Platteville Pioneer Farm

Platteville Pioneer Farm, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm supports the vitality of Wisconsin agriculture. Pioneer Farm’s mission is to provide on-farm experiences for students, to evaluate management practices, to conduct systems and applied research, and to communicate education and research to students, agencies, producers, and the public. Visitors and passersby will recognize Pioneer Farm by its blue roofs and white siding. Recent construction projects have seen the relocation and expansion of the Swine, Dairy, and Feed Centers. In all of these facilities, new technology has been added and flexibility of production systems has increased. Surface water runoff monitoring stations are located throughout many of the fields and pastures.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Institutional Website

Contact: Dennis Busch

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Pioneer Farm has been an integral part of UW-Platteville since the inclusion of agriculture as an academic program in the early 1900’s. Despite the move from campus to its present location in 1957, the mission has always been to maintain a working laboratory of production agriculture to demonstrate to students of all ages and levels. While agriculture technology and best management practices have evolved since those early days, that mission remains true today.

In the early years, Pioneer Farm was a mirror of typical farms with a great deal of diversity from dairy, swine, beef, horses, poultry, and sheep. Following the trend of modern agriculture, the farm at UW-Platteville has streamlined to include those enterprises of most interest to our consumer, the students, and the supporting organizations in the state of Wisconsin.

Platteville Pioneer CurrentThe philosophy of Pioneer Farm has always been to provide real life situations for our students. Therefore, the management and marketing strategies are very similar to those facing private producers. While undeniably there are significant differences in the financial component, the farm does face many of the same economic challenges.

Pioneer Farm consists of 430 total acres with some of the best soil in southwest Wisconsin. Our gently rolling fields are managed with conservation in mind and are rotated between corn, oats and alfalfa on the 325 tillable acres. Our livestock enterprises include dairy, beef and swine.

Platteville Pioneer BullThe Ag Technology Center (ATC) is the communication hub of Pioneer Farm. Fiber optics allow instantaneous delivery of information world-wide.

A High Technology Classroom with seating for 30 to 60 people is located in this facility.  The classroom can be used for classes, workshops, conferences, and other events.  The ATC also includes a conference room with seating for 20, an atrium available for receptions and luncheons, and office space for farm staff, visiting faculty, and scientists. The entire facility has wireless Internet access.

Platteville Monitoring

The Cooper Living and Learning Center opens many doors for UW-Platteville. This facility provides 12 suites for short-term lodging. Suites vary from double to quad residency, accommodating up to 40 guests. It includes a kitchen for preparation of guest’s own meals, a dining/lounge area, and a patio where visitors can relax and exchange ideas. UW-Platteville Dining Services and Catering Services are also options for those who don’t want to make their own meal. This is a place where farmers, scientists, professors, and other agricultural scholars and professionals can stay while studying or engaging in research at Pioneer Farm. It is an ideal site for retreats, seminars, workshops, and other overnight activities.

The feed center was constructed in 2006 to provide expanded feed processing and storage facilities for the farm. The center includes grain storage for 30,000 bushels, commodity bins and a platform scale.  The center provides storage for farm grown crops and purchased inputs with the ability to mix and grind our own feed. The digital scale provides accurate data collection for crop harvesting, livestock records and manure weights.