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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Managed Grazing

Management Intensive Rotational Grazing is a livestock production system where livestock are rotated through pastures. This provides a wide range of benefits such as:

  • Low capital and low labor requirements
  • Improved livestock health
  • Grass-based diet for the livestock
  • High pasture quality by allowing time for re-growth
  • Even distribution of manure with minimum labor
  • Runoff prevention
  • Maintaining the nutrients in the topsoil

Due to all these benefits, half of all new dairy farmers in Wisconsin are using grazing. And yet, many farmers don’t adopt grazing because of lack of institutional support. Educational opportunities, grazing networks, and technical assistance are critical for farmers to successfully transition to grazing.

MFAI policy staff works hard to ensure that graziers have access to the resources they need to be successful. We helped create a grazing specialist position within Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. We published a report on the benefits and barriers to adopting grazing in Wisconsin. We convened a coalition of groups to secure state funding for grazing networks and technical assistance, and we continue to work to preserve this crucial funding.

If you want to help protect funding for grazing, please sign up for our newsletter. For more information about grazing in Wisconsin, visit GrassWorks, a network of grazing networks that connect beginning and experienced graziers across Wisconsin. GrassWorks also provides technical expertise and holds other educational activities, including an annual conference.

For current information about federal conservation policies that affect sustainable agriculture, sign up to receive the Weekly Updates of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, then take action!