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February 2012
Supporting Our Future
Tour the New Biochem Buildings
A New Class on CALS History
Judith Kimble Joins National Medal of Science Committee
Status of WI Ag Report Online
Wall St. Journal: "CDR on Speed Dial"
"Doors of UW" Poster Benefits Student Aid
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Supporting Our Future
Interim Dean William F. Tracy

Less state support for the UW means higher tuition--and that could pose a burden for prospective students from rural areas, says Bill Tracy, interim dean of CALS and a professor and chair of the department of agronomy.


"When the state fails to support the university, the university gets the needed revenue by charging students and their families more. This is a pretty straightforward relationship, but I am not sure that the implications are always clear," Tracy says in a column titled "Supporting Our Future," written for the WALSAA Express and reprinted here in the Sifting and Winnowing blog.


Tracy's service as interim dean is nearly over. The new dean of CALS, Kate VandenBosch, arrives on campus next month.

Grand Opening: The New Old Biochemistry Buildings
Biochemistry Building
A light-flooded gathering space in the remodeled biochemistry complex
Take an online tour of the latest gems on campus: the remodeled, connected buildings that now comprise the biochemistry complex. The newest part is the oldest. The oldest is called the addition. Valuable wall murals by John Steuart Curry and a venerable elm tree have been preserved. Sound intriguing? Learn more on our tour!


Auditors Welcome: New Class Teaches and Preserves CALS' History    

Stephen Babcock
Don't know much about (CALS) history? That's the concern of a group of faculty and staff led by Bob Kauffman, an emeritus professor of animal sciences, and Dave Nelson, a professor of biochemistry.

They seek to address that knowledge gap through a new class called "Groundbreaking Research in the Life Sciences at the UW: Past And Present"--or "Inter Ag 375" for short.

The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:45, 420 Henry Mall, Room 1125. Tuesdays focus on groundbreaking discoveries at CALS; Thursdays on current research based on those discoveries; and a hands-on workshop after Thursday lectures includes use of historical instruments and techniques to do classic experiments. (Example: Stephen Babcock's original milk fat content test, see photo.)

Auditors are very welcome and need not attend all classes. More information here and on pdf attachment found at that link (but please note: the time/location shown above is correct!).
Kimble to Help Select National Medal of Science Winners

Judith KimbleIt's the most prestigious science award in the country--and biochemistry professor Judith Kimble has been tapped to help select the recipients. Kimble will serve on President Obama's Committee on the National Medal of Science, as announced in a White House press release.


"I'm very flattered that I was considered for this," says Kimble. "It's a huge honor to be in a position to help select our future National Medal of Science awardees."  


Click here to learn more about Kimble and the award. 

Status of Wisconsin Agriculture Online
Status of WI Ag cover

Wisconsin farm income set a record last year, but high grain prices cut into dairy profits, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison agricultural economists in their 2012 Status of Wisconsin Agriculture report.


The report's authors estimate that the state's farmers collectively earned a record $2.4 billion in net farm income, up about 17 percent from 2010 and three times what they earned in 2009, when plunging milk prices put many dairy operations in the red.


But not all of the state's commodity sectors benefited equally, the report notes. While soaring corn and soybean prices boosted profits for crop producers, they trimmed those of farmers who have to buy grain or grain-based products to feed livestock. Click here to read more and here to download a pdf of the report. 

Wall Street Journal: "CDR on Speed Dial"
Sid Cook in WSJ
Sid Cook at the Carr Valley plant in La Valle
Photo: Carl Corey/
Wall Street Journal
A recent Wall Street Journal article dubbed Sid Cook, owner of Carr Valley Cheese Company, "the reigning whiz of artisanal cheese." Cook, who has overseen the launching of dozens of new cheeses, gets ideas and inspiration from such wide-ranging sources as family, customers, music, visits to spice shops--and from CALS' Center for Dairy Research, where he took classes in the 1990s.

"It's on speed dial," says Cook about the CDR. "You can get them up on the phone and say, 'What if...?'"

Click here for the Wall Street Journal story and here to learn more about CDR, Cook and other Wisconsin master cheesemakers.
UW Doorway Poster Benefits Student Aid
Doors of UW Madison
You can contribute to need-based student aid offered by the Great People Scholarship Campaign by purchasing a new poster called "Doors of UW-Madison" (image left). CALS-affiliated buildings comprise eight of the 25 featured entryways.
Posters can be purchased for $20 at University Book Store (State Street and Hilldale) or by sending a check ($25 includes shipping and handling, $30 for international) along with your name and mailing address to DEM Posters, 333 East Campus Mall, Madison, WI 53715-1376. More information here
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