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
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
Food Deserts and the Logistics of Urban Food Transportation
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
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
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/
For more information, help with ingredients, or to sign up, visit: go.wisc.edu/635g7i
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 (email@example.com)
Public Roundtable: December 7, 2018, UW-Madison Law School
The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) and the University of Wisconsin Law School are pleased to present the competition roundtable Food and Agriculture at a Crossroads: Setting Competition Priorities to Protect Producers, Consumers, and the Supply Chain. The roundtable will take up major competition policy issues involving concentrated food and agriculture markets, their interconnections to the broader national and global supply chains, and strategies for improving competition. The roundtable will begin with a briefing on the state of competition in food and agriculture, with a focus on gaps in the law or legal doctrine that makes developing competition policy particularly difficult. The day will feature three panels on topics that have important implications for competition enforcement and policy. Experts in antitrust and regulation from government, industry, advocacy, and academia will frame major competitive issues through the lens of different stakeholder and enforcement perspectives. The morning and afternoon discussions will each close with a roundtable session that gives participants the opportunity to react to and candidly discuss themes, issues, and policy recommendations for competition enforcement.
The roundtables are entitled:
Squeezed From Both Ends: Seller Market Power, Powerful Buyers, and Protecting the Producer
The Consumer and Food Sovereignty: Rising Concentration and Its Effects on Food Prices, Choice, and Quality
Food Supply Chains: Integration, Globalization, and What it Means for Competition and Stability
Registration is free for the December 7th event at the Law School, but required. For more information and to register, go to: https://www.antitrustinstitute.org/event/2018foodagrountable/
Family Farm Defenders, Wisconsin Farmers Union, the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and other partners are organizing a reception and community panel for the night before the Roundtable, December 6, 2018, tentatively at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery Town Center, 7-9pm. No registration for this event is required.