Thanks to all who made the dance a great success.  We estimate about 200 people turned out to dance, talk, bid on the silent auction and enjoy the beautiful country evening. We are posting photos on Flickr and the CIAS facebook page . Send us your photos from that night and help us tag dancers!

A parting thought from Janet Parker — we need to do this more often!


Date: July 10, 2014, 9am-5pm

Location: New Lisbon, WI

This workshop will add to your existing knowledge of pest management for grapes and add to your repertoire of knowledge about spotted wing drosopliha and how to calibrate your sprayers.

  • Gain hands-on experience in scouting for the major grape pests
  • Learn in-field/in-vineyard scouting techniques for major and minor pests of grapes, including flea beetle, grape berry moth, anthracnose, phomopsis, black rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • Learn how to determine thresholds for each of the main pests
  • Discuss options for managing each major pest using organic and non-organic pesticides as well as cultural and biological management options
  • Collaboratively build management plans for the host vineyard and its pests
  • Learn how to calibrate your sprayers

This unique, innovative program provides an intensive, full-day applied workshop including hands-on demonstrations as well as team scouting opportunities.

Registration for the workshop is limited to 40 participants on a first come, first served basis. This class size allows for active discussion and interaction with course instructors. Registration fees cover course materials, refreshments and lunch.

Field guides will be available for purchase during the workshop.

This workshop is a collaborative effort between the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and UW-Extension.

Registration questions? Contact Regina Hirsch at 608-335-7755 or

CIAS and USDA-AMS transportation division just released our report: Networking Across the Supply Chain  We are continuing this work, hoping to host a meeting next spring in Chicago for the logistics and transportation sector. If you are working on freight transportation and values-based food supply chains, I would love to hear your thinking on this.

I’ve also been working with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters on a report we released last Friday: “Climate Forward: A new roadmap for Wisconsin’s climate and energy fuuture”  The Academy will continue its work on this area into 2015. We hope to link CIAS faculty, students, staff and our many community partners (that means YOU) to it through our work on perennializing agriculture.


Watching farm trucks pull into the Capital Square farmers market can make one wonder how to get regional food to regional markets more efficiently. Driftless farm and food businesses like Driftless Organics, Morningside Orchard, 5th Season and Organic Valley work hard to figure out how to engage with green transportation options to get their products to Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, even Chicago. Logistics, labor regulations, congestion, docking arrangements make this all very complex.

In April, 2010 CIAS convened a Driftless Food and Farm meeting where some of the participants broke out to discuss transportation and logistics. Compared to some of the other topic groups, this group was at relatively early stages of thinking, planning and doing. People in the region were working independently, but were increasingly ready to organize. This part of the food supply chain offers opportunity to grow and diversify the local economy much like other parts of the chain, but the way forward is less clear than it is with bricks-and-mortar projects. There is a strong interest in maintaining a vision of sustainability in the development of new systems.

The topic group identified these next steps:

  • Who in the region can provide leadership for this work? What is necessary for them to build capacity to take on that leadership? Where do we find that support?
  • What is the most appropriate scale to work with? Local, county, multi-county, state, etc.?
  • Where could the region find industry expertise, if only to understand what questions yet need to be answered in thinking about distribution and logistics?
  • How do we build awareness with farmers about the role that this part of the food supply chain plays and the associated costs / savings of working in moving beyond direct marketing into a wholesale model?

CIAS is pleased to report on progress made to address some of these questions.In 2011 and 2012, CIAS made important connections to freight engineering research center on campus – CFIRE – and supported a group of students to understand what issues we face in moving high-value local food to regional markets. Rosa Kozub, Lindsey Day-Farnsworth, David Nelson, Ben Zeitlow, Peter Allen, and Rachel Murray, along with Teresa Adams, Alfonso Morales, and Ernie Perry all worked with CIAS to crack this nut.

In February 2013, CIAS teamed up with USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s transportation division to offer the meeting “Networking Across the Supply Chain: Transportation Innovations for Local and Regional Food Systems“. More than 100 participants – the majority of whom had business interests in this topic – participated and shared their expertise.

June 2014 USDA-AMS and UW-CIAS released a report that describes what happened at this meeting and our best thinking to date on some of the fundamental questions facing the local food movement. To view a summary of the meeting, go to:  Emergent strategies that we’ve documented include:

  • strengthen regional supply chains by helping like-minded businesses find one another, and provide a venue for business communication and supply chain governance;
  • improve logistics at the region level, recognizing that LTL freight requires terminal markets that can de-aggregate products and TL freight, especially around metro regions, may benefit from innovative infrastructure investments; and
  • investigate multi-modal and dual purpose approaches to increase efficiencies

We now have a nimble team of researchers, staff and students on campus with growing expertise on supply chain development for regional food. Thanks to all who participated in the six Driftless Food and Farm meetings who helped shape subsequent investigations and whose input resulted in research with real-world usefulness.

Next Steps

CIAS, CFIRE, the Center for Coops and the State Smart Transportation Innitiative (a project of another UW campus research center – COWS)  are working together with Organic Logistics, the Wisconsin Local Foods Hub, Fresh Taste, and other partners to take this work to the next level. We are writing proposals to vet some of the emergent ideas with stakeholders and further engage the region in creating the world we envision.

Watch for further updates as we make progress. And please let us know what you think of our work in this topic area, at any time.

Regional Food Economies: Building Market Opportunities for Rural America

is a moderated conversation between USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, Dan Carmody of Detroit’s Eastern Market Corportation, and Melissa Rivers of the East Arkansas Planning and Development District.






CIAS is celebrating 25 years of connecting farmers and faculty at UW-Madison!

Please join us to celebrate at a barn dance with live music and contra dancing, a silent auction, food, drink and with friends old and new. We are gathering on a Friday night at the Schuster Farm in Deerfield (between Madison and Cambridge).

For more information, go to:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What a way to spend the Autumn Equinox.

A star-studded cast of restoration ecologists and gardeners are teaching this one-day course at the UW Arboretum this fall, including Doug Tallamy, Evelyn Howell, Susan Carpenter, Brian Hudelson, Judy Kingsbury, Susan Kilmer, Michael Hansen, Christy Steward, and Molly Fifield Murray.

Be inspired, informed and intrigued by sessions on native pollinators, designing a native garden, woody perennials, managing invasives, recognizing and responding to diseases, and restoring your landscape with edible native plants. Tallamy’s keynote is “Networks for Life – Your Role in Building Biological Corridors”.

$60 general admission. $30 students.

Please register by September 15th. (If you do it now and you can check it off your list.)

Questions: 608-263-7888 or

February 25-26, 2015, La Crosse, WI

The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium invites submissions for proposed research papers to be presented. The Symposium will take place immediately before the Organic Farming Conference organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), the Symposium organizers invite researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards.

This is an excellent forum for researchers engaged in projects funded by USDA-Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Conference organizers are especially interested in farmer/ researcher team presentations.

Researchers are encouraged to respond to the National Organic Standards Board research priorities or other similar priority lists based on public process. Topic tracks of interest include:

  • Functional biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by organic farming systems;
  • Soil health, quality and nutrient cycling;
  • Biological and cultural practices to manage insects, diseases and weeds;
  • Holistic animal health and nutrition, grazing and pasture management systems;
  • Breeding, selection of crops and animals, and seed systems suitable for organic production;
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy systems;
  • Integration of perennials in organic farming systems and permaculture system design;
  • Value added production and processing without synthetic food additives and processing aids;
  • Nutritional quality, health benefits and integrity of organic food;
  • Organic agriculture’s impact on rural communities;
  • Organic farm economics, marketing and consumer behavior;
  • Appropriate methods and practices for systems and on-farm research; and
  • Public policies to facilitate the transition to organic farming.

Researchers are asked to submit an abstract not to exceed 500 words that includes names of the co-authors, contact information, a working title, the topic area, an introduction that explains the context and purpose of the research, the methods used, and a brief summary of the results and conclusions. Cross-disciplinary papers are encouraged. Works in progress may be considered, but the paper for the proceedings will need to be completed by December 31, 2014.

The symposium will be held in La Crosse, WI on February 25 and 26, with plans to broadcast by live streaming. The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others interested in organic agriculture, held in conjunction with a meeting that is regularly attended by organic producers and processors. Presentations will be selected based on their innovative excellence, relevance to the research needs and priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, soundness of the methodology used, and the overall scientific quality. Proceedings will be open access and electronically available via

The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2014. Abstracts should be sent to Brian Baker at Researchers with questions about the conference can call 541-228-0876.

If you are interested in helping to organize the symposium, we are interested in co-sponsorship from aligned organizations. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, we are developing a list so that reviewers with appropriate expertise will consider submissions.  Please contact Brian Baker (information above) if you or your organization is interested in participating. The organizing committee currently includes representatives from:

  • University of Wisconsin CIAS
  • California Certified Organic Farmers
  • Cornell University Department of Horticulture
  • eOrganics
  • IPM Institute
  • The Ohio State University
  • Oregon State University
  • The Organic Center
  • Organic Materials Review Institute
  • Organic Seed Alliance
  • Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

More information on the Symposium will be posted at shortly. Please share this announcement widely.


Starting April 29th, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems Eco-Fruit Project, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association and the IPM Institute of North America will offer another season of weekly conference calls with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) consultant John Aue and other IPM experts. 


This series of 16 weekly calls requires a subscription of $125 and allows you to stay informed on pest conditions, answer pressing questions and learn about other growers’ approaches to IPM.  Call moderator John Aue shares his wealth of knowledge and experience as an IPM consultant for the tree fruit industry in the upper Midwest for over 20 years.  Guest experts from universities around the region participate and discuss a wide range of IPM and fruit production issues including: insect, weed and disease management, thinning and tree nutrition.

Since 2000, the Wisconsin Eco-Fruit Project has been working with growers to reduce pesticide risk through use of IPM.  The project provides resources growers need to learn the scouting, monitoring and decision making techniques necessary for a successful IPM program.

Visit the AppleTalk blog to read transcripts from previous conference calls,

On Tuesday, May 6, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters is hosting Resilient Wisconsin Day at Union South in Madison. This forum focuses on the state’s climate, energy and water future. CIAS Associate Director Michelle Miller is taking part in a workshop session about resilience and water, energy and food. CIAS Faculty Associate Curt Meine and dairy grazier Joe Tomandl III are also presenters at this conference. This event runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Union South on the UW-Madison campus. See more information about the program and registration at

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