Stephen Babcock

Agriculture’s MVP


How do you make history?

Not driven by fame or fortune, Stephen Babcock found his inspiration to innovate in the possibility of making people’s lives better. While working as an agricultural chemist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he created the Babcock Test, which made it possible to accurately and efficiently find the amount of butterfat in milk, a total game-changer for the dairy industry. The test, along with his other all-star research discoveries, helped Wisconsin gain the nickname, “America’s Dairyland.”

Meet Stephen Babcock

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Questions to Consider

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 1 superimposed above it

Stephen did lots of experiments to develop the Babcock Test. He wanted to figure out how to make it work for all cows before he would let it be published. When have you had to do multiple steps or spend time to figure something out? How did you feel about what you were working on? How did you share what you learned?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 2 superimposed above it

How did Stephen’s work affect those living in Wisconsin? How did it affect people around the world?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 3 superimposed above it

If you could create something that would solve a problem, what problem would you want to solve? Why?

Read On

Stephen Babcock portrait illustration

Stephen Babcock: Agriculture’s MVP

Get the full story with this biography book. Audio files are available on each page if you’d like to listen along!


Project Credits

Becky Marburger

The Brave Union

Translation Services
University of Wisconsin–Madison Cultural Linguistic Services

The Brave Union

Animation Voice Over
Mike Mahnke

Educator Support Materials
Mia Forslund

John Vieth
Erika Kachama-Nkoy
Tim Schneider

Audiobook Narration
Paul Elite

Audiobook Editing
Kerman Eckes

Catie Pfeifer
Vicki Way Kipp

Charles Barrows

Special Thanks
Kristin Leglar

Story Advisors

Brenda Autz
Park Elementary School
Middleton, WI

Charlene Dupler
Lakeview Elementary School
Wind Lake, WI

Kurt Griesemer
Wisconsin Historical Society
Madison, WI

Kristen McDaniel
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI

David J. O’Connor
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI

Amanda Price
Marshall Elementary School
Marshall, WI

Beth Thayer
Hillsboro Elementary School
Hillsboro, WI

Corey Thompson
Cardinal Stritch University

Stephanie Unertl
Lake Mills Area School District
Lake Mills, WI

Christina Venn
Sheboygan Falls Elementary School
Sheboygan Falls, WI