European and Canadian Perspectives on the Global Dairy Economy

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

European and Canadian Perspectives on the Global Dairy Economy

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 will take place Thursday, September […]

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.

Thinking as a Community

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, researchers, and conservation and policy […]

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.

Accidentally Medicating Our Soil Microbiome

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

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 door to unimagined prosperity. Hoard ignited the concept of America’s Dairyland by understanding the importance of diversified cropping to break disease cycles, the role of livestock in recycling nutrients, and the importance of peer-to-peer education to making change.
Hoard’s lore, captured in the booklet “Hilltop Decision,” speaks of how Governor Hoard saw “good farmers” exiting the industry all around him, and he realized the importance of education and technical support to maintain families on the land. We might call his work agricultural innovation because he transformed the industry. That is, Wisconsin agriculture was never the same, and that was a good thing . . . “back in the day.”

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

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 how we can harmonize food production while also providing habitat for wildlife,” says Jacob. “That led me down this road.”

Watch Jacob Marty share why he had a change of heart, all while fending off an overzealous ram!

The Spring Digital Dialogue Series wraps up with four great presentations

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, watershed adaptive management, examples of innovative partnerships looking to create change, and the interplay of environmental laws and agriculture.