The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers is looking for 50 bicyclists who would like to spend a day in the saddle to support efforts to train the next generation of dairy and livestock farmers.
Participants in the seventh annual Ride to Farm on June 26 have their choice of a 65-mile daylong ride or a 30-mile morning or afternoon ride through the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin. Riders will start at Dane County's Lake Farm Park and make a mid-day stop at the farm of Dan and Shelly Truttmann, Blanchardville, where they will enjoy a great lunch and meet WSBDF graduates and instructors.
Particpants are asked to raise at least $50 in pledges, for which they will receive a T-shirt and lunch. Non-riders are welcome to come for lunch at a cost of $12 per adult and $8 per child under 12. Lunch tickets must be purchased in advance.
"The Ride to Farm is more than just a way to raise funds. It's also an opportunity to communicate how necessary and important it is to support a next generation of bright, innovative farmers on our working lands," says Dick Cates, WSBDF Director.
Cyclists can go online to ridetofarm.dojiggy.com to register, sign up for extra lunches or to purchase a T-shirt or custom Ride to Farm jersey. Participants can also use the website to track their donations and contact potential sponsors via email.
WSBDF is a University of Wisconsin-Madison program that offers classroom instruction, on-farm internships, business planning and mentoring. More than 350 students have attended the program during its fifteen years, and over 75 percent of the graduates are farming. For more information about the program, see the School website at www.cias.wisc.edu/dairysch.html.
The school is coordinated by Cates and Jennifer Taylor of UW-Madison's Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. The curriculum, which emphasizes managed grazing as a sound financial and environmental choice for beginning dairy and livestock farmers, is offered as part of the university's Farm and Industry Short Course. Instructors include UW-Madison faculty, graduates of the program and other farmers, farm lenders and other agribusiness professionals.
Ride to Farm sponsors include American Transmission Co., Culvers Restaurants, Family Dairies USA, Farm Credit-Wisconsin, Organic Valley Family of Farms, Town & Country Electric, United FCS, We Energies, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.