Janet Hedtcke named superintendent of West Madison Ag Research Station

Janet Hedtcke has been named superintendent of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s West Madison Agricultural Research Station (WMARS), campus’ 570-acre research farm located on the west side of Madison.

Hedtcke, who has been the interim superintendent of the station since summer 2016, will lead the station during a critical time, helping to implement the recommendations of the WMARS planning committee’s strategic 10-year plan for the station.

“We are so excited to have Janet in this role. With her extensive background in agricultural research and her commitment to the work and mission of the station, she’s in a great position to lead West Madison into the future,” says Dwight Mueller, director of the UW-Madison’s Agricultural Research Station network.

Hedtcke has 27 years of experience in agricultural research, including production experience in both organic and conventional agricultural systems. Before becoming the interim superintendent at WMARS, she was the station’s assistant superintendent from 2013 to 2016. Before that, she spent 17 years doing research in the UW-Madison agronomy department, including coordinating crop research and data collection for the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial, a long-term project involving a variety of crops and incorporating both organic and conventional cropping strategies. Previous to that, Hedtcke, who grew up on a dairy farm near Milton, worked in the UW-Madison dairy science department, conducting research and supervising projects.

West Madison Agricultural Research Station is located on the west side of Madison, the closest to campus of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ (CALS) 11-farm Agricultural Research Station network. The station, which comprises 570 acres, is used by almost all CALS disciplines, with a focus on urban agriculture, outreach, plant breeding, and providing feed for the UW-Madison campus dairy herd. The station has approximately 30 acres of certified organic cropland and features extensive display gardens of ornamentals, vegetables and fruits, including a vineyard.

Hedtcke is the station’s second superintendent. She replaces Tom Wright, who retired in 2016.