Dane County is hosting the 75th Alice in Dairyland Finals, which will take place May 19-21, culminating at the Monona Terrace in Madison.
The 73rd and 74th Alice in Dairyland Julia Nunes is looking forward to learning more about Dane County’s ag industry in the months leading up to the event. She also shares with the Mid-West Farm Report how her summer has been on the road at county fairs, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, dairy breakfasts and agribusiness tours. Soon, you’ll be able to see her at the Wisconsin State Fair.
UW-Extension reports more than 2,500 farms own and manage over 506,000 acres, or about 66 percent, of the county’s total land. The county’s diverse agriculture industry also provides more than 14,100 jobs and $3.1 billion in economic activity. With a strong movement towards purchasing local foods, $4 million of Dane County’s agricultural products are sold directly to consumers. The county’s main agricultural commodities include dairy cows, corn, soybeans, alfalfa hay and winter wheat.
Both Nunes and DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski talked with Stephanie Hoff of the Mid-West Farm Report at Dinner in Dane, a “dinner-in-the-field” event recognizing and kicking off the upcoming 75th Alice in Dairyland finals in Dane county. The dinner was a fundraiser for Alice in Dairyland, and Little John’s — a community kitchen in Fitchburg. Chef Dave Heide of Little John’s and Lilianna’s prepared a four-course meal served outdoors at the J. Henry & Sons family farm in Dane.
Romanski says statewide ag education through the Alice in Dairyland program is an asset to Wisconsin’s ag industry. He also touches on DATCP’s efforts in connecting producers impacted by a disrupted supply chain during the pandemic to food pantries needing more volume to support families in need. He predicts those direct connections between producers and consumers will continue. During the pandemic, he says people had growing interest in where their food was coming from.