Ag students tour farms, learn about careers

Jake Peissig, back center, explains how his farm’s robotic milkers work as students watch them in action during a tour at JTP Dairy near Dorchester Saturday. 	Cierra Ehrke-Essock, right, an ag education major at UW-River Falls, shows a group of students an esophogeal feeder used to provide nutrition to calves.  	Under the guidance of local veterinarian Loren Heusel, back center, students get a closer look at anatomy by dissecting cow hearts.

With blue plastic booties wrapped around their shoes, dozens of high school students and their teachers shuffled their way around the Heeg Brothers Dairy Saturday afternoon, walking between calf hutches, a large freestall barn and a machine shed with a hands-on exhibit displaying the inner-workings of a dairy cow.
Later, the group would leave the farm east of Colby and head up to JTP Dairy just west of Dorchester to see the Peissig family’s robotic milkers in action. Before the afternoon was over, the young ag students would also travel to Marieke Gouda in Thorp to see and taste some world-famous cheese from the heart of America’ Dairyland.
The group of over 40 students from 25 different school districts congregated at Colby High School over this past weekend as part of the annual “Youth Leadership Derby” put on by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW).

To read the rest of this story pick up the April 26 issue of The Tribune-Phonograph; or subscribe online at

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