Australian Farmers Visit Wisconsin

International travel opportunities can be hard to come by for many farmers. That’s why 23 Australian farmers jumped at the opportunity to travel to the States and see how agricultural practices here differ from what they are familiar with. The group consists of dairy farmers from the Australian state of Victoria, located in the southeastern part of the country. 

The group began their trip with visits to a variety of agricultural operations in California. After a week there, they traveled to Wisconsin with the hope of gaining insight as to what makes Wisconsin America’s Dairyland. Their days were spent visiting 5-10 farms or businesses that varied greatly in size and focus.   

A big part of their motivation in visiting the States is to see where the future of agriculture is headed. The States are viewed by Australians as industry leaders using technology that is 10 years ahead of where they are at. Recognizing that allows them to begin planning and preparing for updates to their operations that are still years away. 

Australian dairy farmer Blake Randle remarked that one of the biggest differences between farms in Wisconsin and Australia is size. He says, “At home, the majority of farms are maxed out at 1,500 or 2,000 head whereas here you can see farms that have up to 9,000 cows.” He also shared that most cows back home are primarily outside year round grazing grass as the climate allows for that. 

One of the greatest similarities Randle noticed between Australian and Wisconsin farmers is that everyone carries the same drive and passion for the industry. Randle shared that “every farmer loves what they’re doing, they wouldn’t get out of bed if they didn’t love what they were doing.”