Equipping Wisconsin’s Grazing Professionals with New Tool

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

Equipping Wisconsin’s Grazing Professionals with New Tool

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 boil a grazing system down to the nuts and bolts financially,” says Jacob Brey, farmer at Brey Cycle Farm. “After going through the compass exercise, I was really impressed by its attention to detail; it doesn’t leave any room for doubt if filled out correctly.”

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

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 off. 

New Report Highlights Recommendations for a Just Transition to Managed Grazing

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 spoke with nearly 130 people across the Upper Midwest engaged in sustainable agriculture. In their conversations they focused on managed livestock grazing, a farming practice that has been shown to promote environmental health and restore the economic and social viability of rural communities.

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

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 – 1:30PM CT. Dr. Davenport […]

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

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 dinner at Cavern Point Farm, which he calls the pilot event of the “Heifer Raising Road Show.”

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

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 that is near and dear to our Grassland 2.0 work: How does place-making impede or facilitate socio-ecological change?

Re-Defining our Places Through Learning Hubs

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 are made impedes transitions to more regenerative forms of agriculture (Stuart & Houser, 2018). For meaningful changes to occur in our agricultural systems, we need to reshape the way we have socially, politically, economically, and biophysically constructed the places where we grow and consume food (Vogeler, 2019). 

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

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 all-beef burger, grass-fed is a delicious, healthy option that provides an array of benefits to the environment and the local economy.

Zine-making: Grassland 2.0 leverages counterculture tactics

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 benefits, barriers, and possibilities brought by this transition onto grass.

New infographic illustrates reintegration of livestock and crops

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 growing movement of farmers who are reintegrating livestock and crops to recapture some of the economic and environmental benefits they provide. In the Upper Midwest the Match Made in Heaven project is teaming up with innovative crop and livestock farmers to modernize and scale up diversified systems for today’s agriculture.