Sustainable Grazing Initiative


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GRANT Program Description and Goals

The Cedar Tree Foundation supports the expansion of regenerative grazing practices as a strategy to improve soil health and address the threat of climate change. Regenerative grazing is a valuable tool that can help land managers to increase their soil organic matter and overall soil health, thereby achieving multiple environmental benefits while increasing their resilience to floods and droughts.   These environmental benefits include reduced erosion and runoff from farm fields, increased biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and increased carbon sequestration.  

By increasing the number of farmers, ranchers and other land managers using regenerative grazing practices, the Cedar Tree Foundation aims to achieve broad recognition by farmers of the value of regenerative grazing for building soil health.  As more acres benefit from regenerative grazing, there will also be more evidence and advocates to support the policy changes needed to incentivize regenerative grazing.

As a national program of the Cedar Tree Foundation, the Sustainable Grazing for Soil Health Initiative will provide significant support to a small number of not-for-profit organizations that are expanding the adoption of regenerative grazing practices in the USA.  This new initiative will begin with a focus on two regions: the Upper Midwest and the Northeast; these may shift over time.  Projects with national implications will also be considered. 


GRANT Program Logistics

  • Cedar Tree plans to award 3-4 grants per year in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  These highly competitive grants will be 3-year grants with an award size of $100,000-$200,000 per year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional 3 years.  These grants will be project support grants.
  • Current and past Cedar Tree grantees are encouraged to apply for this funding.


In December 2017 the Board of the Cedar Tree Foundation awarded the first round of grants in this Initiative, with a focus on farmer-led outreach to inspire farmers and other land managers to experiment with sustainable grazing. The 2018 funding process is expected to begin in late June 2018 with a request for Letters Of Inquiry which will be due in early August.  The revised geographic focus for this initiative will also be announced in late June.


Grant awards in 2017

Land Stewardship Project: $175,000 x 3 years; Project support for advancing sustainable grazing in Minnesota.  LSP will use farmer-to-farmer peer education to engage mid-size farmers in Minnesota with information and inspiration about soil health and how re-integrating livestock onto cropland can improve their yield, resilience, and profit.

Practical Farmers of Iowa: $175,000 x 3 years; Project support for the livestock program.  PFI will use farmer-led, on-farm research to demonstrate the value of regenerative grazing, and to inspire a range of Iowa farmers to try something new, with a focus on increasing perennial pasture.  Their media campaign will expose more than 1 million Iowans to information about the economic and ecological benefits of regenerative grazing systems.

The Wallace Center’s Pasture Project, via Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development:  $150,000 x 3 years; this project will both 1) inspire corn & soybean farmers in the Upper Mississippi River Basin to improve their soil health by grazing cover crops in the winter, and 2) partner with public agencies in Wisconsin and beyond to expand sustainable grazing on public lands.


How to Apply

The Cedar Tree Foundation is currently not accepting applications for the Sustainable Grazing Initiative.  We expect to do another round of funding in 2018.  If you would like to receive email notification about updates to this grant program, including information about how to apply when the Sustainable Grazing Initiative reopens, please enter your email address into the form below.

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If you have questions, please reach out to the Cedar Tree Foundation's Grants and Communications Manager, Dana Karlsson Campion.






The Cedar Tree Foundation only funds registered 501 (c3) non-profit organizations for work in the United States. 



Updated 12/2017