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The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. more

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The Future of Managed Grazing

Posted August 2006

cows on pastureManaged grazing keeps dairy and other livestock farmers profitable, promotes good land stewardship, and can save taxpayers money. A new report by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, The Future of Managed Grazing: Barriers to managed grazing in Wisconsin and how to overcome them, includes recommendations for state government, the University of Wisconsin, and others to better support managed grazing in Wisconsin.

The report shows that, for a few conventional dairy farmers, high debt and increasing land prices may limit their ability to make the transition to managed grazing. Beginning graziers may have a harder time than other beginning farmers in finding land and capital. But how conventional dairy farmers perceive managed grazing may act as the biggest barrier to making the transition. Financial studies find that managed grazing farms can be more profitable per cow and per hundredweight equivalent than their confinement counterparts (see the CIAS report Pastures of Plenty), but few conventional dairy farmers may be aware of managed grazing’s financial benefits.

Read the full report (PDF file, 801 KB)