Interest drives new dairy science major at UW-Platteville

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

At a time when some colleges are cutting back on ag-related programs due to fiscal concerns, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is doing just the opposite. Located in southwest Wisconsin, the university is strengthening its ag-related programs, including creating a dairy science major.

“For more than 100 years, we have had a hands-on ag program, but nothing specifically with the name ‘dairy’ on it,” said Tera Montgomery, associate professor of dairy and animal science in the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture and the animal science program coordinator.  “We had dairy-related classes in our animal sciences area, but employers were looking for students who had the word ‘dairy’ in their degree.” Continue reading “Interest drives new dairy science major at UW-Platteville”

FVTC plans Ag Development Career Day


APPLETON, Wis. — Fox Valley Technical College will hold its fifth annual Agricultural Department Career Day on Nov. 8 at the Service Motor Company Agriculture Center.

Availability is limited to the first 120 students registered per half-day session with a maximum of 20 students per school. Registration is free.

Schools can register for one or both sessions: 9:30 a.m. to noon or noon to 2 p.m.

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Program provides on-farm experience to non-farm professionals

By Leah Call

“Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is a familiar lesson in understanding and empathy. The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) offers an opportunity to walk three days in a farmer’s shoes. PDPW’s Agricultural Professional Partnerships (APP) program enables individuals working in the ag industry with limited farm experience an opportunity to roll up their sleeves, throw on some work boots and spend time on the farm.

“Non-farming professionals often come into the industry not knowing anything,” explained Amy Bonomie, PDPW manager of Partnerships & Public Outreach. “This really gives them a safe environment to step back and immerse themselves into modern ag. And they come out of this more knowledgeable, confident and open to listening and working closer with the farmers.”

PDPW launched the program in 2010 at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which wanted to provide training for staff that did not have a farm background. The three-day crash course is ideal for non-farm professionals, such as DNR and other government staff, milk processors, bankers and sales and marketing professionals.

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Tech Tilling: From family farm employee to business owner

By Dale Drees

It’s always amazing to see how the world of agriculture opens so many paths to prosperity in related fields. For Ryan Kortz, he took his hands-on experiences growing up on a family dairy farm in Kaukauna, Wis., to making a career out of shaking hands and growing relationships.

In high school, Kortz juggled early morning and evening chores with homework and other activities while discovering a passion for fixing equipment so vital to his family’s livelihood. He was kind of the go-to farmhand when it came to engines and maintenance, thanks to his father’s mentorship. Learning the value of such skills and possessing an affinity for hands-on work, Kortz’ interest in outdoor power grew by the time he finished high school in 2008.

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