The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Extension is pleased to announce Katie Wantoch as the new Extension Farm Management Outreach Specialist and Professor of Practice focused on farm business financial and risk management. This Farm Management Outreach Specialist position is a new, exciting position within the UW–Madison Division of Extension. Katie will identify needs and provide outreach and education for solutions to the most critical issues facing Wisconsin agricultural producers in the areas of farm financial and risk management.
Financially viable farm businesses are essential to Wisconsin’s $100 billion agriculture economy. Farmers must continually identify and evaluate opportunities and challenges to meet their mission and goals to enhance their competitive position. Expanding a business, experimenting with new enterprises, investing in technology, managing ever-changing input costs and price risk, or capitalizing on new market opportunities; all may increase capital investment or require new or additional financing. Hence, farms need to analyze financial performance and position, determine feasibility and assess the risk of their decisions. Success will depend upon skillful farm business management and will require information, resources, and analysis tools for informed decision-making.
Part of the Agriculture Institute’s Farm Management Program, this position will emphasize:
- Financial and risk management for commodity and specialty crop farms, including:
- Identifying and evaluating opportunities for agricultural businesses to meet their mission and goals, and enhance their competitive position.
- Identifying challenges to these opportunities resulting from variability of prices received, access to new markets, prices of inputs, and new technologies and practices affecting both yield and quality.
Katie Wantoch has been integral to the Extension Farm Management Program since joining Extension in 2010, where she was previously the County Agriculture Extension Educator and Associate Professor in Dunn County. Katie grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Marshfield, WI. She earned a Master in Business Administration degree in Finance from Lakeland University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to 2010, Katie served as an Agricultural and Business Loan Officer for M&I Marshall and Ilsley Bank.
As the new Farm Management Outreach Specialist, she will leverage her 12 years of experience in the field to enhance the competitiveness of farms and the agricultural industry across Wisconsin. “I am excited to be a part of the farm management team with UW Extension,” Wantoch said. “I am looking forward to improving the resiliency of hard-working farmers in the state of Wisconsin in my new role.”
Katie started as a state outreach specialist on July 5th. Katie’s work will add value to that of partner organizations and community members through collaboration to develop and deliver educational programs for ag commodity and specialty crop industries across Wisconsin. Her office is located at the Extension office – 3001 US Highway 12 East, Suite 216, Menomonie, WI 54751. Please feel free to contact Katie; she can be reached directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 608-354-3992. Learn more about Katie’s work at https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/author/kwantoch/.