Blog

The latest news on Grassland 2.0, grassland-based agriculture, and restorative agricultural systems.

Zine-making: Grassland 2.0 leverages counterculture tactics

Cover of the Community Vitality Issue of Gra-Zine
July 29 2022

The Grassland 2.0 Curriculum Development and Education Team has been busy on our latest project, The Gra-Zine (gray-zeen)! The Gra-Zine is a zine – a mini, self-published magazine – exploring topics related to Grassland 2.0’s vision: shifting Upper Midwest dairy farming toward a grass-based agroecosystem. Topics encompass the range of…Read More

Thinking as a Community

July 6 2022

Grassland 2.0’s Summer Meeting Recap By Greta Landis “Until we build visions and models for the future, we won’t know where we are going, or how to chart our course to get there,” said Randy Jackson, one of the principal investigators of Grassland 2.0. A barn full of 50 farmers,…Read More

New infographic illustrates reintegration of livestock and crops

Image of Match Made in Heaven Infographic
June 28 2022

Back in the day, diversified farms were the norm—every farm had a mix of livestock, annual crops, and perennial pastures. Though viewed by some as impractical and inefficient in today’s era of specialization, there are sound scientific and economic reasons to pursue diversified farming systems for today’s agriculture. There’s a…Read More

Accidentally Medicating Our Soil Microbiome

Headshot of Carl Wepking
June 28 2022

Grassland 2.0 goes global with Carl Wepking, Grassland 2.0 Program Manager, featured on a podcast by Proagni, an Australian-based company dedicated to reducing the environmental and social footprint of agriculture while improving farm economics. That’s a mission we can all get behind. 

Dairy Needs Real Innovation

May 31 2022

William D. Hoard’s enlightened understanding of the importance of livestock to soil health, coupled with his courageous advocacy work, helped pull Wisconsin agriculture from the depths of despairing wheat production in the late 19th century. When year after year of wheat production led to devastating disease pressure, he opened a…Read More

Back to his grassroots: Jacob Marty returns to family land with new vision for agriculture

May 24 2022

As a dairy farm kid from southwest Wisconsin, Jacob Marty had no desire to return to his family’s farm. He was set on attending UW-Stevens Point and pursuing a career in conservation. Studying wildlife ecology pointed him in an unexpected direction, however: back to the farm. “I got interested in…Read More

The Spring Digital Dialogue Series wraps up with four great presentations

May 24 2022

And that is a wrap! This semester’s Digital Dialogue Series brought together over 700 participants to learn about the levers of change needed to bring about a transformational change to our agricultural system. This semester’s series featured four great speakers who discussed policy, populations dynamics and it’s impact on agriculture,…Read More

Last Digital Dialogue of the spring coming up May 17th

Cow grazing
May 4 2022

Grassland 2.0 is once again hosting our monthly Digital Dialogue webinar series! In the fall of 2021 the Digital Dialogues Series focused on what makes a healthy agroecosystem. This spring, we are changing lanes and will be focusing on the levers of change for our agricultural system. Tune in and…Read More

New tool helps dairy farmers explore the economics of grazing dairy heifers

April 26 2022

To graze or not to graze? The newly debuted Heifer Grazing Compass is a spreadsheet tool designed to help farmers predict and understand the cash flow and long-term financial outcomes of deciding to raise heifers on pasture. Developed by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems of CIAS and Grassland 2.0,…Read More

Cattle and Brookies: Making Modern Agriculture and Trout Habitat in Wisconsin

Person trout fishing in a stream
April 26 2022

Some 10,000 years ago, glaciers from the last Ice Age were retreating from the Upper Midwest. While much of Wisconsin was scraped into the rolling landscape that is representative of much of the state, a roughly 24,000 square mile piece of land at the intersection of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa,…Read More

U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard incentivizes land use change with environmental consequences

Corn field
March 31 2022

In order to address global climate change, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) aims to increase the use of biofuel in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a new study by Tyler Lark of UW-Madison and co-authors, including several members of Grassland 2.0, the RFS may have missed…Read More

Creating a grazing movement in Sauk County

Serge Koenig and Roman MIller talking. Photo by Finn Ryan
February 24 2022

Serge Koenig has been serving Sauk County, Wisconsin as a county conservationist for the past 27 years. So, needless to say - he knows the community well. During his tenure he has helped a lot of farmers get back in touch with nature and rediscover why they farm. Koenig's journey…Read More

New GrassCast podcast shares cutting edge research linking animal and human health

January 27 2022

How does the way we raise our agriculture impact our health as humans? That is the critical question surrounding Stephan van Vliet’s research. Stephan is a nutrition scientists and metabolomics experts at the Center for Human Nutrition Studies at Utah State University and in the fall of last year Stephan…Read More

GrassWorks: A place where working dogs (and their humans) belong

grazier moving cattle with stock dogs
January 19 2022

Exactly when dogs and humans started hanging around together is a matter of debate, but it’s been a good long time. Scientists suggest that ancestral wolves were likely the first animals to be domesticated by early humans, some 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. And what was those first dogs’ primary…Read More

Six ways to incorporate grass-fed meat and dairy this holiday season

December 20 2021

December abounds with cultural and religious holidays. There’s Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu, and the winter solstice, to name a few. It’s a time for family gatherings, celebrations, reflection – and sharing delicious meals with those we hold dear.

New podcast episode features poetry discussing the changes in dairying over the last 50 years

Cow in a pasture
December 16 2021

This fall Grassland 2.0 hosted a four-part Digital Dialogue webinar series exploring the question of "What are healthy agroecosystems?". The dialogues were hour and a half long conversations with farmers, researchers, and agricultural professionals who each explored the different aspects that make up a healthy agroecosystems and the benefits these…Read More

Introducing Grassland 2.0’s Digital Dialogue Series

Cows grazing at WICST. Photo by Finn Ryan
December 16 2021

This fall Grassland 2.0 is hosting a 4-part Digital Dialogue focusing on the question - What are healthy agroecosystems? The series will explore the different aspects that make up a healthy agroecosystems and the benefits these systems have on people, farms, communities and the land.

New podcast episode describes the relationship between perennial ag and water quality

People walking next to a stream
November 30 2021

Every couple of weeks, Grassland 2.0 folks get together on Zoom for an informal, project-wide lab meeting. Each meeting features a short presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, and a group discussion of how the work presented relates to the project as a whole. Presenters have included grazing specialists, grass-fed…Read More

Grassland 2.0 and partners receives grant to understand opportunities and barriers related to integrating livestock and crop production

Cow in a pasture
November 18 2021

Diversified crop and livestock systems offer some of the best options for getting more continuous living cover on the landscape. Incorporation of forage crops and well-managed pasture into crop rotations is key to achieving the economic and environmental outcomes. In recent decades, specialization has been a dominant trend in the…Read More

Caring for the land is caring for ourselves: A deeper look at care work

October 28 2021

Growing up in a small town in Kansas, where my parents still farm wheat and raise cattle, I understood that humans are social beings who need each other. Only through community effort was it possible to accomplish education in the school system, religious practice through the church, the economic realities…Read More