Welcome to GrassWorks!
GrassWorks is a grassroots membership organization that provides leadership and education to farmers and consumers for the advancement of managed grass-based agriculture to benefit present and future generations. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, GrassWorks links farmers with the resources they need to be successful graziers.
Managed Grazing is an economically and environmentally sound method of livestock agriculture. For nearly thirty years, managed grazing has been a foundation of the sustainable agriculture movement in the upper Midwest and we are proud of the role that GrassWorks has played in its development. We provide leadership, education and resources for grass-based farmers and regional organizations that support graziers.
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
Show your support for managed grazing, GrassWorks, and all the great work the organization and it's farmer-members do! Looking to get more involved? Feel free to reach out to the GrassWorks Board and Staff, and we'd be happy to have your input and connect you to opportunities and resources!
Membership Form - CLICK HERE
Thank you for joining our 31st Grazing Conference!!!
February 2-4, 2023
Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells
Read the Post-Conference Press Release:
GrassWorks, Inc’s 31st Annual Grazing Conference a Big Success!
February 13, 2023
GrassWorks’ 31st annual Grazing Conference was held at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI from February 2-4. The event saw more than 500 attendees with 51 speakers and more than 45 exhibits in the tradeshow area.
The speakers were a combination of experts from agencies, organizations, and businesses involved in the grazing industry, many of whom are farmers themselves. Session topics ranged from soil fertility, pasture management, herdsmanship, animal health, farm insurance and liability to rural mental health.
Michael Perry was a big hit for the special entertainment, speaking about his adventures in rural Wisconsin near New Auburn. The crowd laughed, and clapped at his stories of adventure, mishaps, and what it means to live in Wisconsin. Attendees then shared some of their own rural life and farming stories during the MOTH (Musings Of The Herd) hour the next evening, celebrating the camaraderie, common experiences, and not-so-common experiences of our farming and grazing community.
There were plenty of beginning farmers, as well as existing farmers interested in grazing for the first time, with veteran graziers willing to share their experience and recommendations for what has worked and what hasn’t. This happened during the designated farmer-to-farmer sessions such as the beginning graziers and direct marketing panel discussions. These conversations continued during breaks and happy hours in the tradeshow, and especially during meals surrounded by a medley of people ready to share some cooperation through the common bond of grazing.
GrassWorks is already looking forward to its next conference in 2024, which will again be held at Chula Vista resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI from February 1st-3rd. GrassWorks can’t wait to share more information, training, and stories, and build more collaboration, partnerships and friendships!
Meet our New Full-time Executive Director
Patty Laskowski Morren
Patty grew up on the farm that she now lives on with her husband and two children. They have been organic dairy graziers since 2004. Patty has a deep appreciation for her farm and its history in the Driftless Region and is passionate about sustainability, stewardship, and improving the land. She has a BS in Biology from UW Oshkosh and an MS in Environmental Studies from Ohio University. After graduate school, Patty enjoyed several short-term or seasonal projects that worked toward environmental solutions including surveying businesses on recycling practices and research on limiting reproduction in lampreys and zebra mussels. At this time Patty also discovered that she was drawn to instruction and has taught anatomy, natural science, and botany courses. Patty has a strong history in agricultural nonprofit development and management and is happy and excited to bring this background to GrassWorks. Engaging with GrassWorks combines many of her career interests and allows her to work toward advancing grazing. And what could be better than that?! Patty enjoys many outdoor recreational activities such as camping, canoeing down the Kickapoo River, and hiking state and national parks. Patty also shares a love of basketball at her local school, coaching and co-coordinating in the girls' youth program.
Thank you to the Steinke Family for hosting our 2022 picnic & pasture walk
What a beautiful late July day to enjoy a pasture walk, presentation by Dale Gentry of the Audubon Society of Minnesota, a great meal, music and more!
GrassWorks Board member, Ashly Steinke, and his family have restored many acres of wetlands, planted trees and prairies, and are continually doing their best to encourage biodiversity on their farm near Cornell, Wisconsin.
Ask a Grazier!
Do you have a grazing question or conundrum? Or maybe you have some advice or experience to share.
Ask-a-Grazier Groups provide a resource for more information about fencing, water, soil health, animal health, seeding, forage, funding and programs, direct-marketing, local networks, etc.
Insight and answers will be provided by the GrassWorks grazing community: members and advisors, as well as agency and university affiliates.
Grassland 2.0 is a collaborative project involving producers, researchers, policy makers and supply chain players working together to create a pathway toward a regenerative food and farming system that delivers stable profits for farmers, rural community vitality and protection of the ecosystem on which we all depend. Grassland 2.0 seeks to reshape Midwestern agriculture as a perennial, livestock-integrated, grazing-based system in the image of the original native prairies (Grassland 1.0).
To do this, we need your help! We are taking an integrated approach, working to develop technical and financial tools, expand grass-fed markets, cultivate positive institutional policy changes, and empower producers and consumers to make that vision a reality. Your ideas will fuel this transformation! Please take a minute to share your ideas via this link: www.grasslandag.org
If you have questions, or would like more information on the Grassland 2.0 project, reach out anytime to our Grassland 2.0 outreach coordinator Laura Paine at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9039 or 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706
While you are visiting our website:
Check out Pasture Walks in your area to gain first hand knowledge from experienced graziers.
Order your Grazing Guide which explains the steps to successful grazing practices.
Order your Grazing Stick to help you decide when the time is right to move your livestock.
If you're hosting a grazing event in your area - please send us a copy to place on our Calendar of Events. Check back often to find out about local pasture walks, demonstrations, workshops or network conferences.
EDUCATION is one of GrassWorks' greatest resources. In our continued efforts to bring you, producers and consumers, the most current information on Managed Grazing. Please take a moment to browse our site. We have many educational resources (fact sheets, grazing guides, pasture sticks and articles/book titles) for you to use in the management of your operation or share with your local agency personnel or policy makers.
Meet the GrassWorks 2023 Board Of Directors:
Kevin Mahalko (President), Deb Jakubek (Vice President), Amy Fenn (Treasurer), Aaron Pape (Secretary)
Drew Carlson, Vance Haugen, Kirsten Jurcek, Cherrie Nolden, Ashly Steinke, Melissa Weyland and Otto Wiegand
Wisconsin's rainfall simulator is a tool used to teach soil health principles to landowners, farmers, and the general public.