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Grazing Livestock, A Conservation Strategy

Join John Strauser, a PhD student at University of Illinois, Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension Educator, and Kelly VanBeek, Wildlife Biologist from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a community discussion on using grazing livestock as a conservation strategy. This discussion will take place on Monday, March 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Elizabeth Community Building, HWY 20 W. Elizabeth, IL 61028. This event is being offered free of charge. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged for the in-person discussion. To register or for more information call the Jo Daviess County Extension Office at 815-858-2273 or visit us online at

There will also be an option to join the discussion via Zoom. To join via Zoom, pre-registration is REQUIRED in order to receive the Zoom link. Again you can register by calling the Extension Office at 815-858-2273 or visiting us online at

In Jo Daviess County there has been a need to promote a landscape that advances agricultural and ecological outcomes. Research would suggest that grazing livestock on pasture could present a win-win scenario that allows for active agricultural production while also improving wildlife habitat and ecological outcomes. To capitalize on this potential positive outcome, hearing from stakeholders is a necessary step. In this forum we hope to present relevant and timely research and then open up for discussion. The event will take a community discussion style format and input from local stakeholders will be encouraged.

More information on the speakers can be read below.

Kelly VanBeek is a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kelly works with a variety of partners to improve outcomes for rapidly declining grassland birds. These partnerships promote the advancement of grass-based agriculture, like conservation grazing, to support sustainable bird populations, profitable farmers, and thriving local communities.

Jay Solomon is a University of Illinois Extension Natural Resource, Environment and Energy Educator. For over 25 years, he has provided education on livestock grazing systems with focus on improving production through better forage management.  Along with Kelly and John, Jay recognizes increases in managed pastureland could benefit wildlife conservation and water quality while creating new business opportunities for young and beginning farmers.   

John Strauser is currently completing his PhD at the University of Illinois. In his research John has explored various social factors that influence land use decisions and will report on his preliminary findings from Jo Daviess County. Ultimately John hopes that his research can spark a community-based dialogue that considers what local constituents desire for their future landscape.

All current CDC and IDPH COVID-19 recommendations will be followed.

If there are any questions, please contact John Strauser at