Date: July 27, 2018, 9:20am
Location: Spring Green, WI
Date: August 3-4, 2018
Location: Spring Grove, MN and Coon Valley, WI
Date: August 8, 2018, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Tour begins in Madison
As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more
CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more
Flavor, not health claims, key in marketing pasture-based cheese (Research Brief #66)
A small but growing group of consumers is paying attention to the health benefits of milk and meat from animals raised on pasture. Meat and milk from grazed ruminants have higher levels of "good fat" than ruminants fed stored feeds. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is one of those "good fats." Some people claim that CLA can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, enhance immunity, reduce cholesterol, and replace fat with muscle. Can dairy farmers raising cows on pasture capitalize on these health claims with specialty cheese?
Ovsynch results variable on grass-based dairy farms (Research Brief #61)
To take maximum advantage of pasture growth, dairy farmers using rotational grazing often have a short (less than 3 month) spring calving window as a goal. But this is difficult to achieve. CIAS-supported research on a Wisconsin grazing farm shows that the Ovsynch breeding program, while successful on confinement dairy farms, can be problematic on grazing dairy farms.
Holstein steers show good gains on kura clover (Research Brief #59)
Is kura clover a good legume choice in rotationally grazed pastures? A study conducted at the UW Lancaster Agricultural Research Station says yes, with excellent beef production on kura clover/grass pastures. Kura's persistence and leafy growth led to higher Holstein steer growth rates on kura/grass pastures than red clover/grass pastures.
New Zealand internships provide eye-opening experience
“I must say it was the hardest I’ve ever worked for free, but somehow I really didn’t mind. I knew that the knowledge I gained was priceless.” Those are the words of Mike Tomandl who recently completed a dairy farm internship in New Zealand. He and fellow intern Joe Heimerl went to New Zealand in […] more
Starting your own dairy farm (Research Brief #58)
Despite volatile milk prices, hundreds of new farmers get started in dairying each year. Compared to other types of livestock farming, dairying can provide a higher income per animal, monthly paychecks, and, in many areas, more markets.
Nurturing the Next Generation of Wisconsin’s Dairy Farmers
New dairy farmers often face high start-up costs for land, equipment and facilities. Volatile milk prices, long hours and hard work reduce the appeal of a career in dairy farming. To better understand the start-up strategies used by beginning dairy farmers, a research team surveyed 321 beginning dairy farmers in 1996. They also conducted in […] more
Starting—and succeeding—as a Wisconsin dairy farmer (Research Brief #56)
You don’t need to take over a family farm, or even grow up on a farm, to be a successful dairy farmer in Wisconsin. You can milk 50 or 150 cows, and you can own or rent land. But you do need to identify how well your experience, financial resources, and farming support networks can […] more
Low-input forage rotation: similar returns, reduced costs (Research Brief #53)
Dairy farmers can reduce their purchased inputs without cutting into their profits. An ongoing twelve-year study of two forage rotations similar to those found on Wisconsin dairy farms compared a diversified, low-input system with a less diverse rotation requiring high levels of commercial inputs. While the two systems returned similar profits, the low-input system incurred […] more