The goal of the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture's Pasture Program is to promote and enhance sustainable grass-based livestock farming through improvements in soil, water and forage quality, and profitability. We seek to provide this by working with farmers and other partners to provide research, information (including our Pasture Calendar), educational opportunities (including grazing workshops and the Vermont Grazing & Livestock Conference ), and technical support.
The Center's Pasture Program was established in 1996, as a partner in the Vermont Pasture Network with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and the Vermont Grass Farmers Association. The Pasture Program provides staff support to Network activities, as well as pursuing independent research and education.
Our primary purpose is to carry out research to help farmers stay at the leading edge of sustainable practices. We support farmers by offering practical guidance, various forms of technical assistance, education, and outreach. As you'd expect, research is primarily situated on farms throughout the state, matching leading-edge practices and inquiries with innovative farmers. (Check out this recent Across the Fence video segment about our radish tillage program on a Highgate dairy farm for an example of the practical, research-based solutions the Center seeks to help Vermont farmers learn about and implement.)
Our current research is focused on:
- soil quality impacts of farming methods,
- pasture species trials,
- community biomass production,
- winter grazing, and
- equine pasture management.
Last modified October 31 2013 11:21 AM