Food and the Wisconsin Idea: The Systems That Feed Us

Date: April 2, 3:30pm
Location: University Club, UW-Madison

Beginning Apple Grower Spring Field Day

Date: April 6, 8:30-4:30
Location: Near Madison, WI

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The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


Market Farm Madness is back!

Our NCAA-style Market Farm Madness Tournament is the perfect diversion for people who love cool farming tools. We've created a bracket with 64 different tools. Now we all get to vote for our favorites so that we can thin the field down to a champion. Each round will involve voting via an on-line survey form. more

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Cheese from Pastured Cows: Comparing Taste, Texture and Color

Posted February 2007

grazing cowThe market for specialty cheese, including pastured cheese, is growing rapidly. Graziers, cheesemakers and marketers need to know how pastured cheese is unique. This report describes research comparing the taste, texture and color of cheese made from the milk of exclusively pastured cows, cows that are pastured and given a grain supplement, and cows fed a sileage-based ration (TMR).

Milk from the exclusively pastured cows yielded 10-15% less cheese than the milk from the cows fed TMR and pasture plus grain. The cheese made from the milk of supplemented, pastured cows was darker, redder and yellower than the relatively whiter TMR counterpart, with the color of cheese from the pasture-only cows falling between these two treatments. The cheese made from the milk of pasture-only cows was consistently softer than the cheese from the other two treatments. A trained sensory panel found that the cheese from the two grazing treatments had a significant grassy note. The researchers were unable to identify a single compound that caused this grassy note, although they identified numerous possible compounds that could cause this odor. Consumer panelists usually gave the cheese from pastured, supplemented cows the highest scores for flavor, texture and overall liking.

Read this report (pdf file)