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

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

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?

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.”

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

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 operations, it became evident that Wisconsin graziers should be listed among those regenerative farmers.