UW–Madison offers new FISC Ag Forward short course, with dairy production and management as inaugural course’s focus

FISC Ag Forward, a new short course offered by University of Wisconsin­–Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course program, will be offered Jan. 16-19 on the UW–Madison campus. Participants can sign up for the full four-day short course, or for individual days.

The short course – which centers on the theme “The Dairy Industry in an Everchanging Landscape” this year – provides training in advanced dairy production and management topics. Training sessions will be led by faculty members in the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

Each day has a featured topic and speaker(s):

  • Tuesday, Jan. 16: “Ag Economics” with Paul Mitchell, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Wednesday, Jan. 17: “Dairy Diet and Nutrition” with Luiz Ferraretto, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences; and Marta Moura Kohmann, Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences
  • Thursday, Jan. 18: “Reproduction, Genetics and Genomics” with Paul Fricke, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences; and Kent Weigel, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences
  • Friday, Jan. 19: “Animal Welfare” with Jennifer Van Os, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

Wednesday and Thursday involve full days of programing, and Tuesday and Friday are half-days. A networking lunch will be provided each of the four days. Each faculty-led training session last 2.5 hours, to give ample time for discussion and hands-on experiences. The homebase for the short course is UW–Madison’s new Center for Dairy Research facility, the largest dairy products research center in the United States. All Ag Forward training sessions will occur at the CDR or nearby. Learn more at

As announced in early 2023, the residential FISC program has moved to a new home at UW-River Falls, and UW–Madison’s short course program has shifted to offering new, more targeted trainings for farmers and agricultural professionals.

FISC Ag Forward is open to farmers, farm managers, ag professionals – and anyone interested. It will take place during winter break, so that students in the UWRF residential FISC program can participate, as well as other interested university and tech college students.

“We’re proud of our FISC Ag Forward program and excited to offer it. It was designed to be complementary to residential FISC at UW-River Falls, and is a great example of our goal to partner – and not compete – with fellow ag colleges and other institutions,” says Heather Gayton, outreach program manager in the CALS Office of Extension and Outreach.

For the benefit of UWRF FISC and other college students who participate, information about the vast array of careers available in agriculture will be included in the programming, and the networking lunches will provide an opportunity to connect with working farmers and other ag professionals.

For more details about FISC Ag Forward, including information about registration, fees and lodging, visit: