The UW-Madison’s largest agricultural research facility is under new management. Mike Bertram, who for the past three years has overseen operations at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, has been appointed superintendent of the Arlington Agricultural Research Station, located 20 miles north of Madison in Columbia County.
Bertram is a veteran in the research station network operated by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He started in 2000 as assistant superintendent and research agronomist at the Spooner station, transferred to the same position at Marshfield in 2002, and was promoted to superintendent at Marshfield in 2009.
But while his title remains the same, Bertram says that the job of superintendent is quite different at the 2,100-acre Arlington complex than it was at Marshfield.
“The biggest difference is that at Marshfield I was responsible for more of the hands-on crop research, because the scientists weren’t on site as much. Because of Arlington’s proximity to campus, most of that work is done by scientists and technicians from Madison,” he explains. “At Arlington, there’s more to manage: more acres, more projects, more employees.”
The Arlington station supports a broad range of agricultural and natural resources research. It is used by scientists from most of the disciplines studied at CALS and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The station consists of 13 individual units gear to different areas of research—agronomy, beef nutrition, beef physiology, dairy, dairy replacements, horticulture, plant pathology and entomology, poultry, sheep, soils, swine, turkeys, and veterinary science—as well as a headquarters area with large arena and meeting facility for public events. It also includes approximately 55 acres of trees used for forestry and wildlife research.
Bertram is the fifth superintendent in the Arlington station’s half-century of operation. He replaces Darwin Frye, who retired last summer.