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Apply for scholarships for School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers by April 1

Prospective dairy and livestock farmers have until April 1 to apply for scholarships to the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Students admitted to the school will attend the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) and participate in sessions and seminars focused on the management of grazing-based dairy or livestock farms.

Students are mentored by experienced graziers, successful business leaders and UW-Madison faculty and staff. On-farm internships often are a popular option.

A variety of scholarships are available.

For those not seeking a scholarship, registrations for both the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and the Farm and Industry Short Course will be accepted until Oct. 1, 2008.

“We’re looking for bright, motivated individuals who dream of starting their own pasture-based dairy or livestock business,” said school director Dick Cates. “This one-of-a-kind program offers financial support, classroom learning, seminars taught by farmers and researchers, help with business plans, internships, and mentoring to help launch successful businesses.”

To apply for scholarships, register or to get more information:
Phone WSBDF office at (608) 265 6437
Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy & Livestock Farmers CIAS, 1535 Observatory Dr UW-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706

Farm and Industry Short Course
Phone: 1-(608)-263-7984

Direct questions to Dick Cates at (608)-588-2836 or, or Jennifer Taylor at (608)-265-7914 or

Those who want to learn more about grazing but can”t attend classes in Madison can attend the 15-week pasture-based dairy and livestock seminar distance education sites in Wausau, Reedsburg, Spooner, and Phillips. For more information, contact the appropriate site coordinator listed below.

— UW- Marathon, Wausau: contact Tom Cadwallader, Lincoln/Marathon Co UW-Extension, at (715)-536 0304 or (715)-261 1240 or

— MATC- Reedsburg: contact Doug Marshall at (608)-524 7727 or

— Spooner: contact Otto Wiegand, UW-Extension, Washburn, Sawyer and Burnett Counties, (715)-635-3506 email:

— Phillips: Mark Kopecky, UW-Extension, Price County, (715)-339-2555

The school is sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW- Madison Farm and Industry Short Course, and the USDA NRCS Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, in cooperation with Grass Works, 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.

The WSBDF depends on private contributions to support student scholarships, internship stipends, student conference/workshop attendance, and to compensate farmer-speakers for the grass-based dairy and livestock seminar.


SK 3/3/08



The success of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers is possible only because of the help from these supporters:


Judd S. Alexander Foundation Scholarship*: established to support partial tuition costs for Marathon County, Wisconsin residents.

Milton H. and Velma S. Button Scholarship*: established by Velma S.
Button, who was born in 1899 and grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Madison. The scholarship in named after Button and her late husband, Milton, an agricultural specialist for the U.S. Department of State.

Mike Cannell Scholarship*: established in honor of Mike Cannell, a Richland County dairy farmer who was an early champion of pasture- based dairy farming and a leader in establishing programs and policies to support family farming, rural community revitalization, social justice and sustainable agriculture.

Clarion A. and Henrietta (Clemens) Counsell Internship Endowment**:
established by their son, Dr. Lee A. Counsell, DDS, MPH, FACD. The Counsell family dairy farm, near Neillsville, was one of the first in Clark County.

Lyle C. Molstad Memorial Scholarship*: established by his daughter, Marie Molstad of Sun Prairie. This scholarship is for Wisconsin residents only.

Organic Valley Scholarship: established by Organic Valley Family of Farms, LaFarge, WI to support partial tuition costs to attend the FISC/WSBDF classroom program, or two-month internships on organic pasture-based dairy farms.

Munsch Family Scholarship*: established by Jim and Phylis Munsch, Coon Valley. The scholarship supports partial tuition costs for students from Vernon County or SW Wisconsin.

Rural Opportunities Foundation WSBDF Scholarship: established to support two-to-four month internships for rural Wisconsin residents on pasture-based dairy farms.

* Scholarship supports partial tuition costs for students to attend
the WSBDF/FISC classroom program and internships

** Scholarship supports partial tuition costs for students to undertake internships

Funds/Grants that Support General Program Activities:

American Transmission Company
Culvers Restaurants
FCS Financial Services
Farm Credit Wisconsin
Organic Valley Family of Farms
Sue and Roland G. Stephenson Foundation
Steinhauer & Co. LLC
USDA Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, two-year grant USDA SARE grant program, two-year grant WE Energies WI Cattlemens Association WI Farmers Union WI Milk Marketing Board WSBDF Fund, contributions by private individuals