Faculty and staff working in organic agriculture
Certified organic acres at UW research stations
Outside partners working with us on projects related to organic
Years of organic programming
Featured faculty, students, and staff
With almost 70,000 students, faculty, and staff at UW-Madison, there’s no shortage of stories to tell. Here we’ll feature a rotating cast of some of the many passionate people engaged in organic research, study, outreach, and education. If you’re a member of the UW community and would like your work to be featured, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Julie Dawson
Position title: Associate Professor
Home town: Ithaca, NY
Tell us a little bit about your program (research/teaching): My research interests include the use of genetic resources in plant breeding for organic systems and methods for participatory selection and variety development. My extension program includes the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative, which works with plant breeders to test varieties with local farmers and chefs, focused on flavor for local food systems. I teach Organic Vegetable Production and co-teach Principles of Plant Breeding with Natalia deLeon.
How does your research impact the world outside academia? I hope that my program will result in high quality, well adapted varieties available to farmers and everyone eating locally in Wisconsin.
Why is it important for you, as a researcher and as a person, to focus on organic agriculture? I find organic systems very interesting in terms of plant breeding because we need to work to optimize plant adaptation to the environment and understand how varieties interact with environmental conditions. I find the organic community to be very welcoming and interested in improving not only production but also the environmental and social impacts of agriculture. I started working with organic systems as an undergraduate student and never stopped.
What do you love most about living in Wisconsin? The strong commitment of farmers to cooperative research and sharing knowledge with each other.
What was the last thing you read for pleasure? I’ve been reading the Amaranthe series by G.S. Jennison.
What music keeps you going while doing research and writing? Caroline Smith’s Half About Being a Woman and, lately, Labi Siffre. Morning Classics on WPR is also a stalwart companion.
Other groups working on organics around campus
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS)
CIAS is a sustainable agriculture and food systems research center that fosters multidisciplinary inquiry and supports a range of research, outreach and training projects.
F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture
‘F.H. King’ is a student-run agricultural collective connected to the University of Wisconsin-Madison that runs a two-acre organic farm, distributes free organic produce, and organizes educational programming, workshops, and community events.
Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers
WSBDF provides the opportunity for motivated individuals to educate themselves about pasture-based dairy and livestock farming and offers training through traditional classroom activities, hands-on internships, and farm tours.
Room 593A Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706