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UW deans’ statement about final approval of the Dairy Innovation Hub proposal by the Joint Finance Committee

With the final approval of the plans for the Dairy Innovation Hub by the Joint Finance Committee earlier today, we are excited to begin to implement the vision at our three campuses. The vision was originally crafted by industry partners following the UW System-sponsored Dairy Summit in 2017 and further refined by members of the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0. This reinvestment will allow the agricultural programs within UW System to train current and future industry leaders and transfer new knowledge to farms, processing plants, fields and beyond.

The long-standing partnership between faculty in our colleges and the Wisconsin dairy industry is special. In the 1880s, Gov. W.D. Hoard called on professors at the University of Wisconsin to assist struggling wheat farmers with the conversion to dairy. The discoveries and innovations researchers made in partnerships with farmers made this “America’s Dairyland.” In the 1980s, UW researchers worked with innovative producers and processors to map the course for Wisconsin to be a home for high-value specialty cheese. Today, we have a similar opportunity to create an industry-wide shift in our agricultural economy.

During this time of great stress for our state’s dairy farm families, our faculty and staff are dedicated to expanding our research and teaching to help bring new technologies and approaches to strengthen the industry and the communities that depend upon it. The state’s commitment, finalized today, will ensure we are well-positioned to ask innovative research questions and deliver high-impact and novel solutions.

We look forward to sharing success stories that will result from our work.

Dale Gallenberg, Dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Wisconsin–River Falls

Kate VandenBosch, Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wayne Weber, Dean, College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, University of Wisconsin–Platteville