-hided cows can’t stand it. They’ve got to have shade,” says Teague, who also appreciates the ability to control where nutrients are going in his pasture. “I find weak spots in the field and place the Shade Haven there, so it gets manure and then I move it. That helps on the fertilizer bill, and it helps on the quality of grass.”

Since a health condition requires him to eat a lot of protein, Teague consumes a portion of his shade-raised, grassfed beef and sells the rest. He’s still fine-tuning his grazing operation and his pastures. “I’ve managed to get one cow for every one acre with rotational grazing,” he adds.

Building his registered Angus cow/calf herd, improving his pastures, and moving the cattle are all part of typical day for Teague, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. “I’m 69. I’ve had a good life. This is my retirement, and the Shade Haven makes it possible.”

Shade Haven is proud to be part of John Abe Teague’s grazing operation. Thanks to John Abe for representing Shade Haven at grazing and beef cattle events around northeast Tennessee.