Annual Bike Ride for Beginning Dairy Farmers

Annual Bike Ride for Beginning Dairy Farmers

Wisconsin Ag Connection – 04/30/2012

Dozens of cyclists will be riding through the rolling hills of rural Dane and Green counties later this spring to raise funds for a program that helps Wisconsin’s next generation of dairy farmers get off to a good start. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers is recruiting riders and pledges for its ninth annual Ride to Farm fundraiser.

Cyclists can opt for a 64-mile all-day ride or shorter morning and afternoon rides on June 2. The ride begins and ends at Dane County’s Goodland Park with a mid-day stop in New Glarus.

“We hold this event both to raise funds for scholarships and general program activities, and also to raise awareness of the importance of supporting the next generation of innovative farmers,” says WSBDF Director Dick Cates. “We are grateful for donations of any amount.”

Participants can ride either as individuals or in teams. Each rider must raise at least $75 in pledges. Prizes will be awarded for both top individual and team fundraisers and will include, among others, two tickets to American Players Theater, a Ride to Farm jersey and a 2012 Trek 1.5 Compact H2 road bike.

WSBDF provides aspiring farmers with classroom instruction, on-farm internships, business planning and mentoring, with an emphasis on managed grazing. Most students attend class in Madison, but many participate from classrooms around the state through a combination of local instruction and video links to Madison. The program is a partnership between the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Farm and Industry Short Course, both programs of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Instructors include UW-Madison faculty, graduates of the program, mentor farmers, farm lenders and other agribusiness professionals.

For more information, visit Ride to Farm at