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May 8, 2024

To champion grassland soil health in Missouri, where conventional grazing practice is practically enshrined in state law, Amy Hamilton's family enterprise has dug in as deep as roots of the native plant species whose seeds they sell. 


Hamilton Native Outpost has been led since 1981 by Amy and her husband Rex. They are passionate, expert advocates for the Diverse Native Grassland species and practices that sustained human to microbial communities across the vast mid-continent region for centuries. They support native landscaping in general, though this Earthworms conversation is focused on their grazing-grassland work.


Plenty of color blazes through this tale, from vibrant summer-prairie blooms to seed mix names (Wildlife Chuckwagon, Firebreak, Buck's Hangout) to commentary on what it takes to change grazing practices and minds, even with bushels of data-backed experience ("Double the hay with none of the fertilizer using native warm season grasses!"). 

The 60-page Hamilton Native Outpost catalogue is packed with clear, specific guidance to upgrade land management with native plants. Their website is a storehouse of articles and videos ("This Savannah restoration paid for itself" "Healing a small stream with native plants"). Novel research the works, like deploying grazing bison for weed control, demonstrates this team's constant learning commitments. And their rural Sho-Me State site hosts Pasture Walks and other events so soil health wannabes and skeptics can see Outpost successes for themselves.

You've heard about native plant benefits plenty of times in Earthworms interviews. This one steps a new hoof forward.

THANKS to Sasha Hay, Earthworms audio engineer, and KDHX production stalwart, Jon Valley - and to Ed Spevak of the Saint Louis Zoo for introduction to Amy Hamilton.

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