School for Beginning Dairy Farmers
Samantha Frei is a self-described “city girl” from Madison who found her passion in farming through 4-H club, where she learned to show dairy cattle, and by working on dairy farms during summers while in high school. She originally planned to go into veterinary medicine, but an encounter at World Dairy Expo changed her mind. “It wasn’t until I was standing in front of the UW–Madison FISC booth and the School of Veterinary Medicine booth that I considered going through short course instead of a full bachelor’s degree plus vet school,” she says. That was in 2007. Frei enrolled in short course and never looked back, taking classes in crop management, soil science, dairy herd health, dairy reproduction, food processing and grass-based dairy business. She met her husband, Don, shortly after graduating, and together they transitioned his family’s 30-cow, 180-acre conventional dairy farm in Argyle to an organic dairy, Morning Dew Dairy. They currently farm 500 acres and milk 60 cows.