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

Dairy farmers share opinions on natural resources, labor issues

January 2 2024

What do dairy farmers really think? More than 600 Wisconsin dairy farm owners took a survey in 2023, delving into their thoughts on policies related to natural resources and labor. Two research briefs (published here and here) summarize the results. Dr. Adena Rissman, with Grassland 2.0 and professor in the…Read More

Pine River Learning Hub Begins to Reimagine Landscape

June 30 2023

Could the Pine River watershed produce food in a way that doesn’t cause pollutants to run off into the lakes? Could farmers find a way to make a living and have a sustainable work-life balance? Would lakefront homeowners support locally produced grassfed beef? These and more questions came up June…Read More

Grazing Presents Opportunities for Connection

March 30 2023

When Jason Cavadini arrived March 4 at the Shell Lake Community Center the parking lot was filling quickly. Once inside the center he was greeted by an enthusiastic assortment of farmers, educators and industry professionals who share an interest in grass-based agriculture. Cavadini is an outreach specialist with the University…Read More

Getting Beyond Yield: A Broader View of Agriculture

March 29 2023

“Why do we engage in the practice of agriculture?” is a central thesis of Mark Bittman’s Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A history of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. This not-as-rhetorical-as-you’d-think question is asked from an economic and justice perspective: do we practice agriculture to 1) provide the food, fiber, and materials…Read More

Equipping Wisconsin’s Grazing Professionals with New Tool

John Hendrickson and Jim Munsch sitting in front of a computer with the Heifer Grazing Compass tool
February 22 2023

On a blustery morning in January, grazing professionals from across the state gathered at the Blue Heron Brewpub in Marshfield. They congregated at the small-town pub for the Winter G-Team Meeting, a training on the Heifer Grazing Compass. “The Heifer Grazing Compass is a very in-depth tool that can really…Read More

When it comes to dairy, France and Wisconsin share common histories and aspirations

Cows walking to a new field.
February 21 2023

The Wisconsin grazing community has had a bond with France since the first dairy grazier cracked open the book, Grass Productivity by Andre Voisin. Translated into English in the late 1980s, this foundational 1956 work on managed grazing reached us just as the Wisconsin grazing movement was beginning to take…Read More

New Report Highlights Recommendations for a Just Transition to Managed Grazing

Scott Mericka looking at a bug on his hand.
January 26 2023

What could a just food system look like? How do we get there? Erin Lowe and Ana Fochesatto, researchers with Grassland 2.0 at UW-Madison, have published a new report and six briefs for practitioners and community members that address these questions. Over the span of two years, Lowe and Fochesatto…Read More

Video Release: Is Grazing Heifers Worth It?

December 21 2022

We are thrilled to release this video on the Heifer Grazing Compass, featuring our friends Scott Mericka of Uplands Cheese, Ron Schoepp, and the cows of Schoepp Farms. Through development of this tool, we’ve learned that grazing heifers is cost-effective. The Heifer Grazing Compass allows producers to plug in the…Read More

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