Crops and Livestock


Field Day and Seafood Lunch: Can Conservation Pay?

Date: October 24, 2018, 9:45am
Location: Dolan Farms, Dodgeville, WI

First Annual Wisconsin Chili Lunch

Date: November 15, 2018
Location: Statewide

6th Annual Perennial Farm Gathering

Date: December 7-8, 2018
Location: Lussier Family Heritage Center, Madison

more events


The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

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 Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

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

Women on dairy farms: juggling roles and responsibilities (Research Brief #29)

If you want to know how important women are to running a dairy farm in Wisconsin, just ask farm couples. Six hundred farm couples were surveyed about their roles on dairy farms as part of a University of Wisconsin study. The research reveals the diversity of women’s roles on Wisconsin dairy farms-from raising calves and […] more

Outwintering dairy cattle: manure management issues (Research Brief #28)

The sparkling, frozen world of Wisconsin in winter presents several challenges to its dairy farmers. One of these challenges is how to manage dairy cattle wastes so that nutrients and organic matter are added to fields and pastures instead of streams and water sources. Ed Brick, a civil and environmental engineer, has completed the first […] more

Outwintering dairy cattle: animal health issues (Research Brief #27)

Farmers are finding that dairy cattle are a lot tougher and more resourceful than they have been given credit for. —Ed Brick Can dairy cattle stay healthy and comfortable outside during a Wisconsin winter? The answer appears to be yes, with careful management, according to findings from the first year of a two-year CIAS outwintering […] more

Designing and building a New Zealand-style milking parlor

What features make New Zealand-style swing-over parlors so attractive to some dairy farmers? What decisions might a farm family face in adding one of these parlors to their operation? How is it possible to build a New Zealand-style parlor from scratch or retrofit an existing building? What are the costs and challenges, and are these […] more

Manure management research from an integrated perspective (Research Brief #24)

Solving complex agricultural problems like how to improve manure management systems requires strong disciplinary research combined with farmers and scientists coming together to apply adaptive, collaborative approaches to problem-solving. And existing institutional and reward structures need to be explored and developed to support long-term, collaborative research. That’s the conclusion of a CIAS-sponsored study, commissioned in […] more

Dairy farmer career paths

This report is based on observations of dairy farmer career structures in New Zealand gathered during a field trip to that country in the spring of 1995. These observations are evaluated for their relevance to Wisconsin’s declining rates of farm entry and the constricted options for farm exit for many Wisconsin dairy families. The report’s […] more

Management intensive rotational grazing’s sense…and dollars (Research Brief #19)

What we’re seeing is a little extra money from grazing while putting in a little less labor. — Gary Frank How can dairy farmers make their time worth more? A study sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) suggests that compared to confinement systems, management intensive grazing can turn work hours into higher […] more

Why make the transition to grazing? Wisconsin farmers share their perspectives

In 1994 and 1995, CIAS conducted case studies with six Wisconsin dairy farming families who’ve adopted management intensive rotational grazing practices. One topic these farmers discussed was how they made the transition to grazing and the effects of that: their reasons for grazing, their sources of management information, their advice to beginning graziers, and how […] more
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