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Six Portage High School students and their agriculture teacher intern attended the Scientist for a Day program at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Farm north of Prairie du Sac on Sept. 18. They joined students and teachers from Reedsburg, DeForest and Sauk Prairie for this day-long, hands-on experience designed to encourage students to consider careers in agricultural science.

Research scientists and science technicians from the USDA Agricultural Research Service led the students in four activities related to sustainable agriculture: Measuring the phosphorus runoff from various barnyard surfaces; hand-packing silage to gain an idea of the importance of packing density when making silage; learning about genetically modified plants; and studying the rumen contents of lactating cows.

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The scientists also spoke about the various educational and career paths they took on the road to becoming research scientists. The Scientist for a Day program is organized by the USDFRC and sponsored by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant program.

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