Blog

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

Grazing Network Thriving in Northwest Wisconsin

November 29 2022

When Paul Daigle, an organizer in Grassland 2.0’s Cloverbelt Learning Hub and longtime grazing consultant, pulled into the parking lot at Shell Lake Community Center, it was overflowing. And he was 20 minutes early. Daigle drove to the northwest reaches of the state to attend the annual Fall Grazing Conference…Read More

Pastures as Potential Pollinator Habitat

November 22 2022

Story by Skye Bruce When you think of pastures, what do you see in your mind’s eye? Perhaps a field of grasses, speckled with cows, and maybe some clover? As a graduate student in Entomology at UW-Madison, I’m interested in whether these grazed landscapes contain habitat for beneficial insects, and…Read More

Wild Rice, Kernza®, Hazelnuts, Oh My! Join us for discussion, learning, and socializing

Sarah Lloyd and her husband standing in their dairy barn
October 28 2022

Mark your calendars for two free events on Tuesday, November 1st. Join us over lunch for the next edition of the Grassland 2.0 Digital Dialogue Series! Dr. Mae Davenport, Professor and Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes at the University of Minnesota, will present and facilitate conversation from 12…Read More

Envisioning the Ridge and Valley Landscape of Southwest Wisconsin

October 27 2022

On a fall day in southwest Wisconsin, 32 people gathered at Branches Winery to explore the current and future state of agriculture in the region. The group was there for more than just the free lunch and fine wine. Farmers, entrepreneurs, public health professionals, county and city staff, leaders of…Read More

Heifer Raising Road Show Kicks-Off in the Cloverbelt Learning Hub

September 30 2022

On the evening of September 8th, a handful of dairy farmers and extension professionals met in a barn near Stratford, Wisconsin for dinner and drinks. These particular farmers were interested in the potential that dairy heifer grazing could have for their operations. Jason Cavadini, the state grazing specialist, hosted the…Read More

Join the Grassland 2.0 Digital Dialogue for Conversations on Place-Making

Aerial view of a stream running into a river
September 29 2022

As we head into fall, Grassland 2.0 once again is hosting our free Digital Dialogue series. In 2021, we kicked off the series with the question: What are healthy agroecosystems? In spring 2022, we asked: What are the levers of agroecological change? This fall we focus on a new question…Read More

European and Canadian Perspectives on the Global Dairy Economy

September 9 2022

A Seminar Sponsored by Grassland 2.0 As part of a tour of Wisconsin dairy, André Pflimlin, French Academy of Agriculture, Jean Yves Penn, organic dairy farmer in Brittany-France, and Guy Debailleul, agro-economist, Laval University / Quebec CAN, will stop by campus to offer their insights into dairy economics. The seminar…Read More

Re-Defining our Places Through Learning Hubs

John Strauser holding a fish in front of a lake
August 24 2022

If improving biodiversity, water quality, and soil health are goals shared by so many, and we know about potential solutions, why aren’t these solutions being more aggressively pursued? Reshaping agriculture in ways that provide a spectrum of ecosystem services can feel daunting. The socially defined context in which farming decisions…Read More

Looking for the perfect burger? Look for local grass-fed

Picture of a juicy burger
August 23 2022

If there is one thing that can be widely agreed upon – it’s that burgers are loved. In fact, market research firm Datassentials notes that burgers are the 10th most loved food in the US across demographic segments out of more than 3,000 items. For folks looking for the perfect…Read More

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

Ashley Becker and Mia Keady demonstrate soil sampling (G. Landis)
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