UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Mann Valley Farm to highlight research, dairy cows
“We feel that it is a wonderful way to showcase the technology, innovation and research that goes into agriculture today,” said Mary Brand, a member of the Pierce County Dairy Promotion Committee that plans the breakfast. “The Mann Valley Farm is an important asset to our area. This gives the public a chance to see the leading-edge research that is being done there.”
About 2,000 people from Pierce County and the surrounding area are expected to attend the dairy breakfast on Saturday, June 18, Brand said. Dairy breakfasts are planned throughout Wisconsin in June to celebrate the dairy industry and dairy month. To learn more, go to wisconsindairy.org.
The Pierce County Dairy Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $8 for those 12 and older; $5 for ages five to 11; and free for younger children. Food includes waffles, sausages, Culver’s custard and cheese curds.
Mann Valley Farm, 129 S. Glover Road, is about 2.5 miles northwest of River Falls at County Road MM and S. Glover Road. The farm has 475 acres and is comprised of dairy, beef, sheep, swine, cropping, feed processing, and composting enterprises and the St. Croix Valley Bull Testing Station. In addition, the Dairy Learning Center highlights indoor classrooms, a milking center, a pavilion for livestock sales and shows and 82 acres of state forest.
Along with seeing the farm, including the Dairy Learning Center, there will be kids’ activities with the help of Pierce County 4-H members including face painting, coloring and puppet making. Pierce County Land Conservation will also host a soil display, Brand said.
UWRF professors will share their research, including:
Mann Valley Farm veterinarian Dr. Frank During, Pierce Veterinary Clinic, will be available to talk about animal health and the Farm Nutritionist Sheldon Betzold will address animal nutrition.
Tom Brown, UWRF dairy enterprise manager, said he is excited to share the farm with the community.
“As an industry, every dairy needs to do their part in promoting the products we work so hard to produce,” Brown said. “It is important for people not connected with the industry to have exposure to where their dairy products come from. This is a working farm. We want to show people what we do every day.”
Brown noted the Mann Valley Farm is not only a working farm, but also a teaching institution and research facility.
The farm is also committed to sustainability. For example, compost is used as cow bedding and then eventually is sold to garden and flower shops for soil.
“We’re so happy to host this,” Brown said. “We are so proud of this farm. We are excited for people to see the positive changes we have made with the animals and the farm.”
The farm has 100-head of dairy cows, most of them registered Holstein. The cows recently, over two days, produced 18,000 pounds of milk. That is 92 pounds per cow per day, Brown noted.
Brand said dairy breakfasts also help show how farmers care for their animals and land and their commitment to being good stewards. It also highlights the diverse types of farming.
“We all need to eat,” Brand said. “It’s important people see what we do on our farms and in dairy operations and appreciate the work we do that leads to the food we eat.”