Category Archives: Grassfed Animal Agriculture

Livestock Compass is Live!

Our new spreadsheet tool designed to help livestock producers calculate their cost of production and marketing…and then make strategic management decisions to improve farm profits…is now available.

Eventually, Livestock Compass will be housed at a new CompassToolbox.com website but that has not been built yet! For now it is available at www.veggiecompass.com

Jim Munsch and John Hendrickson will be doing a training on this tool at the Southern Sustainable Ag Working Group Conference in 2019. Would your group like a training on the tool?

Poultry producers: please respond to this processing needs survey

A group of Southwest Wisconsin poultry producers is exploring the feasibility of locating a USDA poultry processing facility in Southwest Wisconsin.  They define poultry loosely to include chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, guinea hens, and rabbits.  Now they are working on assessing the potential demand for such a facility.  They have developed a survey for farmers in southwestern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and northern Illinois to figure out if and how they might use such a processing plant.

The deadline to fill out the survey is November 30th.  Farmers can fill the survey out on-line or print out a paper survey and mail it in.  Below are links to the electronic survey, to a press release with more information about the project, and to the paper survey.

For more information please contact the project coordinators at driftlesspoultrycooperative@gmail.com, and they also have a facebook page.

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

 

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

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

Two new reports : regional food transportation and climate

CIAS and USDA-AMS transportation division just released our report: Networking Across the Supply Chain http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/AgTransportation  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” https://www.wisconsinacademy.org/sites/default/files/ClimateForward2014.pdf  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.

 

National Good Food Network Webinar on Local Meats Processing: Successes and Innovations

Thursday, April 18
3:30 – 5:00pm ET
(12:30 – 2:00pm Pacific)

Free! Register Now

Local meat and poultry can’t get to market without a processor, but processors are pulled in many directions: Farmers would like more processing options, the kind of processing needed depends on the market the regulations are complex regulations, and even with premium-priced meats, the profit margins are slim.
So how can local meat processing survive … and even thrive? Lauren Gwin and Arion Thiboumery, co-founders and co-coordinators of the national Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, will share the results of their research on this topic, featuring innovations and lessons learned from successful processors around the country.
We’ll also hear from several regional support efforts to improve access to local processing: Kathleen Harris, of the Northeast Livestock Processing Service Company; Casey McKissick, of NC Choices and the Carolina Meat Conference; and Chelsea Bardot Lewis, of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and Vermont Meat Processing Task Force.
The full research report will be released the day of the webinar – be among the first to ask your questions of the investigators!

 

Presenter

Lauren Gwin

Oregon State University, NMPAN

Presenter

Chelsea Bardot Lewis

Vermont Agency of Agriculture

Presenter

Arion Thiboumery 

Lorentz Meats, NMPAN

Presenter

Casey McKissick

NC Choices, Carolina Meat Institute

Presenter

Kathleen Harris

Northeast Livestock Processing Service Company

 

 

Specialty Pork forum – update

August 2012, CIAS convened a meeting of people passionate about specialty pork. Specialty-finished, heritage breed pork is much-sought-after, especially by restauranteurs interested in an authentic, innovative and sustainable menu item. Heirloom breeds, unique finishes, and artisanal processing are coming together to give consumers a taste of regional flavor. In the Upper Midwest prok finished with hazelnuts, chestnuts, acorns, and apples provide that regional flavor. This one-day forum, co-hosted by Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table,  brought together farmers, processors, restaurants and vendors to discuss regional pork. They shared their expertise and experiences, and discussed next steps toward developing a regional supply chain for local pork.

More than 30 stakeholders from around southern Wisconsin gathered in Viroqua for a forum on the region’s nascent specialty pork sector. Some pasture-based hog farmers have begun finishing their animals with specialty products to alter the flavor and distinguish their products to consumers. CIAS recognized that this could be a new niche for small- and medium-scale pasture-based operations in the state, and so we convened a forum to discuss its potential. We posed the question of whether a marketing program akin to “Wisconsin Specialty Pork” could serve participants along the pastured pork value chain. With farmers, processors, vendors, and representatives from CIAS in the room, the group held a lively one-day discussion on issues facing the growth of a specialty pork economy.

We first heard from growers Jeannie Herold (Hazel Valley Farm) and Mark Osterberg (Hawk’s Cry Farm) on the value they’ve found in hazelnut-finished hogs. Both Herold and Osterberg began their operations with hazelnuts before incorporating hogs. Without the necessary industrial facilities available, they have found that pigs are the next-best way to process their hazelnut crop. Herold sells her pork directly to consumers, and she reports that her customers appreciate the rich flavor the meat takes from the nuts.

Next Christopher Pax (Black Earth Meats), Scott Buer (Bolzano Artisan Meats), and Tim Blokhuis (Pete’s Meats) presented on the state of specialty pork from the processor’s perspective. During a break, Caitlin Henning (MSc candidate in Agroecology) discussed her fieldwork on denominations of origin for specialty pork in Spain and how lessons from that country could help farmers and vendors in Wisconsin market specialty pork as a terroir product.

For the final panel discussion, Jeremy Johnson (Willy Street Grocery Cooperative), Nik Novak (Together Farms), and Talish Barrow (Graze Restaurant) talked with the group about marketing challenges and opportunities for specialty-finished pork. While the panelists haven’t yet observed consumer demand for specialty finishing, their businesses have responded to consumer interest in local and pasture-raised pork. Barrow proposed that specialty finishing could be another niche for farmers and vendors with the right amount of consumer education.

Most farmers attending the event were curious about whether specialty finishing could work for their operations. Surveys completed during the event indicate that there is interest in both specialty finishing and product aggregation to take advantage of larger markets and niche consumers.

Another note – if you are on FaceBook, check out the Black Pork site. Lovely photos! https://www.facebook.com/BlackPorks

black pork

Meeting participants:

Last Name First Name Affiliation/Organization
Armbrust Matt Organic Processing Institute
Barrow Talish Graze Restaurant
Bernardoni Bob Roller Coaster Farm
Blokhuis Tim Pete’s Meats
Buer Scott Bolzano Artisan Meats
Doherty Charlotte Roller Coaster Farm
Fabos Steve April’s Garden
Fox Dan Fox Heritage Foods
Fox Art Fox Heritage Foods
Goetzman Sandra Fair Wind Farm
Goetzman Tom Fair Wind Farm
Henning Caitlin UW-Agroecology
Herold Jeannie Hazel Valley Farm
Hoch Harry Hoch Orchard and Gardens
Holmstrom Deanne Holmstrom’s Grassy Acres
Holstrom Jamie Holmstrom’s Grassy Acres
Hunter Jonny Underground Food Collective
Johnson Jeremy WSGC
Johnstone-Buer Christin Bolzano Artisan Meats
Keeley Keefe UW-Agroecology
Mabe Nick Hoch Orchard and Gardens
McCann Nick Iowa State Univerisity
Moths Jessi CIAS
Novak Nik Together Farms
Osterhaus Max Hawks Cry
Osterhaus Mark Hawk’s Cry Farm
Pax Christopher Black Earth Meats
Prusia April April’s Garden
Schneider Stephanie Together Farms
Schriefer Gene Iowa County UWEX
Solberg Dan prospective farmer
Toepper Lorin Madison College
Williams Brady CIAS
Wong Kristina Hawks Cry
Wright Carla Organic Processing Institute

Networking Across the Supply Chain – LaCrosse 2/20-21/2013

100 regional food supply chain entrepreneurs are gathering in LaCrosse this week to shape a public R&D agenda for getting local food to market in a way that is economically viable, socially just and environmentally sound.

Visit this link to see the agenda, speaker bios and a list of organizations attending.

http://www.cias.wisloraxc.edu/networking-across-the-supply-chain-transportation-innovations-in-local-and-regional-food-systems/

Can’t join us? A proceedings will be published later this year.