Perennial grasslands, including prairie and pasture, have declined with tremendous environmental and social costs. This decline reflects unequal policy support for grasslands and managed grazing compared to row crops. To create a resource for community partners and decision-makers, we reviewed and analyzed the policy tools and implementation capacity that supports and constrains grasslands and managed grazing in the U.S. Upper Midwest.
Adena Rissman, Randy Jackson, Regina Hirsch, Ana Fochessatto, Erin Lowe, and Yu Lu investigated policy tools for grasslands and managed grazing in the U.S. Upper Midwest.
Authors, most of whom are part of the CIAS network, found that risk reduction subsidies for corn and soybeans far outpace the support for pasture, and document other policy disadvantages for grasslands and managed grazing in comparison with row crop agriculture for milk and meat production.
Grassland and grazing policies have an important nexus with water quality, biodiversity, carbon and outdoor recreation policy. Socially just transitions to well-managed, grazed grasslands require equity-oriented interventions that support community needs. Authors provide state and federal policy recommendations, including changes in insurance, conservation programs, supply chains, land access, and fair labor.
To read the full article, go to Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2023.1010441/full