For years a group of Wisconsin collaborators explored pasture-based systems as a source of ‘specialty milk’ for value-added dairy processing. The final report of this research, possible through a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant, is now available.

The project included four years of research by farmers, processors, chefs and University of Wisconsin scientists on the chemistry and culinary performance of grass-based products. Consumer taste panels and a professional focus group were conducted. A market research report and video were created.

Final recommendations included the need to organize grass-based dairy farmers and generate funds for marketing. The industry needs to create a standard that ensures the integrity of grass-based products and come to a consensus on what terms should be used to describe pasture-based milk.

A complete summary of the project is available at datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Grazing/Grass_Fed_Market_Development. The 26-page document gives an introduction to the project, background information, findings, consumer response, marketing positioning and recommendations for industry’s future.