Students in Dairy Nutrition lab at Mann Valley Farm 09182017 kmh-4
Former UWRF student Mikayla Birschbach works with a cow at the university’s Mann Valley Farm. This fall, UW-River Falls will host the longstanding farm and industry short course that teaches participants about farming during 16 weeks of classes.

Registration open for Farm and Industry Short Course

at UW-River Falls

Participants urged to register soon to secure a spot in inaugural course at UWRF

May 24, 2023 - Registration is open for the popular, longstanding Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls this fall. The program had been held at UW-Madison since 1885 but is moving to UW-River Falls for the first time this year.
UW-River Falls will host the 16-week program and will collaborate with UW-Madison and UW-Platteville to provide instruction. The course is scheduled to begin October 25 and run through March 15. 
Enrollment in the class will be limited to 24 students. Those interested should register soon to ensure their placement. A special tuition and housing rate will be offered to students participating in the course during the inaugural year. 
UW-River Falls is nationally known for its agriculture program and focus on undergraduate education, making the university a perfect fit for FISC, said Steve Kelm, chair of the Animal and Food Science Department. The university’s dairy farm is 10 minutes from campus and dairy and meat processing plants are on campus itself, providing students with numerous hands-on learning opportunities, he said.  
“Add in a very active UWRF Dairy Club, plus other student organizations, and you have an environment where FISC students can thrive and develop relationships that will last decades into the future,” Kelm said.  
When UW-Madison decided to change its programming to offer different flexible training options in agriculture and not host the FISC program, UW-River Falls decided to host it. The course was last offered at UW-Madison in the 2021-22 academic year.

FISC students will live together in one of the newly renovated residence halls at UW-River Falls. Classes will be taught by UWRF faculty during the first eight weeks of the course. Then, during the winter term in January, UW-River Falls will collaborate with UW-Madison and UW-Platteville to instruct students. Students will continue their coursework at UWRF for the first half of the spring semester until the course ends. 

The focus of FISC will be on dairy farming, specifically the fundamentals of managing cows and calves, with additional education on topics such as nutrition, dairy techniques, mastitis and milk quality and dairy recordkeeping.

Students will earn 18-20 credits during their first year, credits that can be applied to a degree at UWRF or elsewhere. By living on campus, they will experience a supportive environment and meet other students.

FISC students will enjoy the same benefits as other students. They can join clubs and participate in campus recreation activities and will have free admission to all campus athletic facilities and events and reduced admission to other events such as theater performances.

To learn more about the Farm and Industry Short Course Program at UWRF, visit, call 715-425-3704 or email

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