Otto Wiegand has served as the Agriculture Agent in Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn counties since 2004. His major program areas are Livestock, Dairy and Forages. He is headquartered at the Ag Research Station in Spooner.
Since he began his position, Otto has worked closely with the NW Wisconsin Graziers Network. His efforts have included organizing conferences with over 800 participants and pasture walks with over 2,700 participants, in addition to writing grants and coordinating the work of the grazing planners. The $270,000 in grant funding has been used to hire grazing planners, interns, and help pay for the educational events. The 160+ grazing plans completed have covered over 10,000 acres and enabled participants to capture $400,000 in NRCS EQIP cost sharing for material items.
Otto was instrumental in facilitating hay sales in recent years which resulted in Northwestern Wisconsin hay growers being put in contact with livestock farmers trying to survive drought conditions in the Midwest and in Oklahoma and Texas. He participated in multi-county, bale-weighing project that helped farmers learn the true weights of their round bales in addition to quality analyses.
Otto made contact with all of the 100+ dairy farms by 2009 in the three counties. He has facilitated dairy modernization processes at over 50 different dairy farms (80 visits) in the three counties using David Kammel to visit with these farmers to give them options to modernize their dairy operations.
Otto has hosted the Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers School at various places in Northwestern Wisconsin for eight years educating 65 students. He has hosted five Heart of the Farm Workshops for women. He is active in local food and sustainable farming issues. Otto has also done ten Farmer-to-Farmer agricultural consulting trips to Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe since 2004.
To read more about the Otto’s scholarly UW-Extension work, please click here.