People interested in learning more about the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy Farmers, or applying for this year”s upcoming class, can visit with the coordinator, Dick Cates, at a series of public events this fall.
The WSBDF offers qualified students the chance to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course, special training sessions, seminars in the management of grazing-based dairy farms, farm internships, mentoring by experienced graziers and UW-Madison faculty, classroom and field experience, and the potential for future support and training.
This year”s classroom program begins mid-November and runs through mid-March; on-dairy-farm internships may be conducted during this period, but are strongly encouraged for the April-August period.
Interested individuals may call the program assistant at (608) 262-5200 with general questions or requests for program materials; or Dick Cates, coordinator, at (608) 588-2836.
Individuals interested in applying for this year”s class are strongly encouraged to visit directly with the coordinator and staff at one of the following locations:
* Sept. 7, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. pasture walk at the Joe and Christy Tomandl farm, 7234 Gad Rd., Athens, Wis. To get to the Tomandl farm travel 6 miles N of Athens on Hwy 97, then W on Willow Ave. for 4 miles, then S for 1/2 mile on Gad Rd.
* Sept. 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Tri-State Agricultural & Dairy Youth Expo, Decorah, Iowa. The Expo will be held at the Winnishiek County fairgrounds on the north edge of Decorah. The WSBDF will have a display table in the educational forum building on the Expo grounds.
* Sept. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the UW-Madison Arlington Agricultural Research Station autumn field day, Arlington. The WSBDF will be represented at the Farm and Industry Short Course promotional booth in the main reception building at the Arlington station.
* Sept. 21, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. pasture walk at the Gerald Jeager farm, N1387 Rolling Dr., Campbellsport, Wis. To get to the farm travel E for 5 miles on Hwy 67 from Hwy 41/67 interchange, then S for 1/8 mile on Rolling Dr.
* Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-noon meeting at the Lakeland Agricultural Complex, W3929 CTH NN, Elkhorn, Wis. The informational meeting will be held in the main building at the complex.
* Oct. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. meeting at the USDA Dairy Forage Research Station, S2088 Hwy 78, Prairie Du Sac, Wis. Lunch included at no charge but preregistration is required by Oct. 4; call the WSBDF office at (608) 262-5200 to preregister. The meeting will be held in the main building at the station. In addition to WSBDF Coordinator Dick Cates, the meeting agenda will include speakers involved with the WSBDF, including a graduate of the program.
* Oct. 19, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. pasture walk at the Tom and Sally McMahon farm, 21863 Jim Town Rd., Soldiers Grove, Wis. To get to the farm travel W on Hwy 14 about 1/4 mile from the intersection of CTH G/Hwy 14 at Bosstown, then S for 1/2 mile on Jim Town Rd.
* Trempealeau Co.: Date and location to be announced; contact Mary Anderson, grassland conservationist, NRCS office, Whitehall, Wis., at (715) 538-4396 Ext. 33 for meeting details.
* Oct. 4-8 in the CALS booth at World Dairy Expo in Madison.
The only program of its kind in the nation, the school is sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) and UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course in cooperation with GrassWorks, Inc.; Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension; the Wisconsin Technical College System; and the Farm Link Service of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Additional support comes from the Mike Cannell Scholarship Fund and private endowments held within the UW Foundation.