Crops and Livestock


Agroecoprospect: The Challenge of Integrating Values, Food and Farming

Date: June 13-16, 2018
Location: UW-Madison campus

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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

Designing and building a New Zealand-style milking parlor

What features make New Zealand-style swing-over parlors so attractive to some dairy farmers? What decisions might a farm family face in adding one of these parlors to their operation? How is it possible to build a New Zealand-style parlor from scratch or retrofit an existing building? What are the costs and challenges, and are these […] more

Manure management research from an integrated perspective (Research Brief #24)

Solving complex agricultural problems like how to improve manure management systems requires strong disciplinary research combined with farmers and scientists coming together to apply adaptive, collaborative approaches to problem-solving. And existing institutional and reward structures need to be explored and developed to support long-term, collaborative research. That’s the conclusion of a CIAS-sponsored study, commissioned in […] more

Dairy farmer career paths

This report is based on observations of dairy farmer career structures in New Zealand gathered during a field trip to that country in the spring of 1995. These observations are evaluated for their relevance to Wisconsin’s declining rates of farm entry and the constricted options for farm exit for many Wisconsin dairy families. The report’s […] more

Management intensive rotational grazing’s sense…and dollars (Research Brief #19)

What we’re seeing is a little extra money from grazing while putting in a little less labor. — Gary Frank How can dairy farmers make their time worth more? A study sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) suggests that compared to confinement systems, management intensive grazing can turn work hours into higher […] more

Why make the transition to grazing? Wisconsin farmers share their perspectives

In 1994 and 1995, CIAS conducted case studies with six Wisconsin dairy farming families who’ve adopted management intensive rotational grazing practices. One topic these farmers discussed was how they made the transition to grazing and the effects of that: their reasons for grazing, their sources of management information, their advice to beginning graziers, and how […] more

Land stewardship practices on the Krusenbaum organic dairy farm (Research Brief #17)

It’s important that we farm organically. That’s the whole reason we’re in farming. We have ethical reasons we feel it’s important to treat the soil biodynamically. — Altfrid Krusenbaum The importance of farming organically and biodynamically has motivated the land stewardship practices of Altfrid and Sue Krusenbaum on their 240-acre East Troy, WI, grass-based dairy […] more

An organic dairying overview from the Krusenbaum farm studies (Research Brief #16)

It’s important that we farm organically. That’s the whole reason we’re in farming. We have ethical reasons we feel it’s important to treat the soil biodynamically. — Altfrid Krusenbaum With the market for organic milk offering potential niches, some Wisconsin dairy farmers are curious about what it takes to make the transition from conventional to […] more

The Grass IS Greener: Dairy Graziers Tell Their Stories

The report tells the story, from the perspective of the 16 Wisconsin and Minnesota farm families involved, of their involvement in an innovative research, education, and outreach project about management-intensive rotational grazing. The project was funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and brought together these farmers, CIAS, scientists at the UW-Madison […] more
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