Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group

Image credits, left to right: Richard Cates; Matt Seymour on Unsplash.com; Sven Brandsma on Unsplash.com; Richard Cates, Cates Farm; Richard Cates, Cates Farm; Laura Paine; Laura Paine.

The Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group’s mission is to facilitate an increase in land used for pasture and perennial forage production in the Upper Midwest, and to improve the environmental performance of farming systems, while maintaining agricultural production and profitability.

About Us

The Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group is composed primarily of grazing educators with all kinds of affiliations: state agency, federal agency, university faculty and Extension, non-profit organization, and industry. The group helps grazing educators in the Upper Mississippi River Basin connect with each other and engage in shared work that advances the mission of Green Lands Blue Waters.

Latest updates from the Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group – November, 2023

  • Meghan Filbert | meghan@nofence.no | Nofence Company
  • Margaret Chamas | margaret.chamas@practicalfarmers.org | Practical Farmers of Iowa
  • Jane Jewett | jewet006@umn.edu | University of Minnesota
Core Group Members:

Core group members commit to participating regularly in Working Group operations. Working Group operations include quarterly meetings, an annual in-person meeting, development of grant proposals, and implementation of funded projects.

  • Kelly Anderson | kelly.anderson@state.mn.us | Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Stan Boltz | stanley.boltz@usda.gov | Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • George Boody | gboody@usgo.net | SoilCarbon LLC
  • Anna Cates | catesa@umn.edu | University of Minnesota
  • Jason Cavadini | Jason.cavadini@wisc.edu | University of Wisconsin Extension
  • Ashley Conway | acconway@missouri.edu | Univerity of Missouri
  • Jeff Duchene | jeff.duchene@usda.gov | MN Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Jacob Grace | jacobjgrace@gmail.com | Savanna Institute
  • Doug Gucker | dgucker@illinois.edu | University of Illinois Extension
  • Vance Haugen | vjhaugen@gmail.com | GrassWorks Board of Directors
  • Brad Heins | hein0106@umn.edu | University of Minnesota
  • Pete Huff | Pete.Huff@winrock.org | Pasture Project| Wallace Center at Winrock International
  • Adam Janke | ajanke@iastate.edu | Iowa State University
  • Jonathan Kilpatrick | jonathan@sfa-mn.org | Sustainable Farming Association
  • Diane Mayerfeld | dbmayerfeld@wisc.edu | Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems | University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Laura Paine | lkpaine@gmail.com | Grassland 2.0
  • Jim Paulson | jcp@umn.edu | Fieldstone Consulting
  • Denise Schwab | dschwab@iastate.edu | Iowa State University Extension & Outreach
  • Elisabeth Spratt | elisabeth.spratt@winrock.org | Pasture Project| Wallace Center at Winrock International
  • Caroline Van Schaik | caroline.ikesumri@gmail.com | Consultant

Beginning Graziers

Contract Grazing

Cover Crop & Residue Grazing

Dairy Grazing

Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group conducted this project in 2017 – 2018 with funding from USDA-Risk Management Agency.

Fair Use:

You may download, print, and distribute any of these materials for educational purposes. These are open-access; you do not need to ask permission. Please do not charge recipients more than the actual cost of printing and distribution.

PowerPoint slides may be downloaded and used in any manner for educational purposes. Proper credit is already included on the slides.

Fact Sheets & Slide Sets
7 case studies of grazing dairy operations in IL, IA, MN and WI
Project Team
Support for the Project
    • This project is funded by the Risk Management Education Partnership, USDA-Risk Management Agency.
Dairy Grazing Programs & Organizations
Center for Dairy Profitability Grazing Economics Papers

Grazing & Forage Planning & Resources

Fact Sheets
Grazing Planning Tools
  • VIDEO COURSE on grazing planning that integrates recorded classroom lectures, on-farm interviews, and written materials – produced by Pasture Project/ Wallace Center at Winrock International and co-sponsored by GLBW.
  • The Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation service (WI NRCS) has links to a variety of grazing planning tools, including a rotational grazing worksheet.
Grazing & Pasture Resources
  • Forages Research and Extension | University of Missouri
  • Management-Intensive Grazing: the grassroots of grass farming. Green Park Press. Gerrish, J. 2006.
    *Book in print.
Forage Selector Tools
  • Cornell University has a web-based forage selector tool to help farmers choose the appropriate forage plants for their site.
  • Penn State also has a forage selector tool, where you can chose your soil type/land type by selecting a region on a map.

Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops

The Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group (MPFWG) was awarded a SARE Research & Education grant for the proposed project, “Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops.” The project will survey producers in six Midwestern states about the opportunities and barriers related to integration or re-integration of livestock and crop production with the goal of identifying strategies to capture the environmental, economic, and social benefits of diverse crop rotations and integrated systems.

The three year project will create opportunities for farmers to speak about their interests, challenges, and needs, and allow the crop and livestock organizations that they engage with to adapt their programming to meet current and future interests and needs.

Click here for the Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops website

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.


Soil Health, Carbon Sequestration & Other Regen Ag Resources


Conference Sessions

The Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group has organized perennial forage and grazing sessions at Green Lands Blue Waters conferences.

Proceedings of those conference sessions are available online:

Grazing Educator Webinar Series, 2015

2015 Webinars:
Contacts for more information about the webinars:

Are you a grazing specialist, land manager, or grazing educator? Want to be involved in the development of grazing education? Join the Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group!

We meet quarterly by conference call and once per year in person.

More about the Working Group

Slide Library
Related Image Collections