This week has been full of field days for crop producers in the state of Wisconsin. The UW Agriculture Research Station in Arlington, Wisconsin hosted both an organic ag field day, and an agronomy and soils field day this week. They were both excellent opportunities for producers and industry professionals to catch up on current industry topics, network with others and learn about ongoing research trials. I was able to catch up with a few people who stressed the importance of these events for agriculture in Wisconsin.
Lots of hard work and time goes into providing the state’s farmers with information to help be more efficient and profitable. Doug Reinemann, Associate Dean for Outreach and Extension at UW-Madison says “extension work really starts with listening to people and what they need.” They work hard to find out what things farmers and agriculturists in the state need and then do their best to find solutions to those problems. He says whether it’s through the web or through field days, they try to spread their information to as large of an audience as possible.
Field days also can help connect people together and inspire ideas to implement back home on the farm. Jared Siverling of Siverling Century Farm in Bloomer, Wisconsin was just one of the attendees at the organic field day on Tuesday. Siverling and his wife operate a 500 acre certified organic crop operation, and shares that attending events like this has helped to find new avenues to expand the operation and just be more profitable overall. “We’ve tried a lot of the ideas we’ve seen at various field days,” says Siverling, “a lot of times they work great, sometimes not so much.” He says that’s just the nature of the business and the fact that each farm is unique in their own way depending on size, location and other factors. The field days he’s attended have not only helped his operation, but have also helped motivate him to be more sustainable and regenerative with his practices to ensure the farm is productive for years to come.
Many resources are available to farmers, whether through extension, farmer led groups or ag companies. Attending these field days is just one great way to learn and grow to continuously improve farming practices. Find a field day in your area to attend, and you won’t regret it!