Babcock Institute, UW-Madison Extend The Wisconsin Idea to China

MADISON (from the Babcock Institute) – As demand for dairy products in China continues to grow, the Babcock Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are working together to expand trade opportunities between Wisconsin and China.

As evidence of this growing partnership, Karen Nielsen, director of the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development, recently traveled with Dr. Kenneth Buelow, manager of Holsum Dairies, and Stephen Dvorak, president of GHP, Inc., to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province China for the seventh Sino-U.S. Dairy Research Seminar.

The seminar, which focused on management of large-scale dairy farms, drew more than 350 attendees, the largest to date. As a keynote speaker, Nielsen provided an overview of the U.S. dairy industry, while Buelow and Dvorak addressed the issue of sustainability in the dairy sector, including effective dairy management and the use of bio-digesters. Also attending the conference from Wisconsin were Lora Klenke, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Beng Yeap, Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and Nate Janssen and Dana Erway of the Red and White Holstein Association.

The Sino-U.S. Dairy Research Center, established in 2004 as a partnership between China Agricultural University and the Babcock Institute at the UW-Madison, is part of a growing relationship between the Babcock Institute and China. This partnership has emerged as an important resource for China’s dairy industry. Its mission is to serve as a bridge for research, education and development of Chinese and American dairy.

In keeping with The Wisconsin Idea — that education should influence and improve people’s lives beyond the university classroom — the Sino-U.S. Dairy Research Center provides the growing Chinese dairy industry with expertise from Wisconsin dairy industry leaders.

“The Babcock Institute is the finest example of The Wisconsin Idea that I can think of,” said Ric Grummer, chair of UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science. “Many of our faculty have served on educational missions to China and have observed firsthand the importance of the Babcock Institute’s work in facilitating the Chinese government’s vision for greater per capita consumption of dairy products.”

With a population of 1.3 billion people, the demand in China for dairy products is growing, particularly for higher value items such as yogurt, dairy beverages and infant formula. The U.S. has emerged as the largest exporter of agricultural products to China, with $62 million in products coming from Wisconsin companies.

According to Nielsen, “This partnership also benefits the state of Wisconsin by opening doors for business and trade with Wisconsin companies such as Patz Manufacturing, Hampel Corporation, Kuhn North America, and Cooperative Resources International.”

In addition to the Sino-U.S. partnership, the Babcock Institute regularly hosts training programs for industry leaders from China. In recent years, Babcock has welcomed numerous groups from China, including government officials, professors, farm managers, and other dairy industry leaders, to participate in training programs and workshops. Last year, these programs garnered so much interest that the Babcock Institute will present its International Dairy Short Course in Chinese for the first time at the World Dairy Expo in September.

To learn more about the Babcock Institute’s collaboration with China, or to learn more about the Babcock Institute or World Dairy Expo International Dairy Short Course, visit or call 608-265-4169.

The Babcock Institute provides training opportunities to dairy industries around the globe. It designs and implements research and customized training programs for international leaders, educators, and dairy producers, drawing upon the depth and breadth of expertise in Wisconsin’s dairy industry.