CALS at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

8d5aadb8-f60d-421c-852d-a3f86c75ef8aWith Wisconsin Farm Technology Days being held right here in Dane County this week, it’s the perfect opportunity for UW faculty, staff and students to check out the show, billed as the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the United States. The event runs Aug. 25-27 at Statz Bros. Inc. Farm near Sun Prairie.

It’s a big event, with more than 600 commercial exhibitors. While the scale of the show may be a bit overwhelming (especially for first-timers), you should be able to find some familiar faces – if you know where to look. A number of UW-Madison/UW-Extension researchers will be onsite to showcase their work*. (NOTE: If you can’t make it to the show, you can follow the action on Twitter by monitoring the hashtag #WFTD15.)

In the Progress Pavilion:

  • Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems: Nadia Alber, John Hendrickson and Michelle Miller.
  • Insect doctors: Russ Groves, Bryan Jensen, PJ Liesch and Chris Williamson from the Department of Entomology.
  • Becky Larson, biological systems engineering, on tile drainage treatments.
  • Plant disease experts: Brian Hudelson and Amanda Gevens from the Department of Plant Pathology.
  • Mark Renz, agronomy, will be on hand to discuss weeds. He’ll also be hosting the annual Biggest Weed Contest.
  • Soil doctors: Francisco Arriaga, Bill Bland,Matt Ruark and Doug Soldat from the Department of Soil Science.
  • Wildlife on the farm: David Drake and Jamie Nack from the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.
  • 4-H youth programs: Bernie O’Rourke, animal science, and Beth Heinze, dairy science.

In the Education Station area:

  • Julie Dawson, horticulture, will share updates on her vegetable variety trials.
  • Ron Kean, animal science, on avian influenza.
  • Brian Luck, biological sciences engineering, will demonstrate how unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a. drones) can be used to help farmers and agricultural researchers. He will also help lead farm tours.
  • Scott Sanford, biological systems engineering, will show off LED lighting systems for barns and other agricultural buildings, as well as a wood energy project.
  • Roger Schmidt, horticulture, will highlight CALS-made and other mobile apps for agriculture.
  • Mark Stephenson, agricultural and applied economics, on dairy profitability.
  • Wisconsin’s phosphorus legacy: Chris Kucharik, agronomy; Adena Rissman, forest and wildlife ecology; and Jenny Seifert, agronomy.

In Innovation Square:

  • John Panuska, biological systems engineering, will share his work to improve soil moisture management with sensors and online tools/apps.
  • Phil Townsend, forest and wildlife ecology, will share information about using remote sensing methods to measure the health and productivity of plants at the “Remote Sensing for Plant Health” display.

In the Agribusiness – D Tent:

  • Representatives from the CALS Office of Academic Affairs, with the help of CALS Ambassadors, will share information about CALS with prospective students.
  • UW Farm and Industry Short Course representatives will be on hand to recruit students.

In the Alumni Tent:

  • Sevie Kenyon, CALS Office of External Relations.
  • Kara Luedtke, CALS Office of External Relations.

CALS alumni should be sure to visit the Alumni Tent, co-hosted by the UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the agriculture programs at UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, Fox Valley Technical College and Chippewa Valley Technical College. CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch will provide remarks at a reception on Wednesday, August 26 at 1 p.m.

And the Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) is hosting their annual Farm Technology Days Picnic on Wednesday, August 26 at Renk Seed Farms in Sun Prairie from 3-7 p.m. Register in advance here.

*This list of UW-Madison/UW-Extension participants is not comprehensive. Please excuse omissions. Feel free to send additions/updates to