Farms organized as worker coops

Erika Inwald, the National Coordinator of the Domestic Fair Trade Association is seeking our assistance. As part of her Master’s program at New York University, she is working on a research project about farms that are structured as worker cooperatives. She would like develop a list of these kinds of farms and conduct interviews with the owners. She has asked for our help in identifying these farms.

To facilitate our input she developed a simple google survey:
“My goal with the questionnaire is to identify more people to talk to about this subject and identify more worker co-op farms that might exist.”

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdz-rIhYDprISqHSn_A1Rk4pVGfjN54JWozuyh2yof_XgrM2A/viewform

Iowa County Farm Tour and Gulf Seafood Monday October 9, 2017

Join Iowa County’s Uplands Farmer-led watershed group for a cover crops farm tour and seafood lunch

  • 9am         Fazenda Boa Terra produce farm (Lidia Dungue and John Middleton) 6580 State Rd  23, Spring Green
  • 10:15am   Walk to Michael Dollans’ inter-seeded cover crops, State Rd 23
  • 11:15am    Uplands Cheese dairy farm (Scott and Illana Mericka and Andy and Caitlin Hatch), 5023 State Rd 23 N, Dodgeville

The farm tour will be followed by lunch at Uplands Cheese Farm.

Come discuss cover crop practices for fresh market produce, grain and dairy systems. See no-till drilling irrigation, manure management, and other strategies to conserve soil and nutrients. Then enjoy brats and seafood caught by fishermen in the Gulf – whose challenges with nutrient build-up and biological die-off in the Gulf Dead Zone we seek to help through out conservation practices.

There is no fee, but please RSVP by Thursday, October 5 at http://bit.ly/covercroptourlunch or contacting Margaret Krome, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (608) 283-1440, mkrome@sbcglobal.net or Gene Schriefer, Iowa County Extension (608) 930-9850.

Co-sponsored by: MFAI, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, Iowa County Farm Bureau, Iowa County Land Conservation Department, The McKnight Foundation, MOSES, Organic Valley, Savanna Institute, Southwest Badger RC&D, UW Extension, DATCP, UW-CIAS

 

Register now for the 4th Annual 2017 Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch!

Are you looking for an easy way to celebrate Farm to School Month, support your local farmers, and have a good reason to party?! Look no further than the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch on Thursday, October 12. This fun, easy, and flexible event encourages you to purchase local apples and ‘Crunch’ into them at the same time with over one million other Crunchers across the region. We already have 250,000 Crunchers registered at over 700 different sites in Wisconsin, and we hope that you will join us! Register today to help us keep track of our #OneMillionCrunch goal. When you register you get a copy of the Crunch Guide to help you source local apples and plan your event, and you can get FREE CRUNCH STICKERS (sticker deadline October 2)! Everyone at K-12 schools, early care centers, farms, hospitals, agencies, offices, non-profits and more is encouraged to participate. Find more information and registration at the links below, or contact Vanessa Herald (vherald@wisc.edu) with any questions.
Website & Registration: www.cias.wisc.edu/applecrunch
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/greatlakesgreatapplecrunch

Business Succession and Retention: Employee Ownership Solutions

Ever thought about morphing into an employee-owned business or a worker coop? This workshop is for you.

April 20, 2017

Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

REGISTER NOW

An estimated 70% of private businesses will change hands over the next two decades, many as a result of retiring baby boomers. Who will take over these businesses and will they remain in their communities?

Attend this workshop presented by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives to learn about employee ownership as an effective method for keeping businesses, jobs, and wealth in local communities.

Key Topics

  • Real benefits of employee ownership in both rural and urban settings
  • Employee ownership basics: worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
  • Practical steps in the conversion process: stories of existing employee owned business
  • Strategies for capitalizing conversion deals
  • Resources available to business owners who are exploring employee ownership
  • Bonus! Employee ownership experts will be available for short, one-on-one consultations with business owners interested in employee ownership.

Who Should Attend?

  • Business owners interested to learn about employee ownership
  • Community and economic development professionals
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Local and regional policymakers

Registration Information

$99 per participant, includes workshop materials, one consultation, breakfast, lunch, and parking

April 20, 2017
8:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Optional Consultations:
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Location:
Landmark Services Cooperative
1401 Landmark Drive
Cottage Grove, WI 53727
(800)236-3276
Get Directions

Contact:
Courtney Berner
Cooperative Development Spec.
UW Center for Cooperatives
cberner@wisc.edu
(608) 890-0966

For more details on the agenda, speakers and program go to the website at http://uwcc.wisc.edu/outreach/EmployeeOwnership.aspx

Making More From Milk!

Have you ever thought about adding value to the milk you produce on your farm? This May, join with other farmers to learn about value-added dairy, including visits to retails that specialize in specialty cheeses, and visits to farms that are making cheese and ice cream from their milk. Cow, sheep and goat milk dairies and cheese makers are featured, especially those producing artisan and raw milk cheeses from grass-fed animals.

This is three full days of on-site expert introduction to value-added dairy. The event fee of $695 includes:

  • 3 farm visits,
  • 3 processor visits,
  • 5 retailer visits,
  • 5 seminars with industry experts,
  • 3 lunches,
  • ground transportation to visits,
  • Translation to Spanish.

There are also optional cheese making opportunities on Thursday May 4.

  • Option one – make cheese with an award-winning cheese maker in a small factory setting. $425.
  • Option two – make cottage cheese with professionals from the University of Wisconsin. $525.

The event runs Monday May 1 at 8 am to Wednesday May 3 at 3:30. Seminars are offered in Madison, WI and tours are concentrated in the Fox Valley.

Register at https://fs3.formsite.com/8onTH0/form1/index.html

For more details on the program, go to http://globalcow.com/making-more-from-milk/

Contact Karen@globaldairyoutreach.com to register. 866-267-2879

AppleTalk 2017

AppleTalk: Where Apple Growers Share IPM Ideas                   Now is the time to register for AppleTalk.

We have scheduled a special AppleTalk call with Amaya Atucha, University of Wisconsin Horticulture, to discuss tree phenology and winter injury, breaking dormancy, and nutrition needs for trees. We will also discuss green tip disease management on this call. Unlike our regular Tuesday calls, this call will be on Friday, March 31, to align with Amaya’s availability. The regular AppleTalk season will begin sometime in late April on our regular Tuesday schedule.

What’s new for 2017?

  • 18 conference calls to accommodate a longer season.
  • Registration is now online.
  • AppleTalk podcast. We need your help on this one. The available conference-call services offer either a stream that requires a flash player (not smart phone compatible) or generates a large media file which has to be downloaded. Both of these options are not friendly for smart phones. We are investigating low-cost opportunities that could allow us to take the downloaded file and turn it into a podcast that could be streamed or downloaded. This is not our area of expertise and if you know of a good program or have some ideas, let us know! This seems to be an area where the conference-call technology has not caught up with the times.
  • 2017 fees are set at $150. When AppleTalk began in 2006 it was sustained through several major grants from the US EPA and USDA. Sacia Orchards helped us meet our budget for the last two seasons. Please thank them if you see them. We anticipate this modest increase and the online registration will secure the budget we need to keep improving the quality of AppleTalk and the content we deliver to you. This business expense pays for itself many times over – invest in your management.

2016 AppleTalk participation survey
https://ipminstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/AppleTalk-2016-Survey-Responses.pdf

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We would love to hear from you. Please contact Peter Werts, pwerts@ipminstitute.org, (608) 232-1410 x1002 or Thomas Bernard, tbernard@ipminstitute.org.

Pasture Pork Production: Healthy Food, Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities

Saturday, April 1, 2017

9 a.m. —3 p.m.

Iowa County Health & HumanServices Building
303 West Chapel Street
Dodgeville, WI
Registration—$25.00 due March 24th

PasturePork brochure and registration form

If you are thinking of raising pigs on pasture, you don’t want to miss this event! Brought to you by Iowa County Extension educator Gene Schriefer, featuring Greg Gunthorp, Jonny Hunter, Kelly Maynard.

Schedule:

9:00 Registration
9:30 Opening Introductions
9:45 Key Note—Greg Gunthorp
10:30 Breeding Systems—Gene Schriefer
11:15 Producing Pigs on Pasture that Consumers Will Pay For— Greg Gunthorp
12:00 Lunch—
1:00 The (r)evolution of the local food scene and demand for pork— Jonny Hunter
2:00 Stronger Together – Creating a Cooperative—Kelly Maynard
3:00 Adjourn & Networking

Questions?  Call the Iowa County Extension office at Tel: (608)930-9850

Open Source Food Safety

Announcing new open source hub for food safety information

processed cold products

Photo: R. Stone

Open Source Food Safety has launched a new initiative and website opensourcefoodsafety.org for the benefit of regional food systems. Food safety is important to everyone, but the information food-related businesses need to make safe products isn’t always affordable or easy to access. The Open Source Food Safety Initiative is setting out to change that.

A collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Humanities, Underground Food Collective, Sarapis Foundation, and open source software developers, the Open Source Food Safety Initiative aims to make information about food safety free, publicly available, and easy to understand. This project emerged out of a Kickstarter-funded campaign in 2014 that has raised $49,000 to date, and received national press on NPR’s Salt, Eater, and The New Food Economy for its innovative approach to helping food businesses navigate the complex world of food safety regulation.

Normally, this information is copyright-protected and food businesses have to pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to access it. To date, Open Source Food Safety Initiative collaborators have assisted over 20 restaurants and plants with their HACCP plans, thereby bringing the cost of starting a business down and generating for them an estimated quarter million dollars of value.

Now, the initiative’s new website is taking its approach to collaboration around food safety information to the next level. This new hub, www.opensourcefoodsafety.org, hosts Creative Commons-licensed Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and invites people to share their own plans, commenting on existing plans and adapt plans for their own businesses. The free, familiar, and easy to use online tools makes all this (and more) possible.

“We think this is an incredibly innovative way to help small processors tackle food safety issues,” said Jonny Hunter, project founder and Underground Food Collective co-owner. “We hope processors will not only use this information, but contribute back – strengthening the overall safety of our food system.”

“This project is a delicious example of how widely used free software tools like Google Docs and open source collaboration techniques can be used to improve our food system,” said Devin Balkind, founder of Sarapis Foundation. “This effort not only lowers the cost of starting businesses while increasing the availability of awesome food. It also invites people to imagine other ways food producers can use collaborative technologies to work together and transform their industry.”

Sharing HACCP plans is just the beginning. The Open Source Food Safety Initiative aims to provide food businesses with multi-media guides to navigating food safety regulation, including step-by-step videos that document the process of validating and verifying HACCP plans, interviews with food scientists, and blog posts tackling common food safety issues faced by processors. Their website also hosts a forum for discussion around food safety issues.

Those interested in starting or building a food business, strengthening knowledge infrastructure for regional food systems, or simply invested in the safety of our food system can visit www.opensourcefoodsafety.org to use and modify food safety plans featured on the site, and can share their own food safety plans with others as open source documents by emailing info@opensourcefoodsafety.org

For project updates, subscribe to the Open Source Safety Initiative’s blog, join their Google Group, or check out their Facebook page