Wisconsin Life # 712: Cultivating Innovation

January 9, 2020


Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald heads to Stratford to spend time on a dairy farm for the first time! Fitzgerald visits UW-Madison’s Marshfield Agricultural Research Station. The farm, actually located in Stratford, is part of a collection of research stations located across the state, each with its own research focus. Angela hears from Nancy Esser, superintendent and herd manager, about the strong legacy of conducting research that directly impacts local farmers and communities. One area of focus is the growth and development of dairy heifers. Angela also talks with Jason Cavadini, assistant superintendent and agronomist, about the agronomy program focused on producing forages for feeding livestock and grazing.


Fitzgerald also shares a collection of all-new stories from our Wisconsin Life team, including a profile of Fred Burwell, the archivist at Beloit College Library. He arrived as a student more than 30 years ago and never left. Burwell discovered a job in the college archive room and now he is considered a “walking encyclopedia” about Beloit College.

Next, we meet an artist from Algoma. Bren Sibilsky is a sculptor. She specializes in classical realism. Sibilsky also considers herself a storyteller creating lifelike sculptures of people and animals from clay, bronze and wood.

 Then, we catch up with Jennifer Van Os. She felt a real scientific understanding of what makes a farm animal most healthy and comfortable was sorely lacking. Now as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, instead of assuming a productive cow is a healthy cow, Van Os brings scientific rigor to experiments seeking to determine what really makes for a contented cow.

Finally, we see the Fondy Blades in action. The Fond du Lac Blades is Wisconsin’s premier synchronized skating team. Sixteen ice skaters from across the state make up the Fond du Lac Blades Synchronized Skating Team. They glide, dance, spin and jump across the ice while representing the United States at competitions around the world.


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