Category Archives: Transportation & Logistics

Summer events in-person and on-line

Looking to learn about agriculture, food, and our food system? There are a number of events this summer if you want to get out in the field or join on-line.

July 3rd – The UN Committee on Food Security launched the HLPE Report on “Agroecological and other innovative approaches” in Rome. The recorded webcast of the 3 hour event is available here.
The full report in English will be available by mid-July, while the other language versions will be available in September. The link to the summary and recommendations document (in English) is available here: http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/en/

July 30th, 2019 10am Establishing Pollinator Habitat on Organic Farms — Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner, Minnesota, Xerxes Society and Caleb Langworthy Organic Specialist, Conservation Education, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service

The National Organic Program regulations require farmers to maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation including wildlife.  This presents an opportunity for conservation agents to work with producers to address the lack of pollinator habitat.  This webinar will address required practices on organic farms, NRCS practices/enhancements that meet those requirements. It will also address evaluation tools, initiatives, site preparation, success stories and resources to successfully work with organic farmers to establish pollinator habitat.

Registration link for summer webinars: Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone at 

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/213746573

August 7-8, 2019 Innovations in the Food System: Shaping the Future of Food – a workshop

On August 7 and 8, the National Academies of Sciences Food Forum will host a workshop that will explore current innovations in the food system. Workshop presenters will discuss the dimensions of food systems and how to utilize innovations to meet the needs of small and large supply chains to support decision-making. The workshop will include discussions on issues related to safety and sustainability, economic and social challenges and opportunities, innovative case examples, and strategies in reducing food waste. Register to attend in-person or via webcast. Register to attend in person or via webcast. For more information, visit the Academies’ website.

  • When: Wednesday, August 7 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) and Thursday, August 8 (8:30 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Where: The National Academies of Sciences Building, Lecture Room (2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20418)
  • Watch: This event will be webcast live
  • Learn more and sign up here: bit.ly/foodsystemff

Thursday August 8, 2019, Establishing Pollinator Habitat on Organic Farms with Karin Jokela, Xerces Society; Kaitlyn O’Connor, Prairie Moon Nursery, Blue Fruit Farm Tour

Free Training for NRCS agents, county conservationists, technical service providers.

  • When: 10am to 3pm
  • Where: Wiscoy Community Center, 31783 Bur Oak Lane, Winona, MN and the farm tour at Blue Fruit Farm, 31762 Wiscoy Ridge Road, Winona, MN
  • To register or with questions: mosesorganic.org/nrcs, and questions to Caleb@mosesorganic.org

Thursday August 15, Wisconsin Farmers Union summer conference: American Agriculture, Where Are We Headed? A look at the future of our family farms, food systems, watersheds, and rural towns and why we must address anti-trust in agriculture. Bill Baer, former head of the federal Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division and past Director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Where: Wisconsin Farmers Union Kamp Kenwood, 19161 79th Avenue, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • When: 10 am to 2pm
  • Other details: There will be a pie contest for bakers and Acorn Day Camp for children 7+yrs for $15/child.
  • To register: RSVP to WFU at 715-723-5561 or www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/events

August 23rd, 2019 10 am, Working with Small Organic Farming Operations,KaYing Vang, Soil Conservationist NRCS and Valerie Dantoin, Instructor in Organic Agriculture, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Organic farming systems are diverse in both their production and scale. The 2017 Census of Agriculture shows 45.8% of organic farms in MN, WI and IA are under 100 acres.  A 2017 Oregon Tilth survey of farmers who participated in the EQIP Organic Initiative showed that 79% of respondents farmed less than 100 acres; 86.7% of those respondents said that concern for the environment was a motivation for them to farm organically. This webinar will provide NRCS field staff insight into working with producers on small farms to address natural resource concerns. 

Registration link for summer webinars: Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone at 

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/213746573

Webinar on food logistics

Food Deserts and the Logistics of Urban Food Transportation

Registration: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/fpd/talking_freight/index.htm

The federal Department of Transportation sponsors webinars on freight issues monthly. This month the topic is food logistics. Food transportation logistics often present more persistent challenges in communities, especially cities, than other types of freight transport, due to everyone’s need to eat regularly.  Freight carriers, particularly truck carriers, that specialize in food transportation need to make frequent deliveries to grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and other businesses that sell food as a significant part of their business.  In many locations, particularly urban areas, large numbers of people may not have convenient access to grocery stores or other food sources, complicating the supply chain logistics for customers who are need to access to stores or restaurants that sell food.  Additionally, the growing online grocery delivery industry also faces various supply chain challenges, including how to source their foods to ensure they are fresh for their online customers and how to deliver foods to their customers in an efficient and cost effective manner.

This webinar will examine the supply chain logistics of food transportation in multiple ways, including how small farms can ship their food to small grocery stores in various areas, especially urban areas, how e-commerce companies specializing in meal delivery can create efficient supply chains while keeping costs low and food fresh, and how customers who live in urban food deserts can most easily access food sources or be served by stores not in the immediate vicinity.

The Challenges and Opportunities Getting Food from the Farm to the Grocery Store in Urban Areas

This presentation will discuss research examining the challenges and opportunities for small farmers in the Midwest to transport their products to small grocery stores in cities. —Michelle Miller, University of Wisconsin, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

The Transportation Logistics for Online Grocery Providers

This presentation will talk about some of the logistical issues online grocery providers need to address to grow and sustain their grocery delivery business. — Caesar Layton, Cultivate Ventures

Addressing Urban Food Desert Needs and Enabling Customers to Access Grocery Store and Food Resources

This presentation will examine how people living in urban areas that lack grocery stores and other stores selling food – food desert locations – can find ways to access those stores despite poor geographic access.—Alice Huang, City of Baltimore, Food Access Planner

Flood Risk Mapping

The Driftless is prone to flooding, as we all know, and with the rapid snow melt, areas are already experiencing flooding. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control has developed a Flood Risk Mapping Application that you can use to figure out – in real time – what your flood risk is. The tool is intended for use by emergency personnel, city planners, and public health officials. But if you have access to internet services, you can also see forecasted precipitation, areas of flooding and the degree of flooding. It also maps healthcare facilities, socio-economic vulnerability, and areas with electrically-vulnerable people.

Google’s Refresh: Food + Tech

Google wants to better understand the ways that technology can benefit food systems. Skeptical? So was I. But after participating in three meetings, including one in Chicago last week, I am warming to the idea.

Watch the conversation about the future of AI in our food system with former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Food Tank, Google, and Refresh Working Group members. I think you will particularly enjoy the duet between Ali Lange (Google, formerly of the Center for Democracy and Technology), and Don Bustos, a Native New Mexican farmer. Ankita Raturi hit the ball out of the park when she notes that rural US needs stable internet access. This one is worth the watch.

“I think we have a long way to go before we start deploying Siri for farms,” she said. “We need fundamental technical infrastructure right now … very basic building blocks. What are the fundamental pieces we need to build first, and then people can imagine what other tools might be able to do.” –Ankita Raturi

In a first report from the working group, From Soil to Supper, you will see short pieces on how AI is currently in use, primarily for data collection for traditional production, distribution, and retailing. It is my hope that future reports will begin to address power disparities in the food system and the way that data privatization and technology appropriate for small to mid-scale farms is being developed. Something to help farmers anticipate extreme weather, like the Driftless flooding, would be appreciated, I am sure.

And if you have thoughts about food+tech you want me to bring to the table, please post comments below. I would be happy to share your thoughts with the working group at our next meeting.

 

You asked, we researched…food transportation

Workshop: Freight innovations to optimize regional food resiliency

Register for the regional food freight workshop in Chicago here: https://uwccs.eventsair.com/61503dr/rffc

Tuesday January 5, 2016

 

Watching farm trucks pull into the Capital Square farmers market in Madison, WI can make one wonder how to get regional food to regional markets more efficiently. Driftless farm and food businesses, such as 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, Chicago. Logistics, labor regulations, congestion, docking arrangements make this all very complex.

In April, 2010 CIAS started convening Driftless Food and Farm meetings where food transportation was identified as a top issue, but there were few resources available to address this critical component to resilient agriculture and food systems. In 2011 -2012, we made important links to researchers in logistics and freight transportation. In February 2013, we hosted the first regional food supply chain gathering in LaCrosse, where more than 100 businesses, NGOs, and allies convened to think through transportation barriers and opportunities. In 2014, a research team representing multiple different aspects of the food supply chain and leaders in the field continued to investigate the nature of regional supply chains and look for leverage points to elegantly improve systems. We learned from other nascent regional efforts in the New England States and California, and noted innovations in the private sector. We want to share this with you.

This meeting provides an opportunity to consider systemic improvements for moving food from rural to urban areas in such a way that potentially can meet the needs of all stakeholders and address critical issues like GHG emissions and food access. Much like past meetings, this one is intended to bring practitioners together to share their experiences, observations, successes and lessons learned. The format highlights some speakers from the field to jumpstart our conversations and we expect that much of the work will happen during small group discussions, over lunch and beyond.

If you have a stake in moving food from farm to market, please register. We need you at the table. Please share news of the conference with your supply chain partners and encourage them to come. If we pull together, forward momentum is assured.

The venue has limited capacity, so please register early to ensure a spot. Some scholarships are available. Please contact Michelle Miller if you are interested in one. mmmille6 AT wisc.edu, 608-262-7135

For more information on the conference including speakers and format, as well as information on past meetings and reports on regional food freight, go to the page dedicated to that work on this web site – tabbed at the top right corner “Regional Food Freight”.

 

 

New report: Agriculture, Transportation and Climate Change – considering the future of agricultural freight transport in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers took a closer look at how climate change might impact grain production and transportation in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. They surveyed current literature and interviewed 11 people across the supply chain, from private industry, state and local government, and agricultural and nonprofit organizations in this region. Their work sheds light on ways that climate change might affect agricultural production, markets and transportation in this region.

Check out the short report here or take a look at the POSTER climate ag trans 3

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.

 

Transportation and logistics for Driftless food

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: http://www.scribd.com/doc/231458906  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.

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.

 

Networking Across the Supply Chain: Transportation Innovations in Local and Regional Food Systems

Join us to set a research and business development agenda for transporting local food in the Upper Midwest. More than 20million people live in our region and most are dependent on a brittle national and global food system. Business leaders from the local food movement will discuss issues central to moving local food regionally.

February 20-21, LaCrosse, WI

To learn more about this free event and register on-line, go to: http://www.cias.wisc.edu/networking-across-the-supply-chain-transportation-innovations-in-local-and-regional-food-systems/Driftless

Meeting sponsors

This Project is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 12-25-A-5639 between the Agricultural Marketing Service/USDA and the Center for Integrated Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

FRAN– The Food Resource and Agribusiness Network  is a network of agribusinesses working together to improve the competitive advantage of businesses and the economy of the Seven Rivers region. FRAN is a geographic concentration of similar companies that share common technology, markets, suppliers or workforce skills in Western Wisconsin, Eastern Minnesota and Northeast Iowa. FRAN is providing a platform to address common opportunities and synergies that exist among regional food processing and agribusiness companies. The region has over 85 food processing manufacturers, a nationally renowned organic farming industry, 12,000 farms and 1.7 million acres in agriculture assessed lands provides great opportunities for joint ventures between suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, retailers and consumers.

USDA-Agriculture Marketing Service– Transportation and Marketing Program economists and marketing specialists at USDA Agricultural Marketing Service facilitate the development of local and regional food systems through research and analysis of agricultural transportation issues, food aggregation facilities, farmers markets, and other direct-to-consumer marketing, as well as assessment of wholesale markets and facility design.  This Program area of USDA-AMS also manages the USDA Farmers Market in Washington, DC.

For more information on agricultural transportation, please visit:  www.ams.usda.gov/AgTransportation

For more information on marketing services, please visit: www.ams.usda.gov/WholesaleandFarmersMarkets

UW-Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) is a research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. CIAS was created in 1989 to build UW sustainable agriculture research programs that respond to farmer and citizen need and involve them in setting research agendas. The goal of work at CIAS is to learn how particular integrated farming systems can contribute to environmental, economic, social, and intergenerational sustainability.