Ride to Farm, the annual fundraiser for the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF) at UW–Madison, is going to be different this year—like so many other things in 2020. Typically, the event involves a group of cyclists gathering to ride a scenic route together. This year, for Ride to Farm’s 16th year, the fundraiser is going “remote,” encouraging cyclists to ride on their own or with household members and to select the date and route of their choice.
“I wish the best of luck to all of the other riders this year,” says Dick Cates, former WSBDF director, who kicked off this year’s Ride to Farm with an ambitious 500-mile ride. “Thank you for taking the challenge, and for supporting the WSBDF and the next generation of farmers, who are the stewards of our land.”
Riders can sign up, solicit donations and track pledges at: ridetofarm.dojiggy.com. Participants will receive coupons from Culver’s and a Ride to Farm t-shirt and there will be prizes for top fundraisers. Riders must raise a minimum of $100 to participate. Funds raised through Ride to Farm help support WSBDF student scholarships, internship experiences and more. Rides can take place any time before the end of 2020.
Not up for riding? Supporters can visit ridetofarm.dojiggy.com to pledge individual riders or make a general donation to the school. Donations are tax deductible.
During a time when retiring farmers are leaving farming at a much faster rate than new farmers are starting, the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers helps meet the critical need to train, mentor and support Wisconsin’s next generation of dairy and livestock farmers. The school emphasizes managed grazing, providing classroom instruction, on-farm internships, business planning and mentoring to aspiring farmers. Students from across the state are able to participate in the program via distance education sites. Around 600 students have attended the school to date, and more than 75 percent of WSBDF graduates are farming today.
Ride to Farm sponsors for 2020 include: Compeer Financial, Culver’s Restaurants, Organic Valley and the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
The WSBDF is a partnership between the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Farm and Industry Short Course, both programs of UW–Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.