Making More From Milk

UW-Madison is offering Making More From Milk again this year, and has recently received sponsorships for the course. Wisconsin Farmers Union has agreed to provide full scholarships for 3 of their members, and Compeer Financial’s sponsorship will provide $100 for the first 10 people who register for the course.

The three day event April 23-25 is taught with both lecture-style presentations and visits to farms. Spanish translation available. Topics to be covered:

  • Welcome, introductions, overview of value-added
    ideas and trends, retail visit, local foods restaurant,
    farmer value-added panel
  • Visits to goat and cow milk operations, retail,
    restaurant, cheese, ice cream, bottled milk
  • Branding and marketing – telling your story,
    equipment and supplies, cultures, financial
    resources, grants, food safety, regulations, next steps
  • Optional activity Friday 26 – Cheese making with Cesar Luis
To register go to: http://globalcow.com/making-more-from-milk/


Flood Risk Mapping

The Driftless is prone to flooding, as we all know, and with the rapid snow melt, areas are already experiencing flooding. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control has developed a Flood Risk Mapping Application that you can use to figure out – in real time – what your flood risk is. The tool is intended for use by emergency personnel, city planners, and public health officials. But if you have access to internet services, you can also see forecasted precipitation, areas of flooding and the degree of flooding. It also maps healthcare facilities, socio-economic vulnerability, and areas with electrically-vulnerable people.

Hazelnut growers conference March 8-9

The University of Wisconsin Division of Extension is proud to welcome you to Wisconsin for the 10th Annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference. The focus of this year’s conference is hazelnut plant improvement with four different breeding programs providing updates on where they are at with developing improved varieties for growers in the Midwest. Anyone interested in planting hazelnuts should not miss this conference!
As in the past years, the focus on Friday will be providing information on the planting, management, harvest, and processing of hazelnuts. These Friday sessions are intended for aspiring, beginning, and experienced growers alike. Saturday morning will focus on hazelnut variety options and Saturday afternoon on a range of hazelnut projects and initiatives.
Questions or comments about the agenda or the conference can be directed to:
jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu

Eric Holt-Gimenez, Food First, in Appleton

Eric Holt-Giménez is keynoting Saturday 1/26 at the Wisconsin Farmers Union convention in Appleton!

Eric Holt-Giménez, author and executive director of Food First, grew up milking cows and pitching hay in Point Reyes, California. He’ll share how farmers and consumers can transform our food system to restore justice to American agriculture. His book A Foodies Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat has served as a consumer primer on many of the issues that Wisconsin farmers have organized around for more than a century.

If you are a Wisconsin Farmers Union member, this is worth the drive to hear. (FYI Organic Valley members are automatically members.) If you aren’t a member, sign up and attend! BTW, members need not be a county delegate to attend. Members may attend and “vote their own vote” if you like.

Tribal Food and Farming 101 workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This two-day workshop will be held February 15-16 at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, and this workshop will connect to additional workshops and training opportunities throughout the 2019 growing season, including the Wisconsin Intertribal Seed Stewardship Cohort that will be hosting monthly online training sessions.

To register and learn more, go to: https://iacgreatlakes.com/workshop/

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition director job announcement

Are you deeply committed to public service, experienced in administration and the field of sustainable agriculture, and would enjoy leading a passionate, high-performing, member-engaged, and collaborative organization that is dedicated to advancing racial equity in our work on sustainable agriculture and food systems policy.  NSAC is looking for a new Coalition Director.  Please see this job announcement to learn more.

NSAC offers competitive non-profit salary and benefits and is an equal opportunity employer.

Google’s Refresh: Food + Tech

Google wants to better understand the ways that technology can benefit food systems. Skeptical? So was I. But after participating in three meetings, including one in Chicago last week, I am warming to the idea.

Watch the conversation about the future of AI in our food system with former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Food Tank, Google, and Refresh Working Group members. I think you will particularly enjoy the duet between Ali Lange (Google, formerly of the Center for Democracy and Technology), and Don Bustos, a Native New Mexican farmer. Ankita Raturi hit the ball out of the park when she notes that rural US needs stable internet access. This one is worth the watch.

“I think we have a long way to go before we start deploying Siri for farms,” she said. “We need fundamental technical infrastructure right now … very basic building blocks. What are the fundamental pieces we need to build first, and then people can imagine what other tools might be able to do.” –Ankita Raturi

In a first report from the working group, From Soil to Supper, you will see short pieces on how AI is currently in use, primarily for data collection for traditional production, distribution, and retailing. It is my hope that future reports will begin to address power disparities in the food system and the way that data privatization and technology appropriate for small to mid-scale farms is being developed. Something to help farmers anticipate extreme weather, like the Driftless flooding, would be appreciated, I am sure.

And if you have thoughts about food+tech you want me to bring to the table, please post comments below. I would be happy to share your thoughts with the working group at our next meeting.