Many people, understandably, want to know more about their food and how it’s produced. With recent news stories about chemicals in ice cream, confined cows and intimidating science, it can be hard to know what to believe. If you’re seeking the absolute truth, ask any farmer or agricultural student. They will be happy to tell you about how they care for their animals or how they follow strict regulations when applying pesticides. Most importantly, you will find almost any farmer you meet is passionate about feeding the world.
According to the USDA, about 99 percent of U.S. farms are family owned and account for 89 percent of total production. Farm and ranch families comprises about 2 percent of the United States population. The agricultural industry is close-knit with strong wholesome values. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has strong agricultural roots. The Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 donated public land to Wisconsin for the University to provide agricultural education.
Today, UW-Madison has a thriving agricultural student community and highly ranked academic and research programs. Did you know we have plenty of cows right here on campus? Next time you’re by Babcock Hall, ask about the Dairy Cattle Center next-door. Babcock ice cream and milk are some of the freshest college dairy products in the nation!
There are many student organizations that focus in agriculture like the Association of Women in Agriculture, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and Badger Dairy Club. The Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Madison (CFB) is a student organization open to anyone that advocates for agriculture and educates about the industry on campus. CFB hosts events throughout the year where students can learn more about agriculture and ask questions.
Check out these great resources for more information or farmers’ personal stories:
Animal Agriculture Alliance – http://www.animalagalliance.org/
Farm Bureau – http://www.fb.org/
Collegiate Farm Bureau – https://cfb-uw.com/
GMO Answers – https://gmoanswers.com/