Moo-ved by Dairy Story

That is a beautiful cover picture of UW Wonderment Taylor [Winter 2013]. Yes, most will laugh, but I am framing it — not just for her captivating beauty, but also for the great memories she evokes.

I believe that the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences is one of the most undervalued assets of UW–Madison. What this college has done for the state, nation, and world is truly remarkable.

Lee Swan ’59 Fort Myers, Florida


Thank you for the wonderful article on the dairy science department and cover photo of the beautiful brown cow [“Milk Matters,” Winter 2013].

The author erroneously gives credit for synthesizing vitamin D to Dr. Stephen Babcock. It was Dr. Harry Steenbock whose irradiation process with ultraviolet light produced the rickets-preventing vitamin in 1923.

David Laatsch ’76, MS’85 Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Editor’s Note: Several readers caught the error in “Dairy Dollars,” a sidebar to John Allen’s “Milk Matters” article. It was, of course, Steenbock and not Babcock who patented the process for increasing Vitamin D. For his sins, Allen will be forced to re-take the Babcock Butterfat Test until he passes.


I was troubled that such a lengthy article on the dairy industry was silent on the issues associated with factory farming. The article did not analyze the public-health threat related to the abuse of antibiotics; the environmental issues with CAFOs [Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations]; the animal welfare and labor-rights violations; food safety; the devastating impact on family farmers and communities worldwide; the antitrust implications; the economic effects that an inefficient system has on the ability to feed the world; and the antidemocratic impact the industry has on our political system.

It was so clear the industry funds your program — did it fund the article as well?

Jose de Arteaga JD’98 Washington, D.C.


I admit that I rarely read On Wisconsin from cover to cover. However, those eyes on the cover of your Winter 2013 issue mesmerized me every morning at breakfast to read every entry.

Two stories in particular struck me: “A Leap of Faith” made me wonder, with most conflicts in the world today originating in religious dogmas, why don’t we make this a required class for all UW students, as we do with ethnic studies?

“Spotlight on Innovation” shed light on the enigma of Electronic Theatre Controls, which I drive past weekly. Fred Foster’s philosophy on producing his products here in Wisconsin was a breath of fresh air. With the business community’s rush to outsource, it made me wonder what kind of world we would have if Walmart were to adopt Fred’s philosophy. Sigh …

Mykos Ress ’02

Ogema, Wisconsin

Published in the Spring 2014 issue


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