Extension introduces regional dairy and crops educators

The University of Wisconsin – Division of Extension is moving to a structure of having Regional Dairy and Crops Educators across the state. These positions will provide research-based education to dairy and crop producers by assessing the needs of farmers in their region and designing and delivering educational programming and services to meet those needs.

Dairy and crop production are the largest agricultural industries in the state and Regional Educators will offer specific expertise that can serve those industries across several counties. Regional Educators will:

•Design and deliver educational meetings and field days in the counties they represent •Provide consultation on production challenges to farmers and agricultural consultants •Contribute to digital outreach opportunities on agricultural topics through email, websites, and social media

•Collaborate with other educators and specialists across the state

•Engage with Extension Committees on progress and planning We are excited to announce that our region will be served by both a Regional Dairy Educator and Regional Crops Educator. These Educators will cover Barron, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties in 2022.

The Regional Dairy Educator will be Ryan Sterry, who joined Extension in 2006, serving as the Agriculture Agent in Polk County and St. Croix County. Sterry’s educational programming has previously been focused on dairy, farm management, and livestock. His work includes the development of a corn silage pricing spreadsheet and mobile app, and has been active in the Intuitive Cost of Production Analysis (ICPA) field data collection projects and publications. He received his Bachelor’s degree from UW-River Falls, and Master’s degree from UW-Madison. Sterry received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award in 2021.

The new Regional Crops Educator is Michael Geissinger. He joined our team on Nov. 8. He comes to us from Iowa, although he grew up in central Wisconsin on a family farm. This, as well as his involvement in 4-H and FFA, led him to pursue further education at Iowa State University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and minor in Animal Science, with a goal to help sustainably feed the world and conserve natural resources. He’s experienced working in both public and private research while gaining diverse sales experience in different facets of agriculture. In particular, his experience in agronomy/ soils/ research/ ecology coursework, community involvement, his love for science-based solutions to issues facing agriculture and conservation, and serving many agricultural leadership positions has prepared him for this new opportunity!

'I'm thrilled to be joining the UW-Madison Extension team! I'm especially looking forward to using research to support crop production education in the area and growing with local farmers, people, and communities to work toward a bright future of agriculture together,” said Geissinger.

Submitted by University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension

Ryan Sterry

Michael Geissinger

November 16, 2021