Building Deeper Connections: Advanced Regenerative Grazing Training For Agriculture Advisors in Eastern Illinois

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2021: $89,093.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2023
Grant Recipient: Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
Erin Gundy
Soil Health Institute

Information Products


  • Animals: bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine
  • Animal Products: eggs, meat


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, feed management, grazing management, grazing - continuous, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, parasite control, range improvement, rangeland/pasture management, stocking rate, stockpiled forages, watering systems, winter forage
  • Crop Production: cover crops, silvopasture
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: business planning, marketing management, risk management, value added
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: values-based supply chains

    Proposal abstract:

    The Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District will deliver the project “Building Deeper Connections: Advanced Regenerative Grazing Training for Agricultural Advisors in Eastern Illinois” in collaboration with the University of Illinois Extension, The Land Connection, Terra Elossa LLC, and the Pasture Project.

    The goal of this project is to deepen the knowledge-base on the principles and practices of regenerative grazing of agricultural educators and technical advisors serving Illinois farmers, enabling them to more successfully assist landowners and producers to develop and implement regenerative grazing plans specific to their operations’ goals and objectives. The participants will also develop closer professional relationships with each other, creating space for continued networking, sharing resources, and partnerships that will increase the regenerative grazing momentum in Illinois. This project directly supports the “Roadmap for Expanding Regenerative Grazing in Illinois” developed by the Illinois Statewide Regenerative Grazing Working Group.

    The project team recently collaborated to host an introductory train-the-trainer learning series on regenerative grazing for a cohort of agricultural advisors in the Embarras River Watershed of eastern Illinois. This project will build on that foundation, bringing advanced regenerative grazing training to the original cohort as well as other interested advisors near the watershed. Participants will attend a series of on-farm half-day intensive workshops and online network-building discussions to grow their knowledge and confidence on regenerative grazing principles. The intensive workshops will cover: watering, fencing, rotation setup and timing, forage quality and biomass, herd health, soil health, water quality, and marketing and profitability.

    Project objectives from proposal:





    Program Participants 

    Agriculture advisors and farmers that serve as peer advisors participating in the online and on-farm workshops will be conservationists, farm managers, Extension educators, NRCS staff, NGOs, etc.

    30 participants at each on-farm event; 20 participants at each virtual Office Hour sessions (6 sessions); total of 180 participants

    Educational handouts

    Handouts will be developed for each station at the on-farm intensive, providing quick, brief regenerative grazing practice information


    Educational videos

    Professional videographer will attend on-farm events and produce educational shorts of workshop topics, as well as a video-based project report promoting regenerative grazing

    6-8 educational short videos (2 min max); 1 post project video (2 min max)


    Total number of organizations represented among project partners, participants, and advising groups for promotion

    15 partners

    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.