Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hazelnut growers conference March 8-9

The University of Wisconsin Division of Extension is proud to welcome you to Wisconsin for the 10th Annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference. The focus of this year’s conference is hazelnut plant improvement with four different breeding programs providing updates on where they are at with developing improved varieties for growers in the Midwest. Anyone interested in planting hazelnuts should not miss this conference!
As in the past years, the focus on Friday will be providing information on the planting, management, harvest, and processing of hazelnuts. These Friday sessions are intended for aspiring, beginning, and experienced growers alike. Saturday morning will focus on hazelnut variety options and Saturday afternoon on a range of hazelnut projects and initiatives.
Questions or comments about the agenda or the conference can be directed to:
jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu

Eric Holt-Gimenez, Food First, in Appleton

Eric Holt-Giménez is keynoting Saturday 1/26 at the Wisconsin Farmers Union convention in Appleton!

Eric Holt-Giménez, author and executive director of Food First, grew up milking cows and pitching hay in Point Reyes, California. He’ll share how farmers and consumers can transform our food system to restore justice to American agriculture. His book A Foodies Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat has served as a consumer primer on many of the issues that Wisconsin farmers have organized around for more than a century.

If you are a Wisconsin Farmers Union member, this is worth the drive to hear. (FYI Organic Valley members are automatically members.) If you aren’t a member, sign up and attend! BTW, members need not be a county delegate to attend. Members may attend and “vote their own vote” if you like.

Tribal Food and Farming 101 workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This two-day workshop will be held February 15-16 at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, and this workshop will connect to additional workshops and training opportunities throughout the 2019 growing season, including the Wisconsin Intertribal Seed Stewardship Cohort that will be hosting monthly online training sessions.

To register and learn more, go to: https://iacgreatlakes.com/workshop/

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.

 

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 (jhendric@wisc.edu)

 

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.”

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdz-rIhYDprISqHSn_A1Rk4pVGfjN54JWozuyh2yof_XgrM2A/viewform