Category Archives: Processing

#DairyTogether, globally

Wisconsin Farmers Union has been organizing monthly conference calls to discuss oversupply in the dairy industry. Next week’s Dairy Together Call will be a special webinar brought to you by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS). 

CIAS is glad to virtually bring Torsten Hemme from the International Farm Comparison Network in to the Dairy Together conversation. The webinar will allow Dr. Hemme to share some of his work looking at different supply management policies in countries facing oversupply and allow for questions from participants.

The International Farm Comparison Network engages researchers from more than 100 countries and 140 agribusiness companies to better understand the global market. It has published an annual report since 2000 covering milk production trends, dairy farm structure dynamics, regional developments and typical farms data, and policy comparison.

This webinar will allow us to broaden our understanding of dairy supply management from a global perspective. Please join us on Wednesday, April 15th at 12 PM Central for this presentation and discussion. Join the #DairyTogether email list at https://www.dairytogether.com/ to learn more. Look out for an email next week with a link to join us on Zoom. 

Drop apples

Did you know that if you intend to make hard, fermented cider from apples, you may use drops? As a grower, you will need to provide buyers with written notification that you are selling them drops. As a buyer, you need to give the grower written notification that you intend to process and ferment the fruit. Check out this drop picker, used in Serbia. You can make it yourself, and it is sized for small orchards. A labor saver, but process the apples ASAP! Please hit the link directly so they see your interest: https://serbiaorganica.info/en/apple-picker/

Updates on food transportation

Just a news flash that a lot has happened with the Madison Food Terminal. There is more detail posted on the Regional Food Freight Tab (top of your screen). Interested in other transportation issues? I posted a short summary of the 99th Annual Transportation Research Conference on the page, too.

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/


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.

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

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

Inside scoop for cider makers

slide01Hard cider webinar: Industry Survey Findings and Opportunities for Rural Development. Tuesday, Dec 6, 1:30est.

Matt Raboin, researcher – apple grower – cider maker, has some findings to share and would like to chat with you on the future of cider making. Please join us next Tuesday and invite your colleagues.

To join the call, go to: https://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd

For more information, go to: http://expeng.anr.msu.edu/…/…/133/Hard%20Cider%20Webinar.pdf

Continental Nut Grower conference July 26-29 in LaCrosse

The 106th Northern Nut Growers Conference will be held this July in LaCrosse!

July 27-28, speakers from across North America will share their experience with a variety of nuts – chestnuts, hazelnuts, oaks, butternuts, hickory nuts, walnuts, even cashews. Sessions will cover breeding, crop management, marketing and business development.

The tour organized for July 28th includes a hike through a native chestnut grove, a tour of Mark Shepard’s polyculture farm, and a look at the American Hazelnut Company’s processing facility. The tour ends with dinner at the Rooted Spoon.

Register by July 1 and save. Register now at the NNGA website at  or go directly to the meeting registration website at: https://uwlax.ungerboeck.com/prod/emc00/register.aspx?OrgCode=10&EvtID=5084&AppCode=REG.

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.