Category Archives: Project Announcements

4th Annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference

March 1-2, Eau Claire

Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin hazelnut growers plan to convene this spring to share information on growing, processing and selling hazelnuts. Researchers from Ontario, New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisconsin will share their work on propogating commercial nuts from hybrid and native hazelnut stock, and various ways growers are marketing their crops.

For more information and to register, go to:




1.3 million servings of WI veggies, please

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is in Madison today to award our project a grant!

CIAS is working with farmers, processors, and distributors  to go from zero Wisconsin veggies in Wisconsin public schools to 1.3 million servings in 2014.That amounts to targeting 60% of Wisconsin school districts with two new food service-friendly products.

Andy Dierks, Coloma Farms, Teresa Engel at DATCP, Anna Maenner at the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, Mary Pesik with DHS, June Paul with DPI, Cheryl Piel with the School Nutrition Association, and Mike Bell (CESoc) and Alfonso Morales (URPL) at the UW,  supported the project proposal.

The project encourages two new products to the school lunch menu: Harvest Medley – a mix of root vegetables, squash and herbs – and a roasted potato blend. Both products have been successful in St. Paul and Milwaukee school lunch program trials.

Fifth Season coop in Viroqua will be working with Reinhart to get the new products to market. Maglio’s in Glendale is working with SYSCO.

Not too shabby.

Congratulations and thank you to Sarah Tedeschi and project partners for making this happen!



Increasing capacity in the tri-state area

Iowa State Extension just hired Brittany Bethel as the new Regional Foods Coordinator for Eastern Iowa and the tri-state area of IA, WI and IL. She writes,

” We have a vibrant community of farmers, consumers, institutions and agencies dedicated to promoting the use of local foods, and many resources for people interested in the nutritional, environmental and economic benefits of using more food produced in our region. I will be promoting promote resources, partners and programs that will support the further growth of our local foods community.

My position is supported by the Limestone Bluffs  RC&D and the Dubuque County ISU Extension.  The deliverables include: Producer Inventory, Local Food Buyer List, Email Distribution (to share events, information, and news), Training Events, Stakeholder Meetings, Business Development Activities and Development of a Regional Food System Expansion Plan.  Other organizations involved include Buy Fresh, Buy Local-River Bend and Dubuque Eats Well RFSWG.”

Sign up for their site – she is posting many local events that may be of interest, especially for those in the Dubuque area.

Welcome Brittany!

Last chance! REGISTER NOW for “Telling the Driftless Story”!


In order to guarantee enough lunch and snacks for all participants, we need to close online registration by the end of the day today, August 6. Please register now to save yourself a spot at this dynamic regional workshop! A draft agenda is posted below and is also available here.

Telling the Driftless Story: August 12-13, 2012

Sunday August 12

5-7 pm: Cocktail Networking with a cash bar

7-8:30pm: Dinner and Welcome talk

This is a free networking event open to all registered participants in Monday’s workshop. Please email if you would like to RSVP. Space is limited.

Monday August 13

7:30-8:30: Breakfast  

8:30-8:45: Introduction

8:45-10:00 Share Your Driftless Story

Work in small groups to share your memories and favorite things about the Driftless region while learning more about your neighbors and their motivations for participating in this workshop. Themes will be developed from the results.

10:00-10:15 BREAK

10:15-11:15 What the Italian Story Tells Us

A look at the agriturismo industry in Italy, its history and traditions, economics and regulation, its connections to place including regional uniqueness and the importance of land, agriculture and topography. Agricultural tourism has grown deep roots in Italy, and there are clear implications for Wisconsin. This session will highlight the Italian model and how it might inform the Driftless Story.

11:15- 12:00 LUNCH at Old Oak Inn

12:00-2:45 TOURS of local food and agriculture businesses

Tour 1- Organics in Action: Diversified Produce, Value-added Sunflower Oil and Grass-fed Beef and Lamb in the Heart of the Driftless (TENTATIVE)

  • 12:20-1:20pm Driftless Organics
  • 1:30-2:30pm Pine Knob Farm

Tour 2: Cheese & Apples! An award-winning Cooperative Creamery and Family-owned Apple Orchard and Farm Market (CONFIRMED)

  • 12:20-1:20pm Mt. Sterling Co-op Creamery
  • 1:30-2:30pm Sunrise Orchards, Inc.

Tour 3: Culinary Innovation: The Driftless’ Newest Community Kitchen & Aquaponic Fish and Produce Farm

  • 12:10-1:00pm Kickapoo Culinary Center (CONFIRMED)
  • 1:20-2:15pm Roth Fresh Farms (TENTATIVE)

2:45-3:15 Connect with theme groups and have groups collaborate to come up with one minute’s story, one image, one sentence (etc.) to summarize their group’s stories/experiences on the tours. Groups report back and present to entire group.

*Full group stories, themes and drawing can be reported on the Driftless blog after the conference in order to allow more time for group work.

3:15-4:15 Next Steps for Creating a New Future for the Driftless

Small group work and facilitated larger group discussion about possible next steps to take in the Driftless Region.

4:15-4:30 Concluding remarks

Registration for the August 13 “Telling the Driftless Story” Regional Workshop is OPEN!

Register here!

Driftless Food and Farm Project’s Regional Workshop, “Telling Our Story”

Monday, August 13, 2012
8:30 am-4:30 pm

The Old Oak Inn
550 Church St
Soldiers Grove, WI 54655

$10 registration fee

Join us for a day of exploring and developing themes and storylines on food and farming in the Driftless Region. This meeting is a precursor to work branding the region. Professional communicators, artists, farmers, chefs, and others involved in the life of the region will have an opportunity to tour local businesses, hear stories of the region, and consider strategies that leverage desired change.

The first 50 registrants will receive a copy of Amy Trubek’s The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir or Lapham’s Quarterly issue on food.

Please fill out the form here to secure your registration for the conference. The registration fee of $10 is payable by check to the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Receipts can be provided upon request. Please mail your check to:

Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Attn: Driftless Project Workshop
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

For more information and registration, click here.