University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities


Using grass-based livestock farms to demonstrate regenerative agriculture

Grazing Sheep

This project is focused on a partnership with innovative, engaged farmers to implement and monitor techniques designed to improve soil and forage quality, address compaction and water movement, and renew marginally productive lands on grass-based livestock farms in two target watershed areas. The two farm operations represent different approaches within the spectrum of grazing management; one is a large-acreage farm with mostly flat land and a beef grazing operation established on former dairy land. The other represents a hillside sheep operation addressing fallow land reclamation in its early stages.

Practices to be tested and/or demonstrated may include: holistic planned grazing, high density stocking, compost application, micronutrient application, remineralization, Keyline subsoil plowing, addressing pasture compaction with tillage radishes, planting mangles/beets for late season grazing, no till drilling, and more. Complementing these agronomic practices would be measurements of farmer quality-of-life, identifying wildlife changes, assessing farm/communit interaction, and documentation of demonstration farm production costs.

Project Director

  • Jenn Colby, Pasture Program Coordinator, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Project Team


Conservation Innovation Grant, USDA NRCS


9/1/12 - 8/31/15

For more information:

Jenn Colby UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture(802) 656-0858

Last modified May 12 2015 04:21 PM