Date: July 27, 2018, 9:20am
Location: Spring Green, WI
Date: August 3-4, 2018
Location: Spring Grove, MN and Coon Valley, WI
Date: August 8, 2018, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Tour begins in Madison
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 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
Since it was created in 1989, CIAS has supported grazing research. We take a systems approach that unites grassland management, animal nutrition, economics, marketing, rural sociology, and the environmental benefits of grazing. One important goal of our work is to strengthen links between researchers and the grazing community.
The Social Implications of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing: An Annotated Bibliography
Management Intensive Rotational Grazing represents an increasingly attractive option for dairy farmers looking to cut costs and boost profits. The number of Wisconsin dairy farms practicing grazing has tripled in less than a decade. Academic literature on grazing has flourished along with the practice, but there is little available that summarizes grazing studies. There is […] more
Pastures of plenty: Financial performance of Wisconsin grazing dairy farms
Farms using managed grazing typically produce less milk per cow than confinement farms. However, a series of economic studies in Wisconsin and elsewhere show that, for many dairy farmers, the savings they realize using managed grazing more than offsets the loss in milk revenues due to lower production. These studies show that grazing farms are […] more
Flavor, not health claims, key in marketing pasture-based cheese (Research Brief #66)
A small but growing group of consumers is paying attention to the health benefits of milk and meat from animals raised on pasture. Meat and milk from grazed ruminants have higher levels of "good fat" than ruminants fed stored feeds. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is one of those "good fats." Some people claim that CLA can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, enhance immunity, reduce cholesterol, and replace fat with muscle. Can dairy farmers raising cows on pasture capitalize on these health claims with specialty cheese?
Biological control of Canada thistle: more work needed (Research Brief #65)
Canada thistle is a big headache for livestock producers managing pastures. Animals won't eat this spiny, tough plant, reducing productivity of pastures and livestock. Despite being on Wisconsin's noxious weed list and a target for serious control for many years, it is still a significant, widespread problem.
Ovsynch results variable on grass-based dairy farms (Research Brief #61)
To take maximum advantage of pasture growth, dairy farmers using rotational grazing often have a short (less than 3 month) spring calving window as a goal. But this is difficult to achieve. CIAS-supported research on a Wisconsin grazing farm shows that the Ovsynch breeding program, while successful on confinement dairy farms, can be problematic on grazing dairy farms.
Holstein steers show good gains on kura clover (Research Brief #59)
Is kura clover a good legume choice in rotationally grazed pastures? A study conducted at the UW Lancaster Agricultural Research Station says yes, with excellent beef production on kura clover/grass pastures. Kura's persistence and leafy growth led to higher Holstein steer growth rates on kura/grass pastures than red clover/grass pastures.
New Zealand internships provide eye-opening experience
“I must say it was the hardest I’ve ever worked for free, but somehow I really didn’t mind. I knew that the knowledge I gained was priceless.” Those are the words of Mike Tomandl who recently completed a dairy farm internship in New Zealand. He and fellow intern Joe Heimerl went to New Zealand in […] more
Starting your own dairy farm (Research Brief #58)
Despite volatile milk prices, hundreds of new farmers get started in dairying each year. Compared to other types of livestock farming, dairying can provide a higher income per animal, monthly paychecks, and, in many areas, more markets.