WEST KEWAUNEE, Wis. — Trent Dado grew up on a dairy farm in Amery, Wisconsin.
That upbringing gave him a pretty good idea of all the jobs tied to agriculture. On Tuesday, he explained to middle schoolers the basics of dairy cattle nutrition.
“We’re talking through the different types of crops we feed to dairy cows, why we feed these certain crops and the importance of total mixed ration — or TMR — in terms of producing high-quality milk for the dairies in Wisconsin,” he said.
Dado is an independent nutrition and management consultant with GPS Dairy Consulting. He was also one of the people at Ag Career Days talking about what they do and how they got there.
The two-day event is presented by the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp. at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy Farm near Kewaunee.
It’s intended to show students from across Kewaunee and part of Door County the variety of careers in agriculture.
“The dairy industry is a very traditional industry in the state of Wisconsin. It’s really true to our identity,” Dado said. “To keep that, and to keep our competitive marketplace in terms of our famous cheeses and famous products, it’s really important we keep the talent within the state. Days like today are really important in terms of exposing more and more people to the industry and helping recruit and create interest for Ag careers.”
The event is expected to draw around 1,000 students to the farm over the two days.
Elayna Jauquet, a seventh grader from Luxemburg-Casco Middle School, was one of those students.
“We’re learning about the farms and how they produce the cheese and the milk and what the cows eat,” she said.
Education stations at Pagel’s Ponderosa included looks at agronomy, farm banking, manure digestion and cheese-making.
“It’s kind of cool to learn about how all the cheese is made and how complicated it is,” Jauquet said.
Dado said he hopes Ag Career Days helps lead some of these students into Ag-related careers.
“Today will be a really good day to see what kinds of career paths are open and what kinds of classes they might need to start lining up in their high school days and to start thinking about college too in terms of what they might want to do for a career,” he said.