Video: From Pasture to Plate: Exploring Grass-Based Dairy in Wisconsin

Created with SARE support
Laura Paine | 2012

The North Central region has long had a strong dairy industry and is still home to seven of the top 10 states in numbers of dairy farmers. In today’s global marketplace, our dairy industry has struggled at times to compete with other regions that have advantages in high volume milk production. SARE grantee, Laura Paine wondered, "Can the unique features of the region’s pasture-based family farming tradition and our existing regional dairy processing expertise and infrastructure contribute to establishment of a new artisan dairy tradition focused on high-value, specialty products?" She thought one key to this approach was to identify the unique properties of the milk from pasture-fed cows. Her preliminary research showed that grassfed milk produces cheddar cheese that was preferred over cheese from confinement fed cows in consumer taste testing.

Paine, and a group of Wisconsin researchers were awarded a SARE grant to investigate the properties of grassfed milk when made into cheese, butter, or other products. This 13 minute video summarizes the research they’ve done and the development of the grass-based (or pasture-grazed) dairy industry to date.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.