Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beginning Farmer School January 11-13, 2019

Planning a small business growing and selling fresh vegetables? Join us for the 2019 Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers, January 11-13. Registration is now open! A limited number of scholarships are available. Click here for more information or to register or contact John Hendrickson (


Dick Cates retirement party

Dick Cates is a farmer raising beef cattle in the Spring Green area. Or is he???

Please join CIAS for a celebration of Dick Cates and his 23 years of service to the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. During his time as director of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, senior lecturer in the Department of Soil Science and interim Farm and Industry Short Course director, Dick educated and mentored beginning farmers, promoted land stewardship through managed grazing, and led sustainable agriculture efforts across Wisconsin.

Dick’s retirement party will be on Thursday, November 1st from 4:30 to 6:30pm in the Jackson-Tanner Commons on the third floor of the Soil Science Building, 1525 Observatory Dr. The nearest parking ramp is the Observatory Dr. Ramp (lot 36). Check the campus map for building location and parking options.

Refreshments will be served.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP here. Thank you!

Farms organized as worker coops

Erika Inwald, the National Coordinator of the Domestic Fair Trade Association is seeking our assistance. As part of her Master’s program at New York University, she is working on a research project about farms that are structured as worker cooperatives. She would like develop a list of these kinds of farms and conduct interviews with the owners. She has asked for our help in identifying these farms.

To facilitate our input she developed a simple google survey:
“My goal with the questionnaire is to identify more people to talk to about this subject and identify more worker co-op farms that might exist.”

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 or contacting Margaret Krome, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (608) 283-1440, 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


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:

Business Succession and Retention: Employee Ownership Solutions

Ever thought about morphing into an employee-owned business or a worker coop? This workshop is for you.

April 20, 2017

Cottage Grove, Wisconsin


An estimated 70% of private businesses will change hands over the next two decades, many as a result of retiring baby boomers. Who will take over these businesses and will they remain in their communities?

Attend this workshop presented by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives to learn about employee ownership as an effective method for keeping businesses, jobs, and wealth in local communities.

Key Topics

  • Real benefits of employee ownership in both rural and urban settings
  • Employee ownership basics: worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
  • Practical steps in the conversion process: stories of existing employee owned business
  • Strategies for capitalizing conversion deals
  • Resources available to business owners who are exploring employee ownership
  • Bonus! Employee ownership experts will be available for short, one-on-one consultations with business owners interested in employee ownership.

Who Should Attend?

  • Business owners interested to learn about employee ownership
  • Community and economic development professionals
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Local and regional policymakers

Registration Information

$99 per participant, includes workshop materials, one consultation, breakfast, lunch, and parking

April 20, 2017
8:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Optional Consultations:
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Landmark Services Cooperative
1401 Landmark Drive
Cottage Grove, WI 53727
Get Directions

Courtney Berner
Cooperative Development Spec.
UW Center for Cooperatives
(608) 890-0966

For more details on the agenda, speakers and program go to the website at

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

AppleTalk 2017

AppleTalk: Where Apple Growers Share IPM Ideas                   Now is the time to register for AppleTalk.

We have scheduled a special AppleTalk call with Amaya Atucha, University of Wisconsin Horticulture, to discuss tree phenology and winter injury, breaking dormancy, and nutrition needs for trees. We will also discuss green tip disease management on this call. Unlike our regular Tuesday calls, this call will be on Friday, March 31, to align with Amaya’s availability. The regular AppleTalk season will begin sometime in late April on our regular Tuesday schedule.

What’s new for 2017?

  • 18 conference calls to accommodate a longer season.
  • Registration is now online.
  • AppleTalk podcast. We need your help on this one. The available conference-call services offer either a stream that requires a flash player (not smart phone compatible) or generates a large media file which has to be downloaded. Both of these options are not friendly for smart phones. We are investigating low-cost opportunities that could allow us to take the downloaded file and turn it into a podcast that could be streamed or downloaded. This is not our area of expertise and if you know of a good program or have some ideas, let us know! This seems to be an area where the conference-call technology has not caught up with the times.
  • 2017 fees are set at $150. When AppleTalk began in 2006 it was sustained through several major grants from the US EPA and USDA. Sacia Orchards helped us meet our budget for the last two seasons. Please thank them if you see them. We anticipate this modest increase and the online registration will secure the budget we need to keep improving the quality of AppleTalk and the content we deliver to you. This business expense pays for itself many times over – invest in your management.

2016 AppleTalk participation survey

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We would love to hear from you. Please contact Peter Werts,, (608) 232-1410 x1002 or Thomas Bernard,