Ken Williams has served as the Waushara County Agricultural Agent since 2005. Before moving to Waushara County Ken served as the UW-Extension Agriculture Agent in Langlade County from 1999 to 2005. With over 200,000 acres utilized for grain production across the Central Wisconsin Agricultural Specialization (CWAS) 7 county area, grain production is very important. Ken’s major programming efforts focus on grain production and farm business management.
Ken has re-established a Grain Producer Breakfast Club which meets monthly, except during busy planting and harvesting seasons. This group meets for breakfast and a short educational program. In June or July a crop walk is conducted at one of the producers’ farms, which is a cooperative efforts from Ag Agents from CWAS and Winnebago County and Waushara County Land Conservation. Recently, seven participants indicated a positive increase in profitability of over $300,000 as a result of knowledge gained by attending the grain club meetings.
Ken organized a bus trip for grain producers to the CBOT and Nidera Grain. This provided 32 grain producers with education and firsthand knowledge of how the grain market in Chicago operates and affects local grain markets.
Ken has developed and maintains an Excel workbook with individual worksheets for corn, soybeans, wheat, seeding alfalfa and established alfalfa cost of production information. In addition to Ag Agents, the workbook is helpful to bankers, farm cooperatives, newspaper personnel and land conservation personnel. Ken has also developed and maintains a fertilizer cost for Crop Removal spreadsheet.
Farm business management is an important and necessary aspect of all areas of agricultural production. Ken works to provide educational programming to meet this need by personally working with farmers in areas of farm transfer, farm business management and foreclosure issues, setting up possible dairy star-up budgets and working with producers on balance sheets and income statements. In addition to meeting personally with farmers, he conducts training sessions and workshops.
Additionally, Ken wrote and administered a CWAS 7-County 2011 Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Grant that included several on-farm demonstration plots. He also writes weekly agriculture related articles for the local newspapers.
In November 2014 Ken accepted additional duties as a 2014 Farm Bill Title 1 Program Delivery Specialist. The purpose of this position is to provide specialized education for state farmers on the specifics of the 2014 Farm Bill. Specialized training involved attending a multi-state training held at Indianapolis Indiana as well as an in-state training held in Stevens Point Wisconsin during November 2014. In this position Ken conducted eight training sessions across seven counties in the center part of Wisconsin during 2015. These programs explained how the three different programs in the 2014 Farm Bill worked, how to update yields, how to update acres and they also provided information on how to find additional resource material. These programs were attended by 306 area producers growing crops on over 98,000 acres.
To learn more about Ken’s scholarly UW-Extension work please click here.