Planning for the West Madison Ag Research Station underway

Dean Kate VandenBosch has tasked a committee with developing a vision and 10-year plan for the West Madison Agricultural Research Station (WMARS) that reflects the mission of the college and takes into account the changing urban/rural character of the community around the station.

This station, located on Mineral Point Road west of Junction Road on the west side of Madison, is the closest to campus of the 12 stations in the college’s network of research farms. In charging the committee, VandenBosch said, “The intent of this project is to develop an action plan that optimizes the West Madison Station’s portfolio consistent with the Agricultural Research Stations’ mission, reflecting both the opportunities and challenges of its urbanized surrounding.”

John Shutske, associate dean for extension and outreach, and Amy Charkowski, professor of plant pathology, have agreed to co-chair the workgroup. Other committee members include: Nick Balster (Soil Science), David Bohnhoff (Biological Systems Engineering), Julie Dawson (Horticulture), Janet Hedtcke (West Madison ARS), Jim LaGro (Urban and Regional Planning), Natalia de Leon (Agronomy). Dwight Mueller and Phil Dunigan of ARS administration will support the committee’s efforts.

Dean VandenBosch has asked the committee to deliver a written report including the following:

  • A narrative of the broad vision for WMARS.
  • A list of essential current activities to be preserved at WMARS.
  • A list of activities to be moved to another site.
  • A list of activities to be newly initiated at WMARS.
  • A list of activities to be discontinued.
  • A list of additional facility needs related to either current activities to be preserved, or high-priority new activities.
  • A list of stakeholders who currently use the facilities and those that might be added or leave with activities changes.
  • A brief description of the processes used and stakeholders consulted.


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