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Northcentral Wisconsin recognizes partnerships with UW–Madison as university celebrates 175 years

From Antigo and Junction City, to Schofield, Rib Mountain and Wausau, events marked the 175th anniversary of UW–Madison and the impact the university has on northcentral Wisconsin.

The UW’s connection to the state’s vibrant cranberry industry was highlighted at DuBay Cranberry Company in Junction City. UW–Madison is harnessing science to help cranberry growers set harvest records by using hybrids and creating new varieties of cranberries. “Our association works hand in hand with the UW and UW Extension. We use their expertise, and they have trials out here,” said DuBay Cranberry Company manager Dave Hansen.

Experts know that pollination is a key to successful cranberry production. UW–Madison is conducting research on the specific relationship bees have with cranberries and how they impact the harvest. Allison Jonjak is a cranberry specialist at UW–Madison. “We came up with this new model of having specific specialists who know about one crop or one practice, and that, for me, is cranberries,” said Jonjak. “So, I work with farmers in all 18 counties of Wisconsin who are going to have specific questions about cranberries.”

In Rib Mountain, Marathon County’s partnership with UniverCity Alliance is helping the area become a safer place to live and thrive. “We did two years of projects with Marathon County, we completed about 38 projects in a variety of areas: evidence-based decision-making, sustainability, economic development, and a variety of other issues that we worked on with the county,” said Gavin Luter, managing director of UniverCity Alliance, during a visit to the South Area Fire and Emergency Response District Station 1.

In Schofield, the Greenheck Group sponsored a panel discussion focusing on the partnership between the leading supplier of air movement, control, and conditioning equipment around the world and the University of Wisconsin’s E-Business Consortium (UWEBC). Since 1998, UWEBC has brought together executives, managers, and senior practitioners from leading companies to learn from each other. “Growth is evident across our UW, whether it’s a new set of programs from the School of Computer Data & Information Sciences, the advancements in the Wisconsin School of Business, or our College of Engineering,” said UWEBC Director Doug Barton. “We’re very excited about the growth to support a strong Wisconsin.”

The big day ended with a big birthday bash, held at the UW Center for Civic Engagement, UW–Stevens Point at Wausau campus. Alumni and friends of UW–Madison enjoyed free Babcock Hall ice cream served from a vintage truck, played yard games, and celebrated all things Badger. Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, took a moment to reflect on the past. “It’s amazing to think how, over the course of the last 175 years, the research and innovation in science and agriculture and medicine and education and dance and the arts has spread to impact people across this great state.”

The celebration continues with more stops planned around Wisconsin in the summer of 2024.

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