Multiple generations of alumni celebrate FISC anniversary

Over 170 graduates, current students, supporters and friends of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) gathered at the Coliseum Bar and Banquet in Madison on Saturday, January 29 for the 126th anniversary of this well-known agricultural education program.

Since its beginning in 1885, production agriculture has been the focus of the program. Graduates, from as long as 50 years ago to those currently enrolled, speak of the practicality of the coursework and the positive life experiences they gained during their days as FISC students.

Milo Wiltbank, Professor of Reproductive Physiology and Short Course Instructor, served as the emcee for the program. Dan Schaefer, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Program & Services, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences extended greetings and warm wishes. In addition, Ben Brancel, secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection; Christine Lindner, Alice in Dairyland; and Jill Makovec president of Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) greeted the crowd. In addition, Bob Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of the Dairy Science Department, and the Dimensions in Sound provided pre-reunion music and the UW Marching Band got the crowded in the Badger spirit.

John Shutske, Associate Dean and Program Director for Extension Programs in Agriculture served as the keynote speaker. He spoke of the value of protecting America’s food supply.

The Friend of Short Course Award was presented to Arlin Brannstrom, Faculty Associate and Short Course Instructor. For more than 15 years, Arlin has been shedding light on agricultural economics to Short Course students. He grew up in Mequon, but would often visit his grandfather’s dairy farm in Upper Michigan. In addition to teaching for the program, Arlin was a Short Course housefellow in ’72 and ’73. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics with honors from UW-Madison in ’72, he went on to receive his Master’s in Ag. Economics in ’73 and returned in ’91 to complete his M.B.A in Finance. He has been a member of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers since ’74 serving as Chapter President, Chapter Secretary/Treasurer and Council Academic Vice President.

The Service to Agriculture Award was presented to Dr. Richard Daluge, Assistant Dean Emeritus and Retired Short Course Director, for his continued dedication and service to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Farm and Industry Short Course and the Wisconsin agriculture industry. Dean Daluge served as the Farm and Industry Short Course Director from 1983 to 2008. Prior to that and his role as Assistant Dean, his career in the College included directing Career Services and Student Recruitment and serving as WALSAA Secretary/Treasurer. Rick grew up on a Holstein dairy farm near Janesville. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from UW-Madison in ’71, his Master’s in Agriculture Extension in ’75 and his PhD in Adult Education/Educational Administration in ’82. He currently serves on the State Fair Ag Advisory Board and as the Vice President of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. He was a member of the Leadership Wisconsin Board from 2004 to 2010, Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Board from 1992-1999 and has served as the Madison West Lions club president and District Governor of the Southwest Wisconsin Lions.

Andrea Brossard Martin, FISC Alumni President