The Land O”Lakes Foundation recently presented a $75,000 check to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the first installment in a three-year $225,000 grant to help finance a major expansion of the University”s integrated dairy research and teaching programs.
Land O”Lakes Board Member Pete Kappelman, who presented the check, called the grant “an investment in the future of dairying in general, and the Upper Midwest dairy industry in particular.”
Kappelman, a dairy farmer from Two Rivers, Wis., described the current dairy industry environment as rapidly changing and intensely competitive, adding that ongoing dairy success will be driven by research, technology, improved management and continued learning.
“Over the years, the University of Wisconsin has proven itself a positive and significant contributor to dairy-related research and education,” Kappelman continued. “Further, as we enter the 21st century, the University is taking a leadership role in developing a multi-disciplinary approach to dairy-related research and teaching programs. This is why the Land O”Lakes Foundation is proud to take a leadership role in funding the expansion and improvement of the University”s Integrated Dairy Program … and why we urge others in the dairy industry to add their support.”
The grant will help finance improvements in the University”s dairy research and teaching programs including:
* the construction of a 568-head dairy facility at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station
* construction of a 128-head dairy facility at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station
* expansion and improvement of the dairy facilities on the UW-Madison campus.
The $10 million total cost of the expansion and improvement program will be financed through a combination of state, UW and agribusiness funding.
Elton Aberle, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison, who accepted the initial Land O”Lakes Foundation check, said the Integrated Dairy Program takes a multi-disciplinary approach to improving dairy productivity and profitability, while also meeting increasingly demanding requirements and expectations in terms of food safety, environmental regulation, production quality, and animal health and welfare.
“We sincerely appreciate the willingness of the Land O”Lakes Foundation to make an up- front investment in these efforts,” Aberle said. “We hope others in the dairy industry will follow suit.”
The Land O”Lakes Foundation, established in 1996, provides cash grants to non-profit and community organizations in states where Land O”Lakes has a concentration of members or employees, and is made possible by support of Land O”Lakes, Inc.