Local and state leaders, agriculture industry partners and Blackhawk Technical College instructors and students gathered Thursday to celebrate National Agriculture Day at Blackhawk’s Monroe Campus.
The Wisconsin Technical College System recognizes the vital agriculture sector in Wisconsin each year at one of its 16 campuses to highlight the people who ensure that the ag industry grows and thrives. This year’s event showcased Blackhawk’s agriculture programs and the ag sector in Green County.
“It’s really an exciting time to be involved in agriculture – not just here in Wisconsin but in the world. And we are proud of, as the technical college system, to be a part of every facet of the industry that works to create and grow new opportunities and build upon Wisconsin’s agricultural success,” said Dr. Morna Foy, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System.
Randy Romanski, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, also spoke at the event and emphasized the important role agriculture plays in the state economy as a $104.8 billion industry.
“One in nine people in the state of Wisconsin right now is in a job related to agriculture. Think about that. That is a powerhouse employer in our state,” said Romanski.
And Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of Blackhawk, highlighted the work being done in Green County.
“Green County boasts the highest concentration of cheese producers and master cheese makers in the state. We also boast the first ethanol plant in the state, and we have approximately 1,400 farms in Green County alone,” said Pierner. “That’s a $1.7 billion economic impact, employing over 6,000 people. That’s a big deal.”
The event also featured tours of Blackhawk’s Agriculture Education Center, which included demonstrations of new bovine injection, birthing and ultrasound simulators as well as a commercial sprayer simulator.
Following lunch, which was sponsored by Compeer Financial, industry partner representatives engaged in a panel discussion about how the agriculture industry attracts and retains the next generation of agricultural employees.
Ben Huber, Insight FS, General Manager
Missy Roth, Compeer Financial, Team Leader Human Resources – Talent Management
Jill Leitzen, Kuhn North America, Director of Human Resources
Jim Versweyveld, UW-Extension, Farm Management Outreach Specialist
Micah Ends, Rolling Hills Milk Cooperative, General Manager and Blackhawk Alumni
Kalee Schaefer, Wegmueller Dairy Farm, Dairy Herd Manager and Blackhawk Student
Attendees also were able to tour local businesses as part of the event, including Kuhn North America, Badger State Ethanol and the Emmi Roth Cheese Factory and Alp and Dell Cheese Store.
Learn more about Blackhawk Technical College’s ag program:
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