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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Milking More than Profit: Life Satisfaction on Wisconsin Dairy Farms

Posted August 2007

milking parlor

The number of dairy farms in Wisconsin has been declining steadily for years. This decline has inportant implications for the economic, ecological and social sustainability of communities, families and individuals in Wisconsin. Life satisfaction is one important social consideration in agriculture. Without offering a satisfying life, even the most profitable and ecologically sound forms of agriculture will not be sustainable. Farmers and policymakers need to consider life satisfaction when making decisions about farming. This report presents the results of the 2006 Life Satisfaction and Dairy Farming survey of 1,300 Wisconsin dairy farmers on both grazing and confinement farms.

Key results include:

  • The level of life satisfation varied by dairy farm.
  • Farmers using different dairy farm systems evaluated life satisfaction differently.
  • Men and women on dairy farms used different criteria for evaluating life satisfaction.
  • Differences in life satisfaction between dairy farms were not just a matter of money.

Read this report (pdf file)

Read a summary of this report (pdf file)

Life Satisfaction on Grazing Dairy Farms in Wisconsin (pdf file)