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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


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. more

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Custom Raising Dairy Heifers: Expectations and Perspectives of Wisconsin Dairy Producers

Posted August 2008

This survey explored the views, opinions and perceptions of Wisconsin dairy producers about custom grazing heifers. Findings included:

  • All types of Wisconsin dairy producers perceive that grazing has positive implications for the health and productivity of dairy heifers.
  • In order to appeal to Wisconsin dairy producers, potential custom grazing heifer operations must be cost competitive.
  • Confinement operations are most likely to consider custom heifer raising as a management option, but are reluctant to consider custom heifer rearing for the summer only.
  • Wisconsin dairy producers seem adverse to custom heifer rearing businesses where heifers are grazed in the summer on one operation and sent to another confinement operation in the winter.
  • Any custom heifer business requires attention to cost and disease control to appeal to the concerns of dairy producers.

Read this report (PDF)
Related publication: Dairy farmers share custom heifer raising preferences (Research Brief #75)