Management Assessment Center

Management Assessment Center


The Wisconsin Assessment Center for Dairy Farm Owners/Managers was developed in 2003-2004 through a USDA grant which was part of the University of Wisconsin Dairy Initiatives Program. The Center is modeled after a similar program from Ohio State University. An Assessment Center is not a building, a group of people, or a location. It is an assessment approach different from most other methods of measurement and assessment approaches. An assessment center is characterized by multiple assessment techniques, multiple assessors, situational tests, and structured procedures for making observations.

Why Assessment Centers?

  • To help select qualified people for management positions.
  • To diagnose and individual’s work related strength and weaknesses
  • To identify areas of need for improvement in managerial and teamwork skills

Program Content

The Assessment Center features individual and group simulations involving challenges that a manager/owner of a dairy farm may encounter.  The assessment center will:

  1. Assess individual behaviors in nine critical farm business management skills
  2. Offer the opportunity to interact with and learn from other dairy farm managers/owners
  3. Provide personalized feedback designed to improve your management abilities
  4. Initiate the development of personal action strategies focused on management

Management Attributes explored include:

  • Leadership
  • Managing
  • Resources
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Decision Making
  • Planning & Organizing
  • Initiative


This program is intended to help agricultural operators develop skills needed to effectively manage their farm businesses. It is envisioned that most people who enroll will be established farm operators who want to sharpen some of their management skills and learn new skills. Other people who may wish to participate in this program are agricultural professionals who frequently work with producers.

Trained Assessors

Jerry Clark – Crops and Soils Educator, Chippewa County

Carl Duley – Associate Professor, Buffalo County

Mark Hagadorn – Agriculture Agent, UWEX Eau Claire County

Sarah Mills-Lloyd – Agriculture Agent, UWEX Oconto County

Jenny Vanderlin – Assistant Director, Center for Dairy Profitability

Trisha Wagner – Agriculture Agents, UWEX Jackson County

Program Information

Curriculums developed:

  • Dairy Managers curriculum for PDPW
  • Agronomy Managers
  • UW-River Falls agriculture business students
  • Value Added/Labor Intense Crop Managers-Fruit Growers


Articles appearing in Midwest Dairy Business, 2006-2007

If you would like more information on the Management Assessment Center or other Management Education Programs please contact your Local County Agent or Jenny Vanderlin, Management Education Coordinator, Center for Dairy Profitability, (608) 263-7795.