Engaging diverse communities in reimagining agriculture.
At Grassland 2.0, we are dedicated to finding pathways toward a regenerative agriculture that delivers stable profits for farmers, rural community vitality and protection of the ecosystem on which we all depend. So, where do we start? While keeping big-picture issues like national farm policy and global markets in mind, we recognize that social dimensions can be drivers for making change happen. Together, we are working to engage local communities in conversations about their visions for sustainable food and farming systems and how we get there.
We are engaging local communities through our Learning Hubs – place-based focal points of activity that support communication and co-learning between various stakeholders. We are looking to support and learn from community efforts and assist in identifying effective strategies for creating change in their local landscape, farming, and food system. Collectively, we are going through a collaborative landscape design process in each hub that identifies what is possible and explores barriers and opportunities that influence the capacity for change. One outcome of the process will be a local plan the community can use to guide their progress toward a shared future.
Locally driven Learning Hubs
Learning Hubs are locally organized and engage existing leaders and social networks to encourage continued co-learning beyond the lifespan of the project. Each Learning Hub includes people and organizations who are interested and engaged in the kind of systems change the local community and project agree to explore and advance. The Grassland 2.0 team is supporting each group’s efforts.
Currently we are working in five watersheds to foster these conversations in diverse landscapes and communities – from the north woods of Minnesota to the rich soils of the Illinois cornbelt.
Learning Hub activities
Learning Hubs are the focus of activities for Grassland 2.0. Specific activities will depend on the agricultural transformation needs of each Learning Hub and will be developed in collaboration with the Learning Hub participants. Potential activities include:
- Using decision-support tools and models to build a picture of the future landscape
- Identifying supply chain needs to build markets for grass-fed products
- Developing policy recommendations to support perennial agriculture
- Identifying carbon market potential
- Helping farmers consider transitioning to grass-based agriculture
- Holding field days to showcase grazing systems
- Researching the financial aspects of grass-based agriculture
- Raising public awareness of perennial agriculture through the arts
- Sharing your stories of successful farmers practicing perennial agriculture
Learning Hubs seek to develop a plan that identifies the long-term needs and pathways to develop perennial agriculture in the region. The plan will be developed in collaboration between the local Learning Hub and the Grassland 2.0 team.
You don’t have to be a Learning Hub to be involved! Some of the activities listed above can be supported across the region by the Grassland 2.0 team.