Ride to Farm event raises thousands for agriculture school

60 cyclists take part in ride to support aspiring farmers

If biking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dairy farms, you aren’t alone.

“When I first did the ride, I thought, ‘A bike ride is kind of a strange way to support dairy farming. Shouldn’t we be having dairy breakfasts and stuff like that?'” Patty Laskowski said.

She was talking about the Ride to Farm event that took place Saturday. About 60 farmers donned helmets and biked more than 50 miles across southwest Wisconsin in the name of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers.

Participants raised about $16,000 through the event, money that will go toward support for the farming school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Laskowski attended the school and said it impacted which aspect of farming she chose to pursue.

“It gave me a really good network of how to find other people doing grazing and other types of community,” she said.

With nearly 11,000 dairy farms across Wisconsin, Laskowski and her fellow riders said they hope to inspire a new generation of farmers through the courses offered at the school.

“We’re really supporting new farms and young farmers that want to think differently,” she said.

The Ride to Farm event is in its 10th year. Laskowski said after participating in the last four rides, she has found that biking and farming aren’t really all that different from one another – they both come down to one thing.

“Perserverance,” she said. “You stick to it. If you believe in something, you stick to it.

Cyclists support aspiring dairy farmers