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Wisconsin schools offer great options for Agriculture students

Wisconsin students have more options than most when it comes to choosing where they want to continue their education after high school. This month, we’ve asked students at several of the major ag programs in the state to answer a few questions about their education and experiences while attending their chosen school. I’d encourage high school students to explore all of their options, whether it be in-state or out-of-state schools and 4-year or 2-year degrees, and to ask current students about their experiences. Thank you to the students that participated in this month’s roundtable. 1. Please give us a little background on yourself. Where did you grow up? What is your ag background? What is your major and what would you like to do after graduation? Jordan Ebert, UW-Madison: I am a senior Dairy Science major with a Agricultural Business Management certificate as well. I grew up on my family’s commercial dairy farm, Ebert Enterprises, in Algoma, Wis., where we are currently milking about 3,300 cows, most of which are Holstein but also a group of Jerseys. After graduation I plan to prepare for the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days which my family’s farm will be hosting in July. I will then seek a job in the agricultural industry before some day returning to the home farm while also pursuing other business ventures. Paul Grulke, UW-Platteville: I grew up on a 75-cow farm in Dodge County, in a small town named Mayville. We sold out in 2009, but have been very active in 4-H raising potential show heifers and replacement heifers. At our farm I am currently in charge of caring for all the heifers as well as breeding selection. I have been heavily active in FFA and 4-H growing up, holding several officer positions in both organizations and managing club and community activities and events. I have also been an active member of the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association, participating in dairy jeopardy, quiz bowl, as well as junior farm tours. I continue to show animals at the district, state, and national levels of shows. I am currently majoring in Dairy science with a minor in Agri-Business at the University of WisconsinPlatteville. After graduation I hope to obtain a job working with high type animals or seek a career in genetics. Brad Jones, Southwest WI Technical College: My name is Brad Jones. My parents are Wayne and Bonnie Jones. My family has a 300 cow dairy just south of Mt. Horeb. My major is Dairy Herd Management and I plan on buying in to the dairy and eventually taking it over after graduation. Valerie and Matthew Kramer, UW-River Falls: I am Valerie Kramer, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF), majoring in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Business. On campus, I am an active member of the UWRF Dairy Club, Dairy Judging Team and the Alpha Zeta Honorary Agricultural Fraternity. I grew up on an 80 Registered Holstein dairy farm on the eastern side of Fond du Lac County in St. Cloud, Wis. Throughout high school I was involved with 4-H, FFA, the Junior Holstein Association on the county and state levels. I am Matthew Kramer, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF), majoring in Dairy Science with a Management option. I grew up on an 80 cow dairy farm, ChrisLeAcres Registered Holsteins, in St. Cloud, Wis., with my parents Leo and Chris Kramer and sister, Valerie. On campus, I am active in Dairy Club where I serve as Usher and the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. In addition to the Junior Holstein Association, I have been involved in 4-H and FFA on the local and state levels. Lindsey Rettenmund, UW-Madison Farm & Industry Short Course: My name is Lindsey Rettenmund, and I am from Black Earth, Wis. I come from a 100 cow dairy farm. The farm is family owned and operated. I am currently a Farm and Industry Short Course Student working towards a Farm Machinery Certificate and finishing a Crops and Soils Certificate. Once I graduate in March 2017, I hope to work on my family’s farm for several more years, then purchase a dairy farm of my own. Valerie Yoap, Lakeshore Technical College: My name is Valerie Yoap, 18 years old, and I’m attending Lakeshore Tech for their Dairy Herd Management Program. I grew up in Peshtigo, Wis., with our dairy farm in Coleman, Wis. I have a strong ag background because my family has had cattle since I was born. We had beef cattle and then transitioned over to dairy. My two brothers currently run our small dairy farm of 80 milking cows. My parents also run our family 24–wisconsin HOLSTEIN news/December 2016

auction company which I am part of the fourth generation of auctioneers. My plan after graduation is to return home and help expand our family farm. My oldest brother, Everett, focuses mostly on the cows; my other brother, Alex, works mostly with the tractors and machine repair; and I want to focus and manage our youngstock. 2. Why did you choose to attend your school? Ebert: I chose to attend UW-Madison because of its all-around excellence. It has a top-notch Dairy department, a great education, competitive sports teams, a great social environment, and a beautiful campus filled with endless opportunities. Grulke: I chose to attend the University of Platteville because I enjoyed the atmosphere of campus. I have a few relatives who are alumni and heard of the great potential for networking as well and future internship possibilities. I also talked to a few friends who went or where still students attending UW-Platteville and heard nothing but great reviews. Jones: I chose to attend Southwest Tech because I heard that it was a great school from former students. Valerie Kramer: The small town atmosphere is what attracted me most to UWRF, the University plays a large role the community of River Falls and vice-versa. In addition, the University has an excellent Dairy Science major and subsequent programs. The hands on experience allows students to learn the nuts and bolts of the dairy industry. UWRF also offers opportunities for dairy judging, agriculture club involvement and the ability for leadership positions. Rettenmund: I chose to attend the University of Wisconsin Madison Farm and Industry Short Course Program because it is only a 16-week course from November to March. I appreciated this time frame because it is the “down time” on the farm in Wisconsin. Yoap: I chose Lakeshore Technical College because my oldest brother, Everett, attended the program six years ago after graduating high school. He absolutely loved the course and only talked highly of it. Through the program, every student is placed on a farm to work on and he worked for Karl Klessig on Saxon Homestead. That created a good relationship between my family and the Klessig’s so when they heard I was attending LTC, they were happy to have me intern on their farm as well. When Everett completed the LTC program, he came and completely took over the farm when we were milking around 30 cows. He could successfully take over, manage, and expand the farm with the knowledge he gained at Lakeshore Tech. 3. What has been your most memorable experience at school? Ebert: As a freshman and sophomore I was fortunate enough to be a student manager for the UW Men’s Basketball program. My sophomore year the Badgers made their first of two consecutive Final Fours and I was able to travel down to Dallas, Texas, with friends to watch a team I was involved with play on the biggest stage inside AT&T Stadium. As a basketball enthusiast this was tough to top. Grulke: College has been a terrific experience so far. However if I were to choose just one specific experience that has made it memorable, it has been being a part of the Pioneer Dairy Club. Working with this great group of young adults for events such as the annual dairy sale in the fall, allowing for even more connections with every one as well as being able to network with some of the top Ag companies, farmers, and Alumni who donate and help make the sale run smoothly. Being apart of the dairy club has also allowed me to attend events such as the American Dairy Science Association convention, traveling to Indiana last year and being able to network with other students from colleges from the midwest. Here we were also able to attend leadership conferences from a few great agriculture companies. continued on page 26

December 2016 Wisconsin Holstein News  

December 2016 issue of the Wisconsin Holstein News featuring YDJM and 12 & Under Award Winners, Student Roundtable and District 6.

December 2016 Wisconsin Holstein News  

December 2016 issue of the Wisconsin Holstein News featuring YDJM and 12 & Under Award Winners, Student Roundtable and District 6.

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