Jessie Potterton named interim director of Farm and Industry Short Course

Jessie Potterton has been named as interim director of the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC). She is taking over for Dick Cates, who has served as FISC interim director for the past year. Cates is stepping down to focus on his duties as director of the university’s Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and senior lecturer in the CALS soil science department.

Jessie Potterton


Since 2011 Potterton has served as CALS Director of Prospective Student Services. In that position she has been in charge of developing, coordinating and implementing prospective student outreach activities with CALS academic departments, supervising the CALS Ambassadors program and providing advising support for current CALS undergraduate students.

While Potterton is serving as interim FISC director, any questions related to prospective student services should be directed to Tom Browne, assistant dean in Undergraduate Programs and Services.

Before joining CALS, Potterton served for five years as the leader of the UW-Extension 4-H program in Lafayette county, Wisconsin’s most agriculturally dependent county.  While in Lafayette County, she saw the the county’s 4-H membership grow nearly 25 percent. Potterton earned an M.S. degree in Education-Counselor Education from UW-Platteville, and a B.S. in agricultural journalism from UW-Madison.

The Farm and Industry Short Course is a a 17-week educational program that prepares students for careers in agriculture and related fields. It offers nearly 50 courses in subjects ranging from crops and livestock to marketing, human relations and communications. Approximately 120 students were enrolled in the program last year. Established in 1885, the FISC is the oldest program of its kind in the nation.