Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has announced $344,980 in Grazing Lands and Conservation Initiative (GLCI) grants to fund nine projects across the state in 2011. GLCI grants protect the land and water of the state through education, technical planning assistance and research for dairy and livestock farmers.

“Grazing takes agriculture back to its roots, and it’s a practice that is strengthening our state’s $59 billion farm economy,” says Doyle. “Grazing not only helps to protect our state’s land and water, it produces good, healthy, happy cows, and it’s cost effective for farmers. Through the success of this program, almost half of all of new dairy farmers in Wisconsin are using grazing.”
The grant recipients are:

  1. Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Green Bay – $33,000 to help northeastern Wisconsin farmers develop grazing plans and revise existing plans.
  2. Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., Stevens Point – $61,309 for technical assistance to veteran and beginning graziers in nine central Wisconsin counties.
  3. River Country Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., Altoona – $80,000 for technical assistance to farmers in St. Croix, Pierce, Dunn and Pepin counties.
  4. Columbia County Land and Water Conservation Department, Portage – $7,840 to provide and make available local opportunities for technical assistance to farmers new to grazing and existing grazing operations that will include all aspects of managed grazing planning.
  5. GrassWorks, Inc., Cadott – $29,875 to provide a statewide grazing conference that will include educational workshops, informational resources, access to service agencies and product vendors as well as networking opportunities for new and experienced graziers of all livestock species.
  6. Pri Ru Ta Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., Spooner – $12,760 to increase the number of farmers utilizing prescribed/managed grazing and improve new and experienced graziers' understanding and management practices.
  7. Waushara County UW Extension, Wautoma $12,760 to provide pasture walks, forage demonstration plots and educational programs on managed grazing in Juneau, Wood, Portage, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake and Adams counties.
  8. Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy & Livestock Farmers, University of Wisconsin-Madison – $57,537 to help individuals get started in pasture-based dairy or livestock farming through classes on campus as well as through distance education technology at 12 off-site locations around Wisconsin.
  9. University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences $49,899 to evaluate the effectiveness and economics of farmer-selected management methods for reducing losses in pasture forage quality, quantity and utilization from Canada thistle.