Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops

Building Relationships – Listening for Common Ground – Integrating Crops & Livestock

This project is a collaboration among groups that don’t always get to work together: crop and livestock associations, universities, public agencies, and conservation organizations. We’re finding common ground and putting our heads together to move shared interests forward. We hope you’ll join in and add your perspective!


Press Releases:

Articles from GLBW:

Articles Written By Others:

Field Days

  • Thursday, June 27, 10 am – 3 pm, Danforth, IL
    Doug Hanson and Maddie Hanson Farms
  • Agenda
  • Register
    • Father & daughter linked operations
    • Cow/calf, feedlot, direct beef sales
    • Grazing cover crops
  • Thursday, August 22, 5:30 pm, Clearmont, IA
    Damien & Rick Matt
  • Registration via Extension:, 563-425-3331
  • Wednesday, September 4, 4:30-8:00 pm, Shelbyville, IN
    Gregg Spegal
  • To be announced
  • Wednesday, Sept 25, Jericho Springs, MO
    Dave Haubein
  • Thursday, October 3, Lodi, WI

    Ron Schoepp Farm

About the Project

“Match Made In Heaven: Livestock + Crops” is a 3-year, 6-state grant project that creates opportunities for farmers to share their interests, challenges, and needs, and for the crop and livestock organizations that they engage with to hear from their members and meet their needs with their programming and resources.  The project is a collaboration between 50+ groups including crop and livestock associations, universities, public agencies, and soil/water groups.

  • The project began by collaboratively creating an infographic to introduce the benefits and challenges of integration.
  • The centerpiece of the project is a collaboratively written survey of crop and livestock farmers across the Upper Midwest to identify their interests, successes, and challenges around integration of crops and livestock.   The results of the survey will be shared to help guide development of resources to benefit all.
  • A smaller team is conducting in-depth case studies of 6 Upper Midwest farms that have successfully integrated crops/livestock in their operation.  These studies will be shared as a guide that other farms can use, and a field day will be hosted at each farm.
  • Creation of a curated central resource library with shared tools for both educators and farmers (such as the Midwest Grazing Exchange tool).

At the heart of this project is collaboration between farm groups that don’t always get to work together: crop and livestock associations, folks involved with education and service, and farmers themselves.  We’re all putting our heads together to move shared interests forward and learn how we can be most effective in our efforts to support farmers.  This project is a great opportunity for organizations to hear from their members, and will build great foundations for future projects.

We are always growing!  Your viewpoint is a valued contribution. We hope you’ll participate and lend your perspective!  Compensation is available for serving in the Advisory Group or helping to distribute the survey.

The Project at a Glance


Infographic Press Release, May 2022

This infographic was made for sharing!

You don’t need any special permission to use the Infographic files. Please download them, use them in presentations, print them, and share them!

Integrating crops and livestock infographic


Integration of crops and livestock brings both benefits and challenges!  The “Match Made In Heaven” survey collected data from farmers across the Midwest to understand what’s working and what isn’t in integrating crops and livestock. Results are coming soon!

“Match Made In Heaven: Livestock + Crops” is a partnership between crop and livestock associations, universities, public agencies, and soil/water groups.  The results of this collaborative survey will help guide development of resources to benefit all.

Case Studies

Livestock and crop integration is happening across the Upper Mississippi River Basin. We are profiling one farm per state in each of the six states involved in this project: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

These farms all operate at least 200 acres and integrate crop production and livestock production. A feature of integration that runs through all these case studies: so much flexibility to tailor systems that work with a particular farm’s location, soils, topography, markets, and skills of the farmers. Integration opens up space for generation-to-generation and neighbor-to-neighbor collaboration: the same farmer need not manage both the livestock and the crop enterprises.

Please feel free to download and distribute these case studies!

Schoepp Farms, Ron Schoepp – May 2023

White Oak Farms, Dave Lubben – June 2023

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2021-38640-34714 Am 3 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number LNC21-453. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.