MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Date: February 22-24, 2018
Location: La Crosse, WI

Farmers for America Documentary Screening

Date: February 25, 2018, 3-5pm
Location: UW-Madison Biotechnology Center

Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers

Date: March 16-18, 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

2017 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

The 2017 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference will be held November 28-29th at the UW-Madison Pyle Center in Madison, WI.

Register online

Registration fees
$185 for Nov. 28 and 29
$130 for Nov. 28 only
$75 for Nov. 29 only
Reduced rate for students/farmers (limited number available to earliest registrants): $45 each day

A block of rooms has been reserved for this conference at the Lowell Center. These rooms will be held until October 27.
Reserve your room online:
Reserve your room by phone: Call 866-301-1753 and use the group code GREENLND

Green Lands Blue Waters (GLBW) is a regional consortium of Mississippi River watershed partners working to improve soil and water quality by increasing continuous living cover on the agricultural landscape. The theme of this year’s conference, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, is Continuous Living Cover: Bridging the Gaps with Livestock. Now in its sixth year, the Green Lands Blue Waters Conference is a gathering place for agency, university and nonprofit staff, and farmers and other citizens who share an interest in conservation in the Mississippi River watershed and beyond.

As Sir Albert Howard said, “Mother earth never attempts to farm without livestock.“ From cover crops to native grasslands, year-round living vegetation maintains soil health and water quality. The conference will explore how livestock can support and sustain cover crops, perennial grains, agroforestry systems, perennial forages and bioenergy crops by converting perennial grasses and cover crops to high quality human food, closing nutrient cycles and stimulating soil biology. The conference includes a variety of plenary speakers and breakout sessions featuring innovative projects from farmers, researchers, and, agency and nonprofit staff. A reception at the University Club in Madison will be held at 6 pm on Tuesday, November 28.

Download the full conference agenda

Conference press release

Register for the poster session: We seek posters that provide ideas and information relevant to the goals of Green Lands, Blue Waters and the following topics: cover crops, agroforestry, perennial forages, perennial biomass, and perennial grains. Attendance at the 11/28 poster session from 4 to 5pm is required. Deadline for submission is October 25 November 8.
Download the application form: PDF | Word

Speakers will include:

  • Keynote and evening plenary (open to the public): Ecologically based farming and the indispensable animals. Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Beef Production – The Manifesto of an Environmental Attorney and Vegetarian Turned Cattle Rancher
  • How do we make grassland our dominant agriculture? Randy Jackson, Professor of Grassland Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an advocate for grass-based agriculture
  • A land of milk and honey: Reconnecting food systems with ecosystems in the tallgrass prairie region. Laura Jackson, Biology Professor at the University of Northern Iowa, Director of its Tallgrass Prairie Center, and co-editor of The Farm as Natural Habitat
  • How does continuous living cover restore our landscape? Steve Apfelbaum, Founder and Chairman of Applied Ecological Services, one of the country’s leading ecological consultants, and author of the award-winning book Nature’s Second Chance

Register online

Conference sponsors

Gold level

Green Lands, Blue Waters
The Land Institute
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

Silver level

Applied Ecological Services
The Nature Conservancy
The Pasture Project, Wallace Center
Wisconsin Farmers Union
Wisconsin SARE

Bronze level

American Farmland Trust
GrassWorks, Inc.
Savanna Institute
St. Croix River Association
University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Wisconsin Farm Bureau
Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association
Wisconsin Wetlands Association

For more information about the conference and sponsorship opportunities, contact Pam Porter at or 608-575-2055.

Savanna Institute Perennial Farm Gathering
This year, the Green Lands Blue Waters (GLBW) annual conference is teaming up with the Savanna Institute’s Perennial Farm Gathering. Events jointly sponsored by SI, GLBW, and UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) take place between 5 pm Tuesday, November 28 through noon on Wednesday November 29. Registration for these joint activities can go through either GLBW or Perennial Farm Gathering; registration for non-joint activities needs to be completed through each of the respective registrations.

Notably, the Agroforestry breakout session will be held off-site at the Lussier Family Heritage Center as a part of the Perennial Farm Gathering. Stay for the Nutshell presentations in the afternoon! No need to register with Savanna Institute unless you plan to join us for dinner catered by Underground Catering ($25) and/or you want to participate in Thursday’s activities ($40). Perennial Farm Gathering details and registration.

Farmers wishing to register for Tuesday for GLBW and Wed-Thurs for the Perennial Farm Gathering can do so all in one place—the Perennial Farm Gathering registration. Discounted GLBW registration for farmers and students are limited, so sign up today!