Build Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center

Last Updated on April 19, 2022 by Gary Stephen

Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center is a  $13 million project supported by the WAEC Board of Directors and a group of dedicated industry professionals. An important agricultural education facility will be able to open shortly thanks to the Create. Cultivate. Educate. Campaign in the heart of America’s heartland. 

The Campaign to Build Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center 

Today, most people haven’t worked on a farm in several generations. Many Americans do not know where their food comes from or how it is produced because less than 2% of the population is involved in the food supply chain, which is why at My Garden Plant we also raise awareness on this.

 However, more and more people are concerned about the source of their food, how it is produced, and who is providing it. The goal is to feed the world’s growing population and promote environmentally-friendly farming techniques in the United States. 

The first-ever Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center offers a unique chance to educate and engage this rapidly expanding group of individuals in Wisconsin, one of the most vital states to the agriculture industry (WAEC).

CREATE | Renewed Interest in how America’s Farms Help Feed the World 

Farms help feed millions of Americans every day. The importance of farming in the lives of Americans continues to grow as their population increases and they seek more efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly farming methods. With so much excitement surrounding our industry, now is the perfect time to educate the world. The new WAEC allows us to humanize our industry!

There is no better place to do it than in Wisconsin. The agriculture industry is the heart and soul of Wisconsin. Their decades of experience make it the ideal location for visitors to learn about the industry. The WAEC will explore historic, traditional, artisan, and locally produced agricultural products made in Wisconsin, illustrating the fruitful partnership that results when hardworking farmers help meet the needs of their communities – locally and globally!

CULTIVATE | An Exciting, Innovative, and Interactive Tourist Destination

Visitors from across the country and across the state will flock to the WAEC to understand the importance of agriculture and have fun. 

The WAEC will enrich and attract significant companies to the state. It will draw inspiration from Fair Oaks Farms, an education institution in Northern Indiana that attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. The WAEC will promote and drive the sector’s economic impact in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, and globally by attracting visitors from around the country. Interactive exhibits illustrate how cheese, fruits, vegetables, and other products are produced. Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center 

From school groups and families to tourists from all over the country, facilitators of Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center expect a wide variety of guests. The center will also feature additional activities such as dairy and farm tours, lectures, culinary events, pairings, and gourmet dinners. The WAEC will be both instructive and entertaining. Some of their plans include: 

  • A 29,000-square-foot discovery center featuring educational exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Visitors can watch calves being born in a birthing barn.
  • An interactive globe that depicts population density and emphasizes the importance of finding a way to feed the world’s population.
  • A conference center for 300 people
  • A tour of Grotegut Farm, a progressive third-generation dairy farm focused on sustainability and best farming practices.
  • A café and country store with Wisconsin products, as well as an outdoor playground
  • An educational exhibit was showcasing cutting-edge technologies used to serve the world’s growing populations.


EDUCATE | People of all Ages and Backgrounds, from Across the Country

The relevance of learning and enjoying agriculture in people’s lives grows daily as environmental stewardship and feeding a growing global population become top worldwide priorities. The new WAEC will inspire a new generation of future farmers and increase appreciation for how agriculture impacts our daily lives. Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center aims to educate visitors of all ages and interests through creative physical and interactive displays, riddles, and educational challenges. The exhibits will engage visitors in critical thinking tasks designed to challenge their perception of what agriculture means to the world and how they may contribute to it. 


  • Agriculture has historically provided cost-effective food for an expanding population – and how it can continue to do so in the future.
  • Agriculture and environmental stewardship are mutually exclusive concepts.
  • Animal health and well-being are critical components of profitable farming enterprises.
  • Agriculture and dairying offer numerous employment prospects.
  • Consuming dairy and other agricultural products has a plethora of health benefits.
  • Effective farming requires strong conservation and environmental stewardship techniques, as well as the provision of habitat for wildlife and energy production.


How To Donate To Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center Campaign? 

Communities must invest in making the new WAEC a reality for all Wisconsinites and future WAEC visitors. Our community members and local businesses have already shown their willingness to invest in this innovative and exciting project, and significant work has been done.

A strong campaign, enthusiastic community support, skilled leadership, and well-developed building plans have brought the Wisconsin Agriculture Education Center within reach. The WAEC Board of Directors, along with a group of industry leaders, are supporting this $13 million undertaking. The Create. Cultivate. Educate. Campaign will assist the community in establishing a vital agricultural education center in the heartland of America.

Donate today to be a part of this exciting adventure! Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and PayPal are accepted modes of payment. This gift is tax-deductible under federal and state law. The WAEC is a 501(c)(3) organization. #46-1455118


The gift levels are the following: 

$1,000,000 —  Master Agriculturalists

$500,000 —  Founders

$250,000 —  Stewards

$100,000 —  Innovators

$50,000 —  Harvesters

$25,000 —  Producers

$10,000 —  Pioneers

$5,000 —  Cultivators

$2,500 —  Builders

$1,000 —  Farmsteaders


Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center Campaign Believers 


“Believers” are the first donors who contributed $10,000 or more to the initiative to build a world-class Agricultural Education Center in Northeast Wisconsin. WAEC was able to employ an executive director and begin setting up the center’s infrastructure thanks to their generous contributions and foresight. During the capital campaign, donors will be acknowledged in a prominent area inside the center and given special recognition.  Be inspired by some of Wisconsin’s Agricultural Education Center Campaign believers. Here are some of their insights for the initiative: 

“The future of our industry depends on a well-informed public and an appreciation for the important role agriculture plays in all our lives. We believe so strongly in the value this project will bring our industry we made an initial investment.”Dave Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer, GreenStone Farm Credit Services

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has chosen to partner with the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center because we share a similar mission – to advocate, market and educate the public on the importance of Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Collaboration and innovation are imperative to honoring our past and preparing for our future. Together we will play a pivotal role in connecting the public to our important industry.” James Robson, Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

“American agriculture has a great story to tell. As compared to just a generation ago, fewer farmers are producing more food per acre of land, while using less water and crop inputs. However, over this span of a generation, farmers have been so productive that today less than 2% of the population is now involved in production agriculture. With so few individuals with firsthand knowledge of where their food comes from, it is vital that we tell the great productivity and sustainability story of the American food and agriculture industry. Having everyone understand that story is vital to our future need of producing food using fewer resources to feed a hungry planet.”Chris Policinski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

The believers, as of December 2014 are the following: 

  • Bayland Buildings, Inc. – $10,000
  • Breeze Dairy Group – $15,000
  • Cedar Spring Dairy Farm – $15,000
  • Gerald & Mary Jeanne Censky Family – $10,000
  • Country Visions Cooperative – $15,000
  • CP Feeds – $15,000
  • Norval & Jean Dvorak Family – $10,000
  • Greendale Dairy – $15,000
  • Greenstone Farm Credit Services/AgriBank – $20,000
  • Grotegut Dairy – $15,000
  • Hall’s Calf Ranch/J & Marlene Hall – $10,000
  • Investors Community Bank – $10,000
  • Land O’ Lakes Foundation – $115,000
  • Majestic Crossing Dairy – $15,000
  • Meadow Brook Dairy Farms – $10,000
  • Milk Source, LLC – $15,000
  • Pagel’s Ponderosa/Dairy Dreams – $10,000
  • Riesterer & Schnell – $15,000
  • Robert & Laurie Schetter Family – $10,000
  • Saxon Homestead Farm – $15,000
  • Soaring Eagle Dairy – $20,000
  • Russel Strutz/Strutz Farms Inc. – $15,000
  • Twin Elm Family Farms/Dale Wagner Family – $10,000
  • Wayside Dairy – $15,00