Business & Entrepreneurship

Advice for the Modern Farmer

The university revamps the long-running Farm and Industry Short Course.

Drawing of dairy cows in a pastoral scene wit ha farm in the background

Danielle Lawry

Since the 1880s, young Wisconsin farmers have journeyed to UW–Madison to learn the tricks of the trade at a weekslong agricultural training program known as the Farm and Industry Short Course. This past fall, they headed to River Falls instead.

Although the traditional residential program has officially moved to UW–River Falls, UW–Madison continues to serve as a partner and share its agricultural research and expertise. The newly configured, 16-week short course teaches the fundamentals of dairy farm operations and animal management, with participants earning up to 24 degree credits in their first year.

At the same time, UW–Madison is developing other farmer-education programs with greater flexibility and a wider variety of topics. These short courses include Ag Forward, a five-day program focused on the latest agricultural research findings; the Turfgrass Apprenticeship Program, which includes a traineeship at a golf course or other turf facility; and Spanish for Dairy Industry, online language courses that can help farming professionals communicate better with Spanish-speaking workers.

“Much has changed about farming and the world since the first short-course students came to Madison,” says Glenda Gillaspy, dean of the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “Today, by working together, we can serve more people and better leverage the unique features of each campus.”

Published in the Spring 2024 issue


No comments posted yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *