Dane County Ag Staff


Heidi Johnson, Crops & Soils Agent

Heidi focuses her educational efforts on soil and water conservation practices for both small and large- scale crop producers, including cover crops and nutrient management planning.  She also works on farm business management, including farm succession issues and cost of production .






Claire Strader, Small Scale & Organic Produce Educator

Claire has worked in the Madison, WI food system as a certified organic vegetable farmer, retail produce buyer, and home gardener since 1993.  Her most recent experience was as the Farm Director for Community GroundWorks and Troy Community Farm where she grew vegetables for 150 CSA members, farmers market, and local grocery stores on a 5-acre farm in the city of Madison.  She also started and ran a farm internship program for Troy that trained 14 interns each year on all aspects of small-scale vegetable production through formal classes, field tours, and plenty of hands-on work in the field.  Claire joined extension in 2013 and works with local growers and buyers through the Institutional Food Market Coalition and the FairShare CSA Coalition.  She is especially interested in working with small-scale producers to build productive and sustainable farm businesses that are the foundation of the local food system.




Mara shelley is the Dairy and Livestock intern for the Dane County UW-Extension office this summer. Mara is filling the role of the Dairy and livestock Educator after Jennifer Blazek vacated the position earlier this summer. Mara can answer farmer’s dairy and livestock questions and is helping out with other agricultural programs as needed. She is from Deerfield, Wisconsin where she is the seventh generation on the family farm. Her family raises beef and crops, selling their grass-fed Herford-Agnus locally. Mara is a longtime 4-H member and enjoys showing her registered jersey and Holstein cattle at county, state, and national levels. Currently, Mara is a senior at University of Wisconsin – Platteville where she studies dairy science.


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