Eric Ronk

Teaching Faculty I

70% Instruction, 30% Service, Outreach and Leadership in FISC



Office Location

1675 Observatory Dr
285 Animal Sciences
Madison, WI 53706

Eric Ronk is in an academic staff position in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. In 2011, he received his BS in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in 2013 a MS in Dairy Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He grew up on a Century Farm named Ronkstar Acres, which milked 65 registered Holstein cows and harvested 240 acres of land in Denmark, WI. His work responsibilities include teaching the Introduction to Animal Sciences 101 course in the fall and summer semesters along with the Introduction to Animal Sciences Laboratory 102 course in the fall semester. For over five years he taught four dairy related courses in the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) Program at UW-Madison. In his previous role as an outreach specialist, he was involved in dairy herd management support and research related to dairy cattle feed efficiency. In the research role he helped coordinate experiments and data/sample collection to be submitted to the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). He has also been involved in some outreach activities like farm tours on campus at the Dairy Cattle Center and is currently a co-advisor to the Badger Dairy Club student organization. Prior to his UW-Madison role, Eric worked for UW-Extension as an Agriculture Agent in Calumet County.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Erb, K.; Ronk, E.; Koundinya, V.; Luczaj, J. Groundwater Quality Changes in a Karst Aquifer of Northeastern Wisconsin, USA: Reduction of Brown Water Incidence and Bacterial Contamination Resulting from Implementation of Regional Task Force Recommendations. (Resources 2015, 4, 655-672.)  

Feng, X., E. Ronk, K.F. Knowlton, M.D. Hanigan, H. Schramm, M. McCann. Effect of dietary phosphorus on intestinal phosphorus absorption in growing Holstein steers. (J Dairy Sci. 2015 May)

Conference Proceedings

Ronk, E. and K. Erb. A Preliminary Analysis of 300 Manure Incidents in Wisconsin. (In: Proceedings of the 2010 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, January 12-14, 2010, Madison, WI.)  

Popular Press Articles

R.A. Fricke, M.G. Erickson, E. Ronk. Remote-teaching strategies that keep introductory animal sciences students engaged and actively learning. (NACTA Journal: Teaching Tips/Notes, 2021)

J.F. Gille, M.G. Erickson, E. Ronk. TA Tip: Promoting student-student and student-instructor interactions virtually. (NACTA Journal: Teaching Tips/Notes, 2021)

K.L. Bartelt, M.G. Erickson, E. Ronk. TA Tip: Making the most out of the chat box. (NACTA Journal: Teaching Tips/Notes, 2021)

Ronk, Eric. Economics of Dairy Cattle Hoof Health. (UW-Extension Dairy Team Publication – 2016)

Mills-Lloyd, Sarah, Eric Ronk. Recording Hoof Health Events. (UW-Extension Dairy Team Publication – 2016)  

Ronk, E. Sampling Total Mixed Rations (TMR). (UW-Extension Dairy Partner/ El-Compañero Newsletter  2016)

Ronk, E. How to respond to a manure spill. (UW-Extension Dairy Partner/ El-Compañero Newsletter  2015)

Gustavo, S., R. Shaver, M. Lippert, E. Ronk, C. Wacek-Driver. Corn silage processing: dairy farm survey. (UW-Extension Forage Team Publication – 2014)

Faust, A., J. Hanson, E. Ronk, L. Nagel. Effect of Foliar Fertilizers and Fungicides on Alfalfa Yield and Quality. (In: 2013 Midwest Forage Association Project Report)  

Other Publications

2019 ADSA Abstract: 

T146 Differences in mammary gland uptake of post-absorptive energy metabolites may contribute to residual feed intake variation. M. J. Martin*, S. J. Erb, E. T. Ronk, S. J. Bertics, M. R. Moede, K. A. Weigel, and H. M. White, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI.

Undergraduate Courses:

AN SCI/ DY SCI 101-Introduction to Animal Sciences (3 credits, Fall 2020- present & Summer 2022- present)
Course Description: An overview of animal sciences covering anatomy, physiology, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, management, animal welfare, and behavior of domesticated animals. Food animals are emphasized to discuss their contributions to humans.

ANSCI/DYSCI 102 – Introduction to Animal Sciences Laboratory (1 credit, Fall 2020- present)
Course Description: Hands-on experience and demonstrations to develop practical skills with animals and to better understand the application of science to food production animals. It covers anatomy, physiology, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, management, animal welfare, and behavior of domesticated animals.

Farm and Industry Short course Courses:

FISC 63 –  Dairy Herd Management (2 credits, Fall 2016- Spring 2022)
Course Description: Students will learn how to care for their dairy herd to increase production and profits. Use of business and herd management tools in dairy farm operations will be covered in depth. Case studies of individual farms used for analysis and planning. Specific topics covered will include: record keeping, cattle movement and behavior, parlor management, milk harvest, mammary anatomy, mastitis and milk quality control, cattle comfort and housing options, herd culling decisions, and interacting with the consumer. 

FISC 105 – Dairy Cattle Selection and Evaluation (2 credits, Fall 2016- Spring 2022) 
Course Description: Covers basic anatomy, genetics, and linear scoring systems of a dairy cow. Students evaluate conformation using type scorecards to improve the appearance, performance and longevity of dairy cattle. North American dairy breeds and mating programs are studied.  

FISC 114 – Ruminant Nutrition (2 credits, Fall 2016-Spring 2022)
Course Description: Students will learn practical nutrition for lactating dairy cows, dairy heifers, and dairy beef. Students will learn the basic anatomy and physiology of the digestive system of ruminant animals and how feeding and management are geared toward optimizing rumen function. This course will introduce the basic concepts of nutrition and how feeds provide nutrients and basic skills necessary for feeding dairy cattle.  

 FISC 134 – Reproduction in Farm Animals (2 credits, Fall 2016- Spring 2022) 
Course Description: Students will learn the basic comparative physiology of reproduction of farm animals and apply those physiological principles to understand successful heat detection, artificial insemination, estrous synchronization, embryo transfer, pregnancy diagnosis, and improvement of reproductive efficiency through good reproductive management. 


Farm and Industry Short Course Program Committee

FISC Strategic Planning and Work Group

Animal & Dairy Sciences Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

FISC Scholastic Policies and Actions Committee (SPAC)

Badger Dairy Club Student Organization Campus Advisor

Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee “Cows on the Concourse” Volunteer

Wisconsin State Fair Junior Dairy Show Volunteer

World Dairy Expo Jersey Show Ring Volunteer  

FISC “Little Badger” Yearbook Dedication, 2016-2017 and 2018-2019 school years 

John S. Donald Excellence in Teaching Award – 2022