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Leaders from across Wisconsin attend visioning session for advancing sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI-Over 40 leaders from private, public, and government sectors from across Wisconsin came together in Madison on Monday, December 4, for a visioning workshop for the WiSys-led NSF Engine Development Grant for Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in Wisconsin.

Facilitated by Grassland 2.0, a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds in agriculture, the session focused on the NSF Engine Development Grant that WiSys was awarded earlier this year. The two-year Type 1 award, totaling $1 million, is currently supporting a partnership consisting of over 30 organizations that are working to lay the groundwork for Wisconsin’s future as a global leader in sustainable agriculture. The WiSys-led partnership is in an exclusive group of 44 Type 1 recipients competing for a Type 2 NSF Engines grant of up to $160 million over 10 years.

The workshop comprised three parts. The first, “envision,” looked ahead to 2035, when the Type 2 award would finish. Breaking out into smaller groups, participants brainstormed the potential social, economic, technological, and ecological impacts of the grant.  After the breakout groups shared their ideas and discussed them with the larger group, the participants discussed the metrics and indicators they would need to see to measure the true impact of the Type 2 award.

Finally, the group finished with the topic of governance. Because the project is state-wide and will be a collaborative project involving small businesses, farms, conservation organizations, agencies, and more, attendees considered how the process would be governed and managed, as well as how decisions would be made and how all levels would work with emergent issues.

Additional visioning sessions will be scheduled throughout 2024. To learn more about the WiSys-led NSF Engine Development Grant for Advancing Sustainable Agriculture, click here.