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lush pasture Laura Paine photo Jersey Heifers Laura Paine photo Lowery Creek Dick Cates photo Sheep on Cascade Mountain Laura Paine photo Autumn on the Cates Farm cut hay and grazing cattle on the Dick Cates farm

Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group
2017 Conference Session

The Working Group Site

Anyone can join the group's quarterly conference calls. Contact Jane Jewett at to be added to the e-mail list.

Green Lands
Blue Waters
Lead Staff:

Jane Grimsbo Jewett
218-670-0066 (cell)

Session Participants


Kent Solberg and his wife Linda own and operate an award winning grass-based livestock farm in west-central Minnesota. Kent has been involved in planned grazing and pasture based livestock systems for over 25 years. For the past 10 years he has worked with cover crops and seeded annuals to integrate livestock into cropping systems and improve soil health. He has given numerous presentations and served as a college instructor on organic transitions, forages, cover crops, fencing, grazing, livestock management and soil health. Kent currently serves as the Livestock and Grazing Specialist for the Sustainable Farming Association, coordinator for Minnesota Dairy Initiatives on grazing, cover crops, soil health and organic transitions, and as a Master Grazier for Dairy Grazing Apprenticeships.

Panel moderator

Robert Bauer is a grazing specialist for Southwest Badger RC&D Council, a nonprofit that works with landowners and farmers in Southwest Wisconsin on economic development and natural resource conservation. He provides technical assistance and training to help livestock producers to plan, launch, and grow their grass-based farm businesses on rented land with financial assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Claudia Berres
We have been grazing beef in Richland County since 1990. We have over 200 acres of improved pasture that is divided into 25 pastures that we subdivide according to needs.

Amy Fenn
First-year farmer Amy Fenn contract grazed 17 Jersey heifers on a sparse hayfield this summer. She's currently thinning woodlands into silvopasture while planning experiments in stockpliling and multi-species grazing.

Eric Cates
Eric and his wife Kiley are doing contract grazing with two groups/herds, as well as continuing and expanding their own "owned" herd of grass-fed steers for selling under the label of "Cates Family Farm Grass-fed Finished Beef.” They joined the family operation of Eric's parents: Richard (Dick) L. Cates, Jr., Ph.D., and his wife, Kim, co-own and operate the Cates Family Farm LLC near Spring Green, Wisconsin, a managed grazing, direct-market grass-fed beef business they started in 1987.

The Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group organized the Perennial Forage session at the 2017 Green Lands Blue Waters conference in Madison, WI: November 28-29.

Full Conference Agenda (PDF)



Kent Solberg

Integrating Livestock

cover image for Kent Solberg presentation

Robert Bauer

Introducing the Grazing Broker Program

Claudia Berres

cover image for Claudia Berres presentation

Cates Family Farm

cover image for Cates presentation