Scientist for a Day program exposes high schoolers, ag teachers to real ag research

This past Wednesday, the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center hosted 31 high school students and seven agriculture instructors at the center’s farm in Prairie du Sac, Wis., as part of the new Scientist for a Day program.

At the farm, participants took part in four one-hour, hands-on research experiences led by U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) scientists and technicians. These activities took them from field to lab to barn, where they learned how to estimate the volume of forage in a pasture,  prepare root tissues for biochemical staining and remove samples from a cow’s rumen for nutrient analysis.

The program is funded by an Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment grant and hosted by the USDFRC and the UW-Madison Agricultural Research Stations. In the future, organizers hope to expand the program to other ARS sites.