Southwest Badger announced the hiring of Laura Paine for a new grazing broker position. Her primary responsibility will be to connect landowners with grassland acres to livestock producers who want to lease grassland acres for grazing. Paine began grazing broker work on Feb. 17. Her home office is in the Iowa County Land Conservation office in Dodgeville.
Paine brings together all the skills necessary to pioneer this new position. Most recently, Paine was the grazing and organic agriculture specialist at DATCP where she provided statewide educational programming on grazing and organic farming, and market development for grass-based and organic products.
Over the past 20 years, Paine has been involved in many grazing research, education, and technical assistance projects. "I believe that the innovative approach of the grazing broker project can succeed where traditional education and cost-share efforts have lagged recently," said Paine. "The program has huge potential to make strides in conservation of grasslands and to bolster the livestock sector in a region where agriculture is a key element of the local economy."
Specifically, the grazing broker will identify existing grasslands that have the potential for grazing. She will then act as a broker to bring grassland owners and grazing producers together and establish grazing rental contracts. She will work with the landowner and grazier to develop grazing management plans.
The grazing broker will accomplish this by networking with area landowners and grazing organizations to promote grazing and grass-based agriculture throughout the community. Efforts will focus on established graziers and landowners with expiring CRP acres.
"Southwest Wisconsin has a long history of well-managed, pasture-based beef and dairy farms. By working with the existing graziers in the area, we hope to connect grassland owners with those in need of this valuable resource," said Paine. "These relationships will support both the producers and the landowners in an economically viable way that will also support local communities."
Funding for the grazing broker program was provided by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Walton Family Foundation.
Laura Paine can be reached at 608-732-1202 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Southwest Badger visit their website at www.swbadger.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/SWBadger or contact them at 608-348-7110 or via email at email@example.com.