Blog

The latest news from the Grassland 2.0 team on grassland-based agriculture and sustainable agriculture.

Marie Raboin shares the importance of farmer dates in new GrassCast podcast episode

October 19 2021

Marie Raboin is a Conservation Specialist for Dane County, Wisconsin. She has spent over a decade working in and around southern Wisconsin to get farmers to adopt conservation practices. She currently serves as an advisor on the Grassland 2.0 project, and this summer she sat down for an interview with…Read More

Introducing Grassland 2.0’s Digital Dialogue Series

Cows grazing at WICST. Photo by Finn Ryan
October 11 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.

Kevin Oppermann shares his most common questions from customers in new GrassCast podcast episode

September 29 2021

Kevin Oppermann is a beef farmer at Highland Spring Farm south of Madison, Wisconsin where he raises Scottish Highland cattle. For Kevin, his time on the farm has progressed over time. He used to concentrate on the management full-time, but more and more, he has found his knack for direct…Read More

Farming for the future: Research demonstrates the potential of pastures to sequester carbon

Ashley Becker doing field work
September 29 2021

Story by Ashley Becker What gives me hope for the future? Farmers. Farmers can shift our landscape towards agricultural systems that are regenerative and I admire those who have committed to adopting sustainable practices. As I travelled throughout Wisconsin collecting soil samples and conducting interviews at a range of grazing…Read More

“In Her Boots” podcast provides a voice for women in organic and sustainable agriculture

August 13 2021

The latest episode of the GrassCast podcast follows a different format than some of our previous episodes: we’re sharing a promotional trailer for a new podcast being released by our collaborators at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service or MOSES.

Grassland 2.0 and Wormfarm Institute partnering for Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition September 25th and 26th

The 2020 FoodChain Festival hosted by Wormfarm Institute and held at Witwen Campground
July 30 2021

Grassland 2.0 is happy to announce that it is partnering with the Wormfarm Institute to host Fermentation Fest: Grassland Edition! The festival features a two-day jamboree of live ”grassical” music, fermentation tastings and demonstrations, grazing demonstrations, art activities and local food. The event will showcase the promise and possibilities of…Read More

Where do plant-based milk substitutes fit into the Grassland 2.0 vision?

milk being poured
July 16 2021

There is a debate raging over plant-based milk substitutes (PBMS). These include beverages made from soy, rice, almond, cashew and other nuts (apparently, you can make “milk” from any kind of tree nut), coconut, oats, and hemp. They’re all white and opaque like milk, but I won’t call them “milks”…Read More

Midwest bumble bees declined with more farmed land, less diverse crops since 1870

June 22 2021

As farmers cultivated more land and began to grow fewer types of crops over the last 150 years, most native bumble bee species became rarer in Midwestern states. New research reveals that these species declined while the average number of different crops grown in these states was cut in half…Read More

Land stewardship mirrors agroecological change at Sinsinawa Mound

June 10 2021

If we seek to truly regenerate the land, we must do the same in our own communities. This connection between the health of the land and the health of our communities is abundantly clear at the Sinsinawa Mound located just east of Dubuque. The Catholic sisters at Sinsinawa Mound live…Read More

Research on Agro-IBIS aims to estimate the ecological and economic benefits of grazing and cover-cropping

May 27 2021

Every day, people in the agricultural sector, from farmers to advisers and planners, need to make tough decisions to balance the increasing demand for food, fiber, biofuel, and clean water. These decisions are only getting more complex due to new crop varieties, climate change, shifting markets, government policies, and changing…Read More

On-farm research explores the linkages between pasture management, soil health and ecosystem services

Abby doing soil health measurements in the field
May 13 2021

There is increasing interest among farmers to manage for soil health because of its ability to impact productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and water quality. However, when it comes to measuring soil health there are challenges determining which soil health tests are most beneficial and accessible to farmers, what the…Read More

Grassland 2.0 Learning Hubs Engage Rural Communities on their Turf

April 28 2021

What if our agricultural system did more than just deliver plentiful, low cost food? What if it also provided a consistent, sustainable income for farmers and environmental benefits like clean water and healthy soil? What if agriculture could help restore the vitality of rural communities hollowed out by an exodus…Read More

Reimaging Midwestern agriculture

Cattle running in a pasture
April 16 2021

What if we could reshape our food and agriculture system so that, in addition to tasty, nutritious food, it could produce healthy, resilient soils, clean air and water, biodiversity, stable incomes for farmers, and support vibrant rural communities? About half of the land in the U.S. is farmed. This land--this…Read More

The grass-fed market is more than just selling beef and milk

farmers in a field with cattle grazing
April 1 2021

Throughout the month of February and March GrassWorks hosted a number of virtual grazing events including a recent webinar led by two members of the Grassland 2.0 team -- David LeZaks from Croatan Institute, and Sarah Lloyd from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota. The duo, both…Read More

New Midwest Grazing Exchange connects livestock farmers with landowners in six states across the region

March 18 2021

The new Midwest Grazing Exchange website aims to connect livestock farmers with landowners – it’s like Tinder for cows! From creating opportunities for beginning farmers, to improving the soil, to helping make cover crops profitable, livestock are often a missing piece in Midwestern agricultural systems, where the grazing of vast…Read More

10 reasons why all farmers should raise livestock

Cows
March 5 2021

Written by Laura Paine. A version of this article appeared in PD Extra, Progressive Dairyman and In Practice Magazine. Aldo Leopold is one of my favorite ecological thinkers. Leopold was an internationally recognized ecologist and conservationist who lived and worked all over the world, but whose work was particularly inspired…Read More

Positioning agriculture for resilience in a post-pandemic Wisconsin

February 26 2021

This piece was written by Grassland 2.0 members Randy Jackson and Laura Paine and was recently published in WisPolitics. In the depths of winter, we all dream of summer pleasures--this year more than ever! Ours is sitting down with friends to a grass-fed burger hot off the grill, topped with…Read More

Farm worker Edgar Navarro shares about his experience with grazing

January 29 2021

One year ago, in January 2020, a group of Grassland 2.0 grad students launched the Grazing Oral History Initiative. They were motivated by a desire to collect stories from the farthest corners of the grazing movement. And, although the pandemic threw a major wrench in their plans, the group was…Read More

Growing grassland agriculture: New project devoted to expanding opportunities to graze cattle

January 21 2021

This story was written by Stacy Smart and was originally published on Dairy Star. It has been republished here. For grass-based dairy farmer Scott Mericka, grazing is the ideal way to farm. Mericka keeps his 200 cows on pasture year-round, letting them graze 250 days a year starting mid- to…Read More

Farmers, researchers form Grassland 2.0 to expand beneficial grassland agriculture

January 19 2021

This article was written by Grassland 2.0 members Anne Nardi, Jacob Grace and Laura Paine. It was original published in the Organic Broadcaster and has been republished here. What will it take to make a large-scale shift to perennial grazing systems in the Midwest? Grassland 2.0, a newly formed collaboration…Read More