Re-Defining our Places Through Learning Hubs

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

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). 

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 […]

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.

New podcast episode describes the relationship between perennial ag and water quality

Every couple of weeks, Grassland 2.0 folks get together on Zoom for an informal, project-wide lab meeting. Each meeting features a short presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, and a group discussion of how the work presented relates to the project as a whole. Presenters have included grazing specialists, grass-fed industry and marketing professionals, and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.  

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

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.

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

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 and as modern agriculture began to focus on intensive production of corn and soybeans. A handful of hardy species continue to thrive today, but they also seem to prefer areas with a more diverse assortment of crops such as hay, beans, potatoes and oats in addition to corn and soy.

Grassland 2.0 Learning Hubs Engage Rural Communities on their Turf

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 of young people? If we could make that happen, what does it look like?