Pasture Based Systems for Sustainable Livestock Production

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $264,997.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2026
Grant Recipient: University of Connecticut
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
State Coordinator:
Rachel Bespuda
University of Connecticut


  • Animals: bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, meat product quality/safety, rangeland/pasture management

    Proposal abstract:

    The Tri-State project is designed to increase the knowledge, awareness, and skills of agricultural service providers (ASP) who assist livestock producers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as increase their engagement with producers on these issues. Our planning process included a comprehensive needs assessment sent to 580 ASP and farmers on the project’s listserv, feedback from the advisory committee and direct contact with many agricultural organizations and stakeholders throughout the region.  They clearly identified the need for further education and support in the areas of pasture resiliency, animal productivity and in the economics of raising livestock on pasture. 

    Over the course of the three-year project, multiple delivery methods will be used to help participants gain knowledge, awareness, and skills through several learning environments. These include webinars, group exercises as well as discussion during all webinars, farm field days, an annual online discussion group, monthly email correspondence and online access to all presentations. Curricula for this project will be finalized with the advisory committee, which includes ASP, representatives from the agricultural industry and farmers from all involved states. The project also offers a certificate program for those who are interested in participating. Electronic pre and post evaluation questions will help the project director understand the knowledge level of the participants both before and after each program. Follow-up questionnaires administered via a Qualtrics online survey will be conducted during the project and after its completion to quantify the number of participants who used the knowledge, awareness and skills learned and applied it to their daily work with farmers. 

    Performance targets from proposal:

    40 agricultural service providers who learn through this project will provide education and assistance (i.e. workshops, one-on-one consultations, articles, videos, websites, factsheets, and project materials) regarding the recommended pasture management practices for sustainable livestock production to 400 farmers in CT, MA and RI who manage livestock (beef cattle, goats, sheep, poultry and swine). 

    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.