Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Grass-Based Livestock Working Group


grazing cattleThe Grass-Based Livestock Working Group was operated by the Leopold Center from 2008-2012 as part of the Value Chain Partnerships project. Its purpose was to boost viability of the grass-based livestock industry in Iowa by supporting diverse groups of passionate practitioners and outreach professionals who are willing to share knowledge and work toward sustainability.

During that time, the working group met quarterly to discuss issues in profitable grazing management, grazing, wildlife and the environment, grass-based branding and supply chains, and grazing policy and education.

The goals of the GBLWG:

  • Create a diverse and inclusive support network for grass-based farm and food business people
  • Promote innovation, conservation and information-sharing in the grass-based livestock sector
  • Help grass-based livestock agriculture realize potential ecological, economic and social benefits


  • Production: Profitable Grazing Management
    • developing cost-effective grazing systems and models, or creating decision-making aids to compare alternatives
    • facilitating grazing networks/circles/services
  • Marketing: Grass-Based Branding and Supply Chains
    • branding and product differentiation
    • guidance for processing and packaging of grass-based livestock products
  • Ecology: Grazing, Wildlife and the Environment
    • valuation of social and ecosystem services provided by grass-based livestock systems, and educational materials to circulate this information
    • networking graziers and conservation service providers
  • Policy: Grazing Policy and Education
    • building educational teams and stakeholder coalitions
    • promoting policy that rewards environmental benefits from grass-based livestock systems

Working group resources

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