Grassland 2.0 is a collaborative group of producers, researchers, and public and private sector folks working to develop pathways for producers to achieve increased profitability, production stability, and nutrient and water efficiency, while improving water quality, soil health, biodiversity, and climate resiliency through grassland-based agriculture.
Grassland-based farming practices represent a bright spot in an industry that is feeling the combined effects of low commodity prices, extreme weather events, rising production costs, and limited processing and marketing options. Consumer data suggest that while red meat and milk consumption are declining overall, both grass-fed dairy and meat sales are surging. A multi-decade analysis by the UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability found that although grazing-based dairies often produce less milk per cow, the money they save by grazing ultimately increases their profitability.
The Grassland 2.0 project is funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture and based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The team, which includes the North Central Region Water Network, is taking an integrated approach to increasing perennial grasslands on the landscape. Collectively they are:
- sharing existing information and grazing resources with farmers,
- working to expand grass-fed markets,
- identifying policy tools that facilitate managed grazing and perennial land cover, and
- bringing together diverse partners at the local and regional level to explore different approaches to expanding grassland agriculture.
More information on Grassland 2.0 can be found at grasslandag.org.