Healthy Pasture Means Happy Animals

The Center's Grazing & Livestock Program is here to help farmers who are seeking to get started on grass farming right, and experienced farmers looking to convert to or improve their grass-based operations.  (We used to call it the Pasture Program: if that's what you're looking for, you're in the right place!)

Staff work with farmers and other partners to provide research, information (including our Pasture Calendar, and sign up for the email calendar), educational opportunities (including grazing workshops and the Vermont Grazing & Livestock Conference), and technical support.

Help with Your Grazing Plan

Grazing Cows with a Wheel

Good grazing starts with observation and a good plan to keep all of the elements of your farm in balance, and then by accessing the tools available to help you develop a system that meets your goals.  Our Key Elements of a Grazing Plan page provides an outline to help you along the way.. 

Pasture Improvement Tools to Build Your Soil's Health

image description: a black and white cow with a black nose and pink mouth is looking directly at the camera

We strongly feel that most livestock farms could benefit from at least some level of pasturing.  This would reduce cost of production, help animal health, and  also improve the land.  we can find  a system to help every farm move towards more pasture-based production, even for those who may not be able to go to a full pasture-based system.

Click here for information and recommendations.

Pasture Information by Animal Species

image description: vibrant, shiny blades of grass in the foreground of the picture with a green field, cows and trees at a distance

Are you looking for specific recommendations for your grass-based operation, or looking to learn more about what's involved in getting your animals onto pasture?  Take a look below for some of our recommendations and research regarding different livestock species.

Dairy Cattle

Dairy Cows on Grass

We know that supporting dairy farmers as they seek to protect both profitability and soil and water quality is key to a resilient farming future for Vermont.

Here we have gathered resources that may be of special use for those raising dairy cattle in Vermont, and hope you'll let us know if you have any questions or would like to know more.


Pigs on Pasture

The demand for pork from pigs raised humanely and on pasture, continues to grow.  Partnerships with Penn State and UNH Extension have helped the Center's team continue work on Swine that was begun with a grant from the Working Lands Enterprise Board and collaboration with NOFA-VT.

Our focus has been on supporting greater connection between existing experienced and new swine producers at all sizes and stages of growth; offering educational opportunities for producers to learn more about swine nutrition, health, housing, and value-added products; and developing further tools and options to help future expansion be successful.

In summer 2020, we were able to co-present a webinar series on Swine Reproduction, including these two presented with Dr. Elizabeth Hines from Penn State Extension.

See presentation slides from Aug. 6, 2020 webinar. (PDF download)


See presentation slides from Aug. 13, 2020 webinar. (PDF download)

More swine resources are collected here:


Beef Cattle

Grazing Belted Galloways


Grazing Sheep

Long before Vermont was famous for its cows, we were a sheep farming state.  Today, we still have a vibrant industry of farmers raising sheep (and their near relatives, goats) spread out through the state.  Our Pasture Program team is glad to help you find out how to improve your grazing operations for small ruminants too.

Some helpful resources for you to browse on your own:


Grazing Horses

Vermont has many horse farmers who are seeking to make their operations more environmentally sustainable by improving their pasture management.  Though many equine operations are small (and therefore exempt from Vermont's Required Agricultural Practices), we are glad to work with you on a grazing plan for your horses in order to have healthy animals, healthy soil and clean water.


Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or seeking additional information?  Contact Extension via the short form on this page and one of our colleagues will help get you the resources you need.

UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture


Sign Up for the Center's Calendar or Newsletter

Make a Donation in Support of the Center's Work

Farmer Brent Beidler Talks about Grass Farming

Check out some of our latest findings & recommended practices over on the Pasture Program channel on YouTube.