Pioneer Farm at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a working farm with many future-leaning practices in agriculture. Visit us, as our mission has always been to maintain a working laboratory of production agriculture to demonstrate to students of all ages and levels.

Agronomy

The farm encompasses 430 total acres, with 330 of those tillable. We demonstrate soil conservation practices including tillage, contour strips, waterways and terraces. Crops rotate among oats, corn, and alfalfa hay, with a comprehensive nutrient management plan in place. We have a composting site that provides fertilizer to the farm, and to the community.

Dairy Enterprise

A visit to Pioneer Farm will allow you to see our modern facilities, with room for 200 cows. You can visit top cows among our registered Holstein and Brown Swiss herd and learn about artificial insemination and embryo transfer. We breed for a functional type, with commercial profitability a priority.

We house our calves in Calf-tel pens, donated by the Hampel Corporation, and use “Cover-All” canvas housing for our heifers.

You will see a modern milking parlor, with a double-5 herringbone design, automatic ID, automatic take-off, digital readout, and Dairy Comp 305 software tracking and reporting.

Milk Parlor South Side

We have 100 free stalls with mattresses, sawdust bedding, head locks, and one-way gates. The south milk house has a 2500-gallon milk tank, and a buffer tank to hold milk while the main tank is being washed.

On this side of the operation, you can also see utility equipment, and the computerized DHI and Dairy Comp 305 systems in use.

The south side of the milk parlor also has the capacity for robotic milkers. This equipment is currently being repaired and will be back in use in the near future.

Milk Parlor North Side

The north side of the milk parlor has similar modern free stalls and storage, with a DeLaval swinging cowbrush. This side also houses the veterinary area, with a chute and two stalls for special cow needs.

Beef Enterprise

In addition to our dairy operation, a full working beef facility is on display. We have two lots, and a working area with holding pen, tub and chute system, a digital scale, and storage for straw and feed. Our modern breeding facilities use artificial insemination, with embryo transfer and performance testing.

Our 50-head capacity upper lot holds registered Red and Black Angus beef, with winter housing for cows, heifers, and steers. Join us in mid-March to see our calving operation in action. This herd has access to a MiG (Management-intensive Grazing) pasture.

We house our bulls in our 150-head capacity lower bull lots, which also serve as home to bulls involved in the Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association (WBIA) central test during the testing period. Visit us for the WBIA Bull Test Sale held each spring.

We also host a special Beef Center Project, funded by a generous gift from Frank and Mary Jean Hlavac.

Swine Enterprise

The UW-Platteville Swine Center gives students and visitors a first-hand look at a modern swine facility.

We utilize artificial insemination as the main breeding technology. We have several crossbred and purebred Berkshire boars that we collect in-house, and we do sell semen.

Visitors will see:

  • Our 70-sow herd, group penned
  • 1400 swine wean to finish each year
  • Artificial insemination
  • Manure composting
  • 16,000 square feet high-rise composting swine facility

We offer project pigs for 4-H and FFA members in the spring, either through private treaty or through our auction which is held the third Sunday of April. We also offer breeding stock for sale at different times of the year.

The high-rise composting swine facility, located on the south side of College Farm Road, was the first of its kind in the state. It is an ideal teaching and applied research facility. The complex has a walk-in demonstration area, as well as views into various production rooms to show firsthand how the facility design, technology, and management practices work to solve key issues in the industry.

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