Students from Harvard University recently traded in their classroom in Massachusetts for a free stall barn in Wisconsin. Six students from the prestigious institution, which is located just outside of Boston, visited America’s Dairyland to conduct research. As Wisconsin-based researcher Bill Oemichen, one of the trip’s organizers, explained, “a number of these students work for the U.S. Congress, work for federal agencies, and they want to look at our typical practices on a Wisconsin dairy farm.” As Oemichen further explains, the thought is that the students can take what they see on the farm and incorporate it into federal policy that would “incentivize farmers to do the right thing as opposed to punishing them for what some people would consider the wrong thing.”
Dairy farmers Art and Lori Meinholz hosted the students on their farm in Middleton, proudly showing them around their operation and answering any question that was asked. Art admitted that the thought of having Harvard students on his farm was a little intimidating at first, but considers the visit a huge success. “In today’s world we need to help out wherever we can to try to educate people,” Meinholz said.
The Harvard students themselves were equally excited about the opportunity. One student explained that after visiting the farm he has a newfound respect for all of the hats farmers have to wear. “Your farmer here is a machinist, an agronomist, an environmental scientist (increasingly), a financial wizard,” the student said.
Josh Scramlin tagged along on this unique farm tour; to hear his report, click the play button below: