More than 200 people were in attendance at the UW System Wisconsin Idea Dairy Summit today in Madison. Top researchers, industry leaders, and policy makers met to identify challenges and opportunities for the dairy industry moving forward. The dairy industry and farmers are vitally important to Wisconsin’s economy with farms producing 30 billion pounds of milk each year.

“Wisconsin is widely known as ‘The Dairy State.’ From evidence-based research to the development of new products, we aim to be the best in the world,” said UW System President Ray Cross.  “Looking around at the talented people assembled at the summit, I am confident Wisconsin will continue to be recognized internationally as the standard-bearer for this industry.”

The summit was divided into three sessions:

  • Understanding Dairy Industry Issues in Wisconsin
  • Addressing Challenges and Meeting Opportunities Today
  • Creating a Vibrant Dairy Industry for Wisconsin’s Future

These sessions featured presentations on topics including dairy processing and production techniques, Agribusiness, Food Science, the future of the dairy industry, and much more.

“The summit was an excellent start in what I hope will develop a strengthened connection throughout the entire structure of the dairy sector in Wisconsin,” said Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel.

The Dairy Summit was the first UW System Wisconsin Idea Summit, which is an initiative in the System’s 2020FWD strategic framework.  The UW System will convene listening and engagement sessions across the state as needed to help address the most pressing challenges in the state.  These summits will engage community, business, government, and non-profit leaders to galvanize interest, share expertise, and find solutions.


Stephanie Marquis, UW System

Bill Cosh, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection