WI Ag Connection through Day @ The Dairy

Day @ The Dairy is an opportunity for all 4th grade youth in Lafayette County to experience, firsthand, what occurs on a dairy farm on any given day.  In 2021, the day was a virtual experience, but had a “far reaching” impact!

Roniel Rivera, current National FFA Officer Candidate from Puerto Rico, visited Wisconsin to learn more about agriculture and meet 4-H and FFA members.  Roniel, a former FFA State Officer in PR, was introduced to Lori Wick, UW Extension 4-H Youth Educator in Lafayette County via the 2021 Day @ The Dairy Zoom in May.  The zoom, which was established to offer all 4th grade youth in Lafayette County a virtual tour of Redrock-View Farm, was also seen by middle school youth in Puerto Rico.  Juan Jiminez, Ag Instructor & FFA Advisor in Puerto Rico made the introduction.  Juan and Lori were both part of a teacher exchange in 2000, and both have had students participate in exchanges since that time.  During a recent 10 day visit, Rivera was able to experience Wisconsin Agriculture!

Rivera was able to spend a day at Redrock-View Farms and participate in herd check, as well as learn about equipment used in daily operations that occur on the farm.  After a day at a dairy farm, Rivera learned about beef production at the Kamps farm, toured Badger Ethanol facility in Monroe, visited a dairy and crop farm near Spring Green, met with FFA Advisor Shari Graffunder and FFA members, and spent a day in central Wisconsin touring Miller’s vegetable farm and Buchanan’s Greenhouse where vegetable seed trials grow. Roniel completed his tours with a stop at Ritchie Implement, where he was able to view many pieces of equipment and ask questions about them.

Rivera was able to interact with 4-H and FFA members, share stories with them, and was able to spend one day at the Wisconsin State Fair.  While at the State Fair, he met the State FFA Officers, visited the baby animal barn, watched the dairy showmanship contest, and tasted many products grown and raised in Wisconsin in the Ag Products building.   His real interest is Ag Mechanics, and he will be attending Iowa State University this fall as a transfer student, majoring in Ag Engineering.

The Day @ The Dairy Committee wishes Roniel well in his future endeavors and hopes that Lafayette County youth will be back in attendance at the 2022 day – to be held at Cotton Wood Dairy, LLC near Wiota.  When asked what his favorite part of his brief trip to Wisconsin was, Rivera responded “I loved the cheese, and all of the big machines.  I am very thankful for such a great experience and hope to make it to next year’s Day @ The Dairy in person.”

Learning about beef production – Kamps’ Beef Farm

Nicholas Yanke, Insight FS teaches about a sprayer used for crop production.

Miller Vegetable Farm, Hancock, WI Buchanan Greenhouse, Hancock WI

Wade Black, Ritchie Implement discusses forage production

Brodie and Bailey Abney shared their Boer goat exhibit at State Fair

Gretchen Kamps talks about sweet corn production