Category Archives: Marketing & Communication – The Driftless Identity

#DairyTogether road trip!

Join other dairy farmers and coops on August 13 to advance solutions to the dairy crisis. There is a bus leaving from Wisconsin, full of dairy farmers. The bus will stop along the way for media opportunities and to pick up attendees in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

More details on Agrimark’s event page:

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 ( with any questions.
Website & Registration:
Facebook Page:

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

For more details on the program, go to

Contact to register. 866-267-2879

Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable

Join us in Madison on August 4th
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As the business world grows increasingly more complex, an effective board is critical to cooperative’s success. How do board leaders balance responding to changing conditions while remaining focused on the long-term goals and needs of the cooperative? How might your board improve performance to better meet the needs of its members?Join other cooperative board leaders on August 4th in Madison, WI, to share challenges and solutions that your cooperative board is facing. The Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable is a flexible and interactive forum that will focus on the following topics:

  • Role of the board chair and other leadership positions
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Strategies for good decision making processes and developing a more efficient board
  • CEO review and succession planning
  • Best practices in board leadership.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with your cooperative board peers!

Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable
Fluno Center, Madison, WI
August 4, 2015
Register Now
Logistics and other Information
9:00AM – Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30AM – Roundtable begins
2:00PM – Roundtable adjournsContact Information:
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director
UW Center for Cooperatives
(608) 263-4775
Registration and Cost: $100 per participant includes light breakfast, lunch and onsite parking at the Fluno CenterRegister two or more individuals from the same cooperative and receive a 10% discount!There is a limited number of financial hardship registrations available. If you need assistance, please contact us.
Thank you to Cooperative Network for cosponsoring this event!
This program is presented by:
The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives and UW Extension
Copyright © 2015 University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, All rights reserved.unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Strengthen your values-based supply chain connections

Remember the talk about a trade association for regional food? the Local Food Association, based in Lexington, KY,  is organizing just such a service! The director bio is awesome and they have a great board of directors. They are hosting a first conference November 6th for supply chain businesses, including farmers / shippers, to meet and do business.

Two new reports : regional food transportation and climate

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.


Time to register – growing woody perennials

Time is short to make the registration deadline for this workshop – one that you won’t want to miss! Check out the draft agenda and handouts we are preparing for the event! Registration information here.

(ps: more than 60 people turned out for the aronia field day in Soldiers Grove at Star Valley — see previous post)


8:30-9:00 a.m.                  Welcome & introductions

9:00-9:45 a.m.                  Principles of ecological gardening

9:45-10:30 a.m.                split into 2 groups:

  1. Small group discussion/Functions worksheet: What are the functions you want fulfilled on your land? What are your land’s needs, yields, characteristics?
  2. Tour at Nature Nooks — motivation and philosophy, species selection for food production, wildlife buffer, riparian plantings, visual screens, ecotourism

10:30-10:45 a.m.              Break

10:45-11:30 a.m.              Small Group discussion /Tour at Nature Nooks

11:30-12 p.m.                    Lunch

12-12:30 p.m.                    Travel to Cullen and Micaela’s Long Arm Farm

12:30-2:30 p.m.                Tours at Long Arm Farm with 3 groups :

  1. philosophy, context & background, plant selection, how to plant different species (sheet mulching, etc.), plant selection for hedgerows, what is working well, markets
  2. animals, chicken tractor and rotations, plants for fodder, cheese cave, markets
  3. plant varieties, plant selection, propagation, what to grow along riparian zones & edges, sun/shade, guilds, juglones tolerant plants

2:30-3:00 p.m.                  Travel to Mike Breckel’s Hawkstone Vineyard

3:00-4:15 p.m.                  Tour at Hawkstone Vineyard – motivation and philosophy, elderberry production, processing and markets

4:15-5:00                            Elderberry tasting (tentative), Wrap Up



  • Definition of Terms – perennialization, forest garden, agroforestry, permaculture, organic/gardening/farming, sustainability, resiliency, food security
  • Functions worksheet– what are your goals (hobby farm, supplemental food or income, primary income, etc.), what things do you need to consider on your land? What functions do you want fulfilled?, Do you have specific goals? Land use plan? Biz plans? Markets in mind? Philosophy about land?
  • Observations & Basic Principles worksheet —  aspect, sun/shade, slope, water, soils, cycling, stacking functions, interrelationships, relative location, species selection (needs, yields, characteristics), guilds, animals
  • Plant Lists – fruit and nut varieties, native plant lists from the UW Arboretum, permaculture guilds
  • Plant Nurseries
  • Participant List

To register, use using
the form available on the CIAS website at and send with payment to Michelle Miller at UW-Madison CIAS, Attn: Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Ag Bulletin Building, 1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Contact Michelle with registration questions at or 608-262-7135. For workshop questions, contact Marian
Farrior:, 608-265-5214.

Marketing the Native Understory

Thursday, June 27, 2013  9:30-4pm

Viroqua & Viola, WI

Hosted by: Rooted Spoon Culinary, Viroqua, WI and New Forest Farm, Viola, WI in collaboration with the Hazelnut Development Initiative, the Midwest Aronia Growers Association, and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Two panel discussions will address the marketing of hazelnuts, aronia and mushrooms. Chefs will speak to their experience working with forest products from local growers. Hazelnut and aronia growers, and a mushroom forager, will share their experience marketing to local restaurants.

After a lunch at Rooted Spoon Culinary highlighting some of these forest products, the venue will shift to New Forest Farm in Viola, WI (about a half-hour drive). Here, attendees will tour the largest hazelnut planting in Wisconsin situated within this perennial permaculture farm. Please, no sandals on the farm tour.

Marketing the Native Understory agenda

9:00-9:30         Sign-in, registration, coffee

9:30-9:45         Welcome and introductions – Norm Erickson, hazelnut grower and Master of Ceremonies. Also, Dani Lind, chef; Brady Williams & Michelle Miller, UW-CIAS

9:45-10:45      Grower Panel: Norm Erickson, Rochester, MN , hazelnuts; Michael Mathiasen, St. Charles, IA, aronia; Joe Skulan, Lodi, WI, foraged mushrooms.

10:45-11:00     Break

11:00-12:15     Chef Panel: Chef Ryan Boughton, One Eleven Main, Galena, IL; Monique Hooker, chef and author of Cooking with the Seasons: A Year in My Kitchen; Brad Niemcek, Kickapoo Culinary Center

12:15-1:00       Lunch and informal networking

1:00-1:20         Lessons from value-added nut enterprises in the Midwest: 5 case studiesBrady Williams Click  hazelnut businesses for the power point presentation

1:20-1:40         Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative, Jeff Jensen, President Minnesota Hazelnut Foundation (invited) and Jason Fischbach, UW Extension – Bayfield County (invited)  and Midwest Aronia Association, Phil Mueller.

1:40-2:00        Unstructured networking

 2:00                Leave for Mark Shepard’s New Forest Farm in Viola to tour hazelnut and aronia plantings and learn about permaculture systems.

The registration fee for this event is $10. Space is limited to the first 80 people to register. Register on-line

Some of the businesses sending representatives include:

  • Weaver Gardens, Altura, MN
  • Proudspirit Farm, Viola, WI
  • Ecker’s Apple Farm, Trempealeau, WI
  • The Root Note, LaCrosse, WI
  • Walnut Bluffs Farm, Canton, MN
  • Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove
  • Bellbrook Berry Farm, Brooklyn, WI
  • Strause Farms, Rio, WI

Representatives from the following towns and cities have registered:

  • Waunakee, WI
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Spring Green, WI
  • Necedah, WI
  • Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Johnson Creek, WI
  • Luana, IA
  • Decorah, IA
  • St. Charles, IA
  • Rochester, MN
  • Stoddard, WI
  • West Bend, WI
  • Black River Falls, WI
  • Highland, WI
  • Rib Lake, WI