Spring 2022

Cover Story | Photo Essay

George Nooyen, agricultural research equipment operator, harvests Marquette wine grapes at Peninsular Agricultural Research Station. Photos by Michael P. King


They are unconventional laboratories, classrooms, and proving grounds — places to connect with the land and with nature. UW’s Agricultural Research Stations are the crown jewels of CALS. The product of more than a century of expansion and evolution, this statewide network of farms, forests, and greenhouses allows faculty, staff, and students to study the unique agricultural and environmental challenges of Wisconsin’s distinct regions.

With the big-picture goals of developing profitable, sustainable farming systems and preserving environmental quality, hundreds of research projects are conducted at these facilities each year, and the findings are shared widely — all to help address the immediate needs of those who produce our food and protect our ecosystems.


Dairy science intern Naomi Waldon takes a blood sample from a dairy cow at Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center at Arlington Agricultural Research Station. Waldon, a 2019 summer intern from Tuskegee University, assisted with a study on subclinical ketosis in dairy cows.


Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke, a research assistant in the Department of Agronomy, conducts spectral imaging on an industrial hemp test plot at Arlington Agricultural Research Station.


Associate professor of plant pathology Paul Koch PhD’12 shows a test plot study on the use of iron sulfate to control a fungal turfgrass disease known as “dollar spot” during the 2019 Wisconsin Turfgrass Association Field Day at O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility.


Cattle graze in a pasture at Lancaster Agricultural Research Station.


Paul Bethke, an associate professor with the Department of Horticulture and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, talks with attendees during Potato Research Field Day at Hancock Agricultural Research Station.


September soybeans turn from green to gold at Spooner Agricultural Research Station.


Biological systems engineer-ing researcher Jessica Drewry PhD’17 works with a drone fitted with thermal imaging cameras to study the effects of pests and disease on cranberry plants at the Walnut Street Greenhouse.


Equipment operator Ralph Siegenthaler pulls a windrow compost turner to aerate and mix a pile at West Madison Agricultural Research Station.


Garden intern and environmental science major Grace Puc, left, and station superintendent Janet Hedtcke BS’93, MS’99 relocate a plant in the display garden at West Madison Agricultural Research Station.


Dairy cattle graze on a paddock as the sun rises at Marshfield Agricultural Research Station.


Soil science professor Alfred Hartemink and students in Soil Sci 325 Soils and Landscapes discuss their observations in a soil pit during a visit to Marshfield Agricultural Research Station. The class visits several stations around the state to study the different soils at each location.


Michal Michiels BS’19, left, and Bridget Motiff BS’21 chat while taking notes during evening trap checks at Kemp Natural Resources Station in May 2019. As undergraduates at the time, the two were taking a wildlife ecology summer practicum in which students utilize trapping and surveying techniques to inventory the flora and fauna on assigned parcels of land.


This article was posted in Basic Science, Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Changing Climate, Cover Story, Economic and Community Development, Features, Food Systems, Health and Wellness, Healthy Ecosystems, Spring 2022 and tagged , , .