Two new agricultural educators are now serving Barron County under a new regional structure within UW-Extension.

The Regional Dairy Educator will be Ryan Sterry, who joined Extension in 2006, serving as the Agriculture Agent in Polk County and St. Croix County. The new Regional Crops Educator is Michael Geissinger, who joined Extension Nov. 8.

These new regional positions will provide research-based education to dairy and crop producers by assessing the needs of farmers in their region and designing and delivering educational programming and services to meet those needs.

Sterry’s background is in dairy, farm management and livestock. His work includes the development of a corn silage pricing spreadsheet and mobile app, and has been active in the Intuitive Cost of Production Analysis (ICPA) field data collection projects and publications. Sterry received his Bachelor’s degree from UW-River Falls, and Master’s degree from UW-Madison. Ryan received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award in 2021

Geissinger comes from Iowa, but he grew up in central Wisconsin on a family farm.

This, as well as his involvement in 4-H and FFA, led him to pursue further education at Iowa State University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and minor in Animal Science, with a goal to help sustainably feed the world and conserve natural resources. He’s experienced working in both public and private research while gaining diverse sales experience in different facets of agriculture.

In particular, he his experience in agronomy/ soils/ research/ ecology coursework, community involvement, his love for science-based solutions to issues facing agriculture and conservation, and serving many agricultural leadership positions has prepared him for this new opportunity.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the UW-Madison Extension team,” said Geissinger “I’m especially looking forward to using research to support crop production education in the area and growing with local farmers, people, and communities to work toward a bright future of agriculture together.”

Dairy and crop production are the largest agricultural industries in the state and Regional Educators will offer specific expertise that can serve those industries across several counties. Regional Educators will:

• Design and deliver educational meetings and field days in the counties they represent

• Provide consultation on production challenges to farmers and agricultural consultants

• Contribute to digital outreach opportunities on agricultural topics through email, websites, and social media

• Collaborate with other educators and specialists across the state

• Engage with Extension Committees on progress and planning

These Educators will cover Barron, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties in 2022.