Ladies, there's still time to join Heart of the Farm ag program

UW Extension
Women in agriculture are encouraged to participate in this “day away from the farm” and connect with women who share the same experiences and challenges as others do.

NEWTON, Wis. – One of this year’s Heart of the Farm programs will be held at a new venue—the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center. The $13 million attraction is a state-of-the-art, interactive discovery center that focuses on the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture within a framework of sustainable and responsible farming practices.

Farm Wisconsin is located south of Manitowoc at 7001 Gass Lake Road, northwest of the I-43 and County Road C intersection.

The Heart of the Farm event promises to be a fun-filled and educational day. The “Heart of the Farm” program is scheduled for Thursday, April 4th, from 10 a.m. (9 a.m. registration) to 3:00 p.m. Highlights of the meeting include a voice for agriculture, calf management, taking care of you, and the art of negotiating.

The goals for the day is to provide you support in management and financial decision-making, to help you connect with agricultural resources, and to create support networks.

Bill Jartz, WBAY News Anchor, will kick things off with his life’s story which involved growing up on a small farm near Clintonville. Jartz has been at WBAY Channel 2 in Green Bay since 1983 and has been the voice of Lambeau Field since 2005. Bill will have you laughing many times over as he recounts his experiences and his tremendous appreciation for farmers and those individuals who work with farmers. Raised in Clintonville, Wisconsin, Bill Jartz earned All-State recognition as a high school football player.

The second presentation is entitled, Calves are the Future of Your Dairy. Laura Raatz, Herds Manager for Wagner Dairy will offer her experiences during this presentation. 

Raatz is a 5th generation dairy farmer at Wagner Farms in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin where she farms with her parents, brother, and husband. They operate a 650 cow dairy farm. She has been the calf manager for seven years and took on the Herds Manager position three years ago. Laura and her dad also have their own leadership training business where they try to encourage and influence the most important thing on this planet, people.

Taking Care of You (TCY) is a research-based program that offers practical strategies and experiences to help people deal with the stress in their lives. Carol Bralich, Extension Washington County Family Living Educator will address how to manage life’s challenges in healthy ways allowing participants to take better care of themselves and their overall health. Each week explore topics through small group discussion, self-reflection and activities.

Participants will consider ways to:

  • Become more aware of the mind-body connection and how to use this awareness for better health.
  • Develop habits that can lead to a healthier person: body, mind, and spirit.
  • Respond versus react to the stress in life.
  • Discover opportunities in life’s challenges.
  • Find ways to bring more joy into life.
  • Simplify life.
  • Live more in the moment.

The Art of Negotiation, will be presented by Steph Plaster and Amber O'Brien, Extension Agriculture Educators.

Negotiation is an essential business strategy –whether one is negotiating a sales contract, an employment opportunity, or wants to clarify who is cooking dinner—negotiation is part of every business owner’s toolkit. Many times we feel unprepared and unskilled in this form of communication.

 In this training we explore what negotiation really is (and what it is not), how to prepare for and execute a successful negotiation, and how to preserve a relationship when you’ve “lost the deal”. This interactive workshop is designed to address negotiation from the perspective of women farmers and ranchers.

Completing the day will be a “Paint and Sip” (beverages and/or ice cream available through the café), watercolor painting, or the Farm Wisconsin Bus Tour.

Women in agriculture are encouraged to participate in this “day away from the farm” and connect with women who share the same experiences and challenges as others do.

The registration fee is $30 per person and includes meals, admission to the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, and materials for the meeting.  Participants are encouraged to come early for registration, and/or to stay later to tour the Discovery Center as part of the day.  Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center is open until 5 pm, however the last tour to the dairy farm leaves at 2 p.m.

Conference near you

Can't make this event, check out other conferences around the state.

April 4—Millhome Supper Club, Kiel. Contact: Tina Kohlman, Extension Fond du Lac County, (920) 929-3171.

April 9—Belvedere Supper Club, Marshfield. Contact: Matt Lippert, Extension Wood County, (715) 423-8440. Sign-up deadline April 2. For brochure click here.

April 27—Sawmill Brewing Company, Merrill. Contact: Dan Marzu, Extension Langlade and Lincoln Counties (715) 539-1078.

Brochures and registration information is available through the local sponsoring Extension office. Heart of the Farm is partially funded and supported by the UW Center for Dairy Profitability and UW-Madison, Division of Extension. More information about Heart of the Farm can be found at