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How Raising Cattle on Native Grasslands Benefits Farmers, Wildlife and Soil

Grasslands in the U.S. have almost completely disappeared, and along with them, the wildlife they supported. Studies show by raising cattle on fields planted with native grasslands, farmers can restore wildlife and regenerate the soil.

Early on a cool June morning, heavy dew lies on the grass of rolling farm country somewhere in Tennessee, or Missouri or Pennsylvania. Small patches of fog hang in low-lying pockets of these fields.

In the distance, hardworking farmers are starting their day. Farm equipment clangs, tractors roar to life and voices lining out the day’s work drift on the air.

This pastoral scene is repeated thousands of times each morning across rural America. But something is missing: the exuberant “Bob bobwhite!” call of the bobwhite quail that for generations was the soundtrack to summer mornings.

Once abundant across the eastern U.S., bobwhite populations have declined by 85%. Calculations suggest that the remaining population could be cut in half within the next decade.