Marshfield ARS hosts successful FFA alumni dairy breakfast

Nancy Esser, superintendent of Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, shared this report from the 2015 Marshfield FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast held at the station this past weekend:

DSC_0329UW Marshfield Agricultural Research Station was the site for the 2015 Marshfield FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast. The weather was perfect for the event – warm with lots of sun. Between 7 am and noon, over 1800 people from communities around Central Wisconsin enjoyed a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, cheese, applesauce, milk and ice cream on the grounds of the UW farm. Breakfast attendees were given an opportunity to learn what happens at a UW Agricultural Research Station.

Two tour wagons steadily drove interested and curious breakfast attendees through livestock facilities every 20 minutes. Breakfast guests had the chance to see the one-or-a-kind research heifer facilities, housing 520 dairy replacement heifers and the USDA lactating cow barn of which all 125 dairy cows residing in the barn are on study. Narrated tours focused on the unique configuration of the barns making them ideal for study, the ability of the facility to run trials with large populations of animals, and how those studies impact the agricultural industry.

Nancy Esser leading a farm tour.

The station displayed equipment necessary for plot-scale agronomic research and large-scale production of crops. MARS was delighted to show off machinery from companies that lease or lend equipment to the station. Those include tractors and implements from Case IH, forage boxes from Meyer Manufacturing, and forage boxes from H&S Manufacturing.

Research posters were posted to display UW and USDA-ARS research studies emerging from the MARS station. Posters introduced and highlighted programs of Marshfield-based CALS newcomers, Matt Akins, PhD (Dairy Science) and Robert Florence, PhD (Soil Science).

2015 Wisconsin Honey Queen and UW Dairy Science alum, Kim Kester, set up a display and interacted with the crowd educating them the state honey bee population while promoting the beekeeping industry in Wisconsin.

IMG_5267During the event, Sam Bauman held a ceremony dedicating a newly constructed flag pole on the grounds of the UW MARS station. The 29 foot flag pole with brick flower garden was the result of Sam’s Eagle Project. This is the first time the US flag has been at the MARS north farm campus. Sam is part of Boy Scout troop 392 and the son of Lisa Bauman, UW Soil Science. Lisa a laboratory analyst in the UW Soils and Forage Analysis Laboratory, Marshfield.