Over the past five years, the Wallace Center team has been engaged in regenerative grazing advocacy, research, and education in Illinois. This work has included conducting value chain analysis on the grass-fed beef market, working with Illinois-based organizations to coordinate grazing efforts and develop educational programming, and learning directly from producers about the barriers to adopting regenerative grazing practices.
In 2021, the project team completed Phase 2 of this work which culminated in the Roadmap for Expanding Regenerative Grazing Illinois. This roadmap, collaboratively developed the Illinois Statewide Regenerative Grazing Working Group (which was convened by the Wallace Center), captures a shared vision and strategy to increase and sustain regenerative livestock grazing – specifically for beef production. The Roadmap provides a series of recommendations to grow grazing in the state, which is now the focus of working group efforts.
Our work in Illinois continues to shift away from direct farmer support towards regional strategy coordination that support our partners working to advance regenerative practices.
Years Active: 2017 – 2023
Current state and potential future for livestock grazing and grass-fed markets in Illinois: A qualitative study of stakeholder perspectives >>
This paper, published in 2019, explores the current state of cattle grazing for beef production in Illinois. It is a qualitative study utilizing standardized, open-ended interviews with stakeholders directly and indirectly connected with the topic area in Illinois. This series of interviews provided the foundation for the creation of the Roadmap.
Roadmap for Expanding Regenerative Grazing in Illinois >>
The Roadmap summarizes grazing markets in Illinois, the potential for their expansion, and key recommendations to grow production and demand for grass-fed products. It was developed over a 12-month period by the Illinois Statewide Regenerative Grazing Working Group.