Dairy Innovation Hub successes highlighted at Board of Regents meeting
Earlier today, industry representatives joined students and faculty to highlight the accomplishments of the UW System’s Dairy Innovation Hub at the December Board of Regents meeting. The Hub, which is supported by a $7.8M investment from the State of Wisconsin, launched in 2019 to harness research and learning at UW–Madison, UW–Platteville and UW–River Falls to keep Wisconsin’s dairy community at the global forefront in producing dairy products in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner.
Presenters included dairy farmer Andy Buttles, business leader Paul Bauer, UW–River Falls faculty member Luis Peña-Lévano, current UW–Madison graduate student and UW–River Falls alumna Kaylee Reisgraf, and Hub Director Heather White who is a professor of animal and dairy sciences at UW–Madison.
Farmer Andy Buttles, who owns a 1200-cow dairy in Lancaster, is participating in a Hub research trial exploring solutions for common metabolic disorders in transition dairy cows. “I have been impressed with how smooth the research trial has gone on my farm. The campuses are working together on this project to create quick and novel solutions that farmers can implement right away,” he said.
CEO Paul Bauer from Ellsworth Cheese Cooperative in Ellsworth says his cooperative benefits from a partnership with UW System campuses, citing the example of the dairy pilot plant at UW–River Falls, which has been redesigned with the help of Hub and private funds. “I’m glad for the innovation in the pilot plant because it’s not just turning milk into cheese anymore, it’s about the whey, it’s about the wastewater — it’s about making sure you make cheese to the dairy customers’ expectations and making safe-quality food,” he said. Ellsworth Cheese Cooperative has $350 Million in annual sales, with a community impact seven times their revenues.
Hub Director Heather White said, “Having positive impact on the dairy community is what the Hub set out to do three years ago. Through training and educating students, funding innovative research, and prioritizing collaboration and communication with the 15 new faculty, we ensure that Wisconsin remains at the forefront of the $753 Billion American dairy industry.”
In three years, the Hub funded more than 130 research projects and hired 15 faculty at the three campuses who research topics and teach classes related to dairy production and processing. More than 400 undergraduate and graduate students across the three campuses are conducting research on or learning more about the dairy industry thanks to support from the Hub.
“The Dairy Innovation Hub has expanded opportunities for dairy industry partners, local communities and farmers throughout Wisconsin to collaborate with students, faculty and staff at our universities,” said UW System President Jay Rothman. “It serves as a model of how we are working to develop new technologies and train Wisconsin’s workforce.”
Additional information on the UW System’s Dairy Innovation Hub, including profiles of students, researchers and professionals involved, can be found online at dairyinnovationhub.wisc.edu. For a fully searchable listing of all funded research, check out the Hub’s project showcase.
Graphics related to the Dairy Innovation Hub: https://go.wisc.edu/hubbor
Information on dairy in Wisconsin
- 6,140 dairy farms in Wisconsin – more than any other state (as of December 2022)
- 1,274,000 cows – half as many as 1950
- 31.7B pounds of milk produced annually
- $45.6 billion in economic activity in Wisconsin
- Every cow generates $36,000 on economic activity per year
- 157,000 Wisconsin jobs are dairy farming or processing related
- #2 nationally in milk production
- #1 nationally in cheese production
Questions? Maria Woldt, Dairy Innovation Hub program manager, (608) 265-4009, email@example.com
Panel photos: https://go.wisc.edu/hubborUncategorized.