About the school
This one-year certificate course provides
opportunities for classroom instruction,
on-farm internships, field training,
mentoring, and networking with
experienced grass-based dairy farmers. By
enrolling in the Wisconsin School for
Beginning Dairy Farmers, you take an
important step towards a successful career
in grass-based dairy farming.
Support for the school comes from the
sponsors, the Natural Resource Conservation
Service, private endowments, and
contributions through the UW Foundation,
WSBDF fund, and Mike Cannell
The WSBDF is conducted in cooperation
with GrassWorks, Inc., Cooperative
Extension, UW-Extension, the Wisconsin
Technical College System, and the Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection Farm Link Service.
The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy
Farmers (WSBDF) requires you to:
• have a strong desire to become a dairy
• have a serious interest in management
Some previous experience in agriculture is
appropriate. However, we also consider
students who show a strong desire to begin
a grass-based dairy and who have other
For an application packet, fill out the
application request form or call Patricia
Haza, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems:
(608) 262-5200, e-mail
email@example.com For information
about the school, call Richard Cates, WSBDF
Coordinator: (608) 588-2836, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://
To be considered for full scholarship opportunities,
you must submit your application
by April 1. Applications will be accepted
through the summer until the class is full.
Farm and Industry Short Course instruction,
including the WSBDF dairy grazing seminar,
begins mid-November and runs through
March. Two- to six-month-long internships
can begin at any time to accommodate
student needs. Workshops, conferences, and
pasture walks occur throughout the year.
Call (608) 263-3918 for information on the
Farm and Industry Short Course.
Emphasizing management intensive
grazing and dairy farm business start up
Giving you a head start in
grass-based dairy farming
through flexible classes,
Sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated
Agricultural Systems and the Farm and Industry Short
Course, both within the College of Agricultural and
Life Sciences; with additional support from the USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental
Quality Incentives Program, the Grazing Lands
Conservation Initiative, and the Pesticide Use and
Risk Reduction Project.
You bring your interest and hopes for your grass-based farm...
we’ll help you with the rest.
The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy Farmers wants to make it easier
for interested, qualified individuals to get started in dairying. We are looking
for people interested in establishing their own grass-based dairy operation.
What do we offer?
• Weekly Grass-Based Dairy Seminar led
by experienced graziers and UW faculty
• Distance education option with live
seminar presentations and class materials
on our Web site
• Optional internships on Wisconsin
grass-based dairy farms
• Optional additional coursework in the
17-week Farm and Industry Short Course
including dairy and farm business
• Events and resources to introduce you to
pasture walks, and Internet exchanges
• Scholarship opportunities
• Assistance in identifying opportunities to
start your own farm
Grass-Based Dairy Seminar
The Grass-Based Dairy Seminar is designed
to familiarize students with the development
and management of a grass-based dairy
farm business. The course is conducted
weekly, November through March, at UW-
Madison and is separated into three terms.
Topics include economic, environmental,
and agronomic principles of managed grazing;
milking center design; farm selection;
winter housing strategies; herd health;
developing a business plan; and more.
Off-campus students with appropriate
computer hardware can join the Grass-Based
Dairy Seminar online. By logging onto the
seminar Internet site, students can participate
in live presentations and ask questions of the
instructors in the classroom and individuals at
other distance ed sites. Before and after each
seminar session, students will have access to
speaker handouts, photographs, Power Point
presentations, and class materials on the
seminar Web site. Contact us for more
information on the costs, availability, and
technical requirements of this program.
Students who choose an internship reside on
the farms of one or more veteran graziers
who serve as teachers and mentors. Students
can complete up to six months of internship
with scholarship support.
Through supervised work experiences,
interns learn the management skills of grassbased
dairying, including pasture and water
systems, paddock design and cattle rotations,
milking and animal shelter systems, breeding
and calving regimes, and financial and labor
management. Students who demonstrate
competency in these areas receive letters of
recommendation from their farmer mentors
and a certificate of completion.
Please send me an application packet!
City _______________________________________ State __________________ Zip _______________
Phone ( ) ______________________________________________________________________
__ Please send me information on the distance education option.
Clip and mail this application request to: Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy Farmers, c/o CIAS,
1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Remember! The deadline for applications is April 1 to be
considered for full scholarship opportunities.