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500 N First Street, Suite 8000
P.O. Box 8050
Wausau, WI 54402-8050
Toll Free: 800.477.8050
Distinguished Service Award, National Association of County Agricultural Agents (1999)
For 30-plus years the citizens of Marathon County and Wisconsin benefited from the distinguished service and leadership that Mike Wildeck brought to the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
Before retirement in late 2011, Mike served as Director/Dairy Agent for Marathon County UW-Extension. In retirement, Mike continues to be an Emeritus Professor of the UW-Extension. Teaching priorities and research contributions varied over the years, but most recently focused on dairy facilities’ modernization, nutrient management planning, improving milk quality, and developing a network to revitalize the local agriculture industry.
One of Mike ‘s most notable career accomplishments is the ability to work cooperatively with other partners to build highly effective programs. Having served twice as the Executive Secretary for Marathon County Farm Technology Days (1996, 2011) is certainly evidence of that, but his support in the development of Dairyland State Academy (DSA) is another example. The concept of a hands-on agriculture school in the heart of north-central Wisconsin was little more than a dream in 2005, but by 2011, the school ‘s 110 acre site included new livestock facilities and classrooms, new staff and teachers, a herd of 48 milking cows, 34 full-time students, and 118 agriculture producers taking continuing education classes. Educational partners included Northcentral Technical College (NTC), UW-River Falls, UW-Green Bay, UW-Marathon County and Marathon County UW-Extension. Articulation agreements were also struck with nine high school agriculture programs, accounting for 185 high school agriculture students taking NTC classes for credit. Nine private/public partners have donated or pledged more than $3.5 million in product and services. Known today as NTC’ s Agriculture Center of Excellence (ACE), the farm site hosts programs for dairy and a variety of other agriculture and life-science disciplines.