is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist
UW Beginning Farmer School 15-week Course Begins Soon

UW Beginning Farmer School 15-week Course Begins Soon

Distance education program will be offered at 17 sites around the state.

If you're an aspiring dairy or livestock farmer looking for some instruction and mentoring within reasonable driving distance, the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers wants to hear from you.

The school hopes to offer its distance education program at 17 sites around the state this year, but at least three students must sign up for a site for the program to be offered there.

Participants in the Farm Services Agency's beginning farmer loan programs are encouraged to apply. WSBDF qualifies for the business training the FSA program requires.

Varied curriculum

The distance education classrooms are designed for students who want start farming but aren't able to attend class in Madison. Each classroom will have video and audio links to the weekly seminar based in Madison, but will also have an on-site instructor and feature guest lectures by local grazing specialists, farm lenders and experienced farmers. Students also tour local farms and have opportunities to participate in internships and industry conferences.

"Our students consistently tell us that these opportunities to talk to farmers, especially young graduates of the WSBDF who are succeeding in dairy and livestock farming, is one of most valuable parts of the program," says program director Dick Cates.

The WSBDF curriculum covers all aspects of business planning, from farm selection, design and remodeling to animal and pasture management. About three-fourths of those who graduated from WSBDF since 1996 are now farming. Of those, about half started their own farm businesses.

The school is offered through the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course. The 15-week course begins Nov. 10 and meets every Thursday from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. through March 22 (the class meets Tuesday, Nov. 22 during Thanksgiving week and takes a four-week break in late December and January).

Tuition and fees vary by site, number of credits earned and how the student enrolls. Typically, students who take the class at an off-campus site pay between $200 and $300 (and end up with a completed business plan).  Students who want to earn a certificate of completion or 1-3 college credits (either UW-Madison or Wisconsin Technical College) pay the per-credit fee charged by the institution.

The deadline for applications for the distance sites is Nov. 1. Some scholarships are available. Those interested should contact the facilitator at the appropriate site:

Antigo: Alex Crockford, UW-Extension, Langlade County, 715-627-6236, alex.crockford@ces.uwex.edu

Appleton: Randy Tenpas, Fox Valley Technical College, 920-735-5673, tenpas@fvtc.edu

Chilton: Jeremy Hanson, Fox Valley Technical College @ Chilton Regional Center, 920- 849-4416; hanson@fvtc.edu or Greg Booher, Lakeshore Technical College, 920-693-1241; greg.booher@gotoltc.edu

Independence: Mary Anderson, River Country RC&D, 715-538-4396 ext 33; maryc@rivercountryrcd.org

Lancaster: Arin Crooks, Agricultural Research Station, 608-723-2580; aecrooks@wisc.edu

Ladysmith: Rich Toebe, UW-Extension, Rusk County, 715-532-2151, richard.toebe@ces.uwex.edu

Neillsville: Maria Bendixen, UW-Extension, Clark County, 715-743-5121; maria.bendixen@ces.uwex.edu

Medford: Sandy Stuttgen, UW-Extension, Taylor County, 715-748-3327; sandy.stuttgen@ces.uwex.edu

Menomonie: Mark Denk, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 715-577-3036; mdenk1@cvtc.edu

Phillips: Mark Kopecky, UW-Extension Price County, 715-339-2555; mark.kopecky@ces.uwex.edu

Prairie du Chien: Vance Haugen, UW Extension, Crawford County, 608-326-0223; vance.haugen@ces.uwex.edu

Reedsburg: Doug Marshall, MATC-Reedsburg, 608-524-7727; dmarshall@matcmadison.edu

Spooner: Otto Wiegand, UW-Extension, Washburn, Sawyer & Burnett Counties, 715-635-3506, otto.wiegand@ces.uwex.edu

Thorp: Brad Sirianni, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 715-579-5834; bsirianni@cvtc.edu

Viroqua: Jean Stramel, Grazing Specialist, 608-647-8874 ext110; jean.stramel@wi.usda.gov

Waupaca:  Lynn Jerrett, Fox Valley Technical College, 920-831-4387; jerrett@fvtc.edu

Wausau: Victoria Pietz, Northcentral Technical College, 715-803-1414; pietz@ntc.edu

To get application materials to attend the WSBDF on the Madison campus, or to get more information about any aspect of the program, go online to www.cias.wisc.edu/dairysch.html or call 608-265-6437.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish