Professor of Dairy Science and Extension Specialist in Dairy Cattle Reproduction, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Dr. Paul M. Fricke was raised on his family’s row crop and dairy farm located near Papillion, Nebraska where his family continues to farm today. After receiving a B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1988 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Paul went on to complete an M.S. degree in 1992 and a Ph.D. degree in 1996 in Reproductive Physiology from the Department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. In 1996, Paul accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Dairy Science and the Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Paul joined the faculty in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on July 1, 1998, and he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Full Professor in 2009. His current position in the Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences includes 70% Extension and 30% research appointments in dairy cattle reproduction.
Dr. Fricke’s research program is focused on understanding the biology underlying the many reproductive problems presented by modern dairy cattle. Dr. Fricke has authored or co-authored 106 peer-reviewed journal publications, 138 abstracts, and 6 book chapters. He has mentored 16 M.S. and 6 Ph.D. students, and his research program has attracted more than $4.2 million in extramural research grants, contracts, and gifts. In 2014, Dr. Fricke was awarded a research sabbatical as a visiting scientist at the Teagasc Moorepark Animal & Grassland Research Innovation Centre in Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.
The goal of Dr. Fricke’s extension program is to improve reproductive efficiency of dairy cattle by applying knowledge gained through scientific research to develop practical management strategies and assess new reproductive technologies, and to disseminate that information throughout Wisconsin, the United States, and the world. Dr. Fricke is a sought after speaker for dairy farmer, industry, and veterinary audiences. Since 1997, Paul has spoken to over 500 audiences in Wisconsin and has presented talks at conferences in 36 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces. In addition, Paul has been an invited speaker for international meetings in 27 foreign countries spanning 6 continents around the world.
Dr. Fricke is the recipient of several campus and national awards in recognition of his innovative applied dairy research and extension programs. In 2006, Dr. Fricke received the Midwest Section ASAS/ADSA Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award and the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Pound Extension Award. In 2008, Paul received the DeLaval Dairy Extension Award from the National American Dairy Science Association honoring the top dairy extension specialist in the United States. In 2010, Paul received the Wisconsin Association of County Agriculture Agents Second Mile Award in recognition of his work with county agricultural extension agents in Wisconsin. In 2011, Paul was inducted into the Papillion – La Vista Schools (Nebraska) Foundation Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2023, Paul received the UW-Extension Ag Institute Traveler award.
Paul lives in Waunakee, Wisconsin with his wife, Carol. They have three grown children.