Due to COVID-19, the 16th Annual Ride to Farm has been postponed until Saturday September 12th, 2020.

Join us for a beautiful ride with refreshment breaks at two grass-based farms. Ride to Farm is a bicycle ride to raise awareness and funds for the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The school's mission is "If you have a dream to farm, we're here to help you get started." The WSBDF emphasizes business planning and pasture-based farm management. Donations can be made to individual riders and teams, or you can make a general donation. Riders must raise a minimum of $100 to participate in Ride to Farm. See the Ride Highlights below for more details.

Retiring farmers are leaving farming at a much faster rate than new farmers are starting. Our school meets the critical need to train, mentor, and support Wisconsin’s next generation of dairy and livestock farmer stewards who will work to ensure the availability of local food and healthy rural communities. Our dairy and livestock seminar emphasizes low-capital, environmentally friendly, grass-based dairy farming. About 600 students have attended the school and more than 75 percent of its graduates are farming today!

Donations will go to support WSBDF and be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tuition scholarships and internship expenses
  • Scholarships for student travel to conferences
  • Honoraria for farmers who help teach this course
  • Short-term and long-term support for the school through staff salary and its endowment at the UW-Madison

Donations will go to the University of Wisconsin Foundation and are tax deductible.

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers is sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Farm and Industry Short Course, both within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW-Madison.

Here are some details for the 2020 ride


There is no entry fee for Ride to Farm. However, all riders age 12 and older are required to raise at least $100 in order to participate in this event. IF YOU DO NOT MEET THIS GOAL BY September 9th, 2020 YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RIDE. We strongly encourage riders to exceed this fundraising goal.


Rider teams are also strongly encouraged! We will have fabulous prizes for both the individual top fundraisers and the rider teams that raise the most money. So be sure to bring your friends! (Rider teams must raise at least $100 per rider by June 3rd to participate.)

There will be rest stops (with local foods, snacks and water available) on two grass-based farms. Lunch is on your own, but the official lunch stop is in Spring Green at Culver's - one of our generous sponsors. If you prefer to ride half of the course, you can either start your ride at Birch Lake Park and end your ride at Culver's restaurant, or start at Culver's in Spring Green and end at the park.

Want to join in the fun without riding? Ride to Farm needs volunteers to help the day of the event with registration, rider support and rest stops. We also need volunteers to help mark the route the day before the ride. If you'd like to help out, contact Nadia Alber at nalber@wisc.edu or (608) 265-6437. (If you're planning to ride and volunteer, you can sign up to help when your register.)

After the ride, please join us for an awards ceremony starting around 3pm. Please come enjoy drinks, food and camaraderie at Birch Lake Park shelter. Families are welcome to join us for the post-ride fun!


Thank you to our ride sponsors:

Compeer Financial
Culvers Restaurants
Organic Valley Family of Farms

Spring Street Sports
Wisconsin Farmers Union

Special thanks to Grass Dairy/Uplands Cheese and Cates Farmily Farm for hosting our ride this summer!






WSBDF Partners:

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship

Gathering Waters Conservancy
Lakeshore Natural Resources Partnership

USDA-Farm Service Agency
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course