This year, Fountain Prairie Farm owners John and Dorothy Priske will strengthen connections between farmers and chefs with a new collaboration with Madison College.
The college signed a lease on 165 of the farm’s acres, then turned around and leased 155 of them to Andy and Sadie Fischer of Fischer Family Farm.
The farm will become a new outdoor classroom for Madison College students looking to study the water, soil, plants, compost, feed and, of course, the animals themselves. Sustainable Farm to Table: Modern Meat Production, a one-year technical diploma, inaugurates its first class this September.
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The cows raised by Fischer Family Farm are a Shorthorn-Red Angus cross, shown at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
Fischer Family Farm owners Andy and Sadie Fischer raise Shorthorn/ Red Angus cross steers at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River is transforming into an educational resource for Madison College.
From left are Paul Short, culinary arts program director at Madison College, Fountain Prairie Farm owners John and Dorothy Priske and Randy Zogbaum, agriculture instructor at Madison College, shown in one of the barns at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
Alfie is a 4-year-old Scottish Highlands bull, shown at home at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
John Priske, co-owner of Fountain Prairie Farm, said “chefs are a lot like farmers. It’s kind of a thankless job some days. You put in a lot of hours, you work a lot of weekends and holidays and the only thing you get out of it is if the person who eats your food likes your food.”
Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River will become an educational facility, having leased 165 acres to Madison College.
Madison College students will be able to study soil, water and plants in the fields at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
Dorothy Priske, co-owner of Fountain Prairie Farm, looks out at her land from a barn on their property in Fall River.
Chickens roam and forage at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River. Fischer Family Farm plans to raise chickens and turkeys in addition to cows and pigs.
John and Dorothy Priske purchased their 280-acre farm near Fall River in 1986 and transitioned it to sustainable practices about 10 years later.
For a new sustainable meat diploma at Madison College, culinary program director Paul Short brought in chefs and butchers to help put together an inventory of real-world skills.
John and Dorothy Priske are retired, but some of their Scottish Highland cattle still graze in the fields at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
John Priske, co-owner of Fountain Prairie Farm, said "we consider ourselves warriors" in the fight for a more sustainable farming future in Wisconsin.
Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River was established more than 30 years ago by John and Dorothy Priske.
“There’s something special about this place that really should be showcased,” said Randy Zogbaum, an agricultural instructor at Madison College. “A legacy for Fountain Prairie Farm could be to teach others.”
One of the barns at Fountain Prairie Farm in Fall River.
Along with raising Scottish Highland beef for local restaurants for man years, the Priskes restored tall grass prairie and wetland on their farm in Fall River.