Category Archives: Upcoming Events

You asked, we researched…food transportation

Workshop: Freight innovations to optimize regional food resiliency

Register for the regional food freight workshop in Chicago here:

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, 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”.



Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable

Join us in Madison on August 4th
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As the business world grows increasingly more complex, an effective board is critical to cooperative’s success. How do board leaders balance responding to changing conditions while remaining focused on the long-term goals and needs of the cooperative? How might your board improve performance to better meet the needs of its members?Join other cooperative board leaders on August 4th in Madison, WI, to share challenges and solutions that your cooperative board is facing. The Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable is a flexible and interactive forum that will focus on the following topics:

  • Role of the board chair and other leadership positions
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Strategies for good decision making processes and developing a more efficient board
  • CEO review and succession planning
  • Best practices in board leadership.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with your cooperative board peers!

Cooperative Board Leadership Roundtable
Fluno Center, Madison, WI
August 4, 2015
Register Now
Logistics and other Information
9:00AM – Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30AM – Roundtable begins
2:00PM – Roundtable adjournsContact Information:
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director
UW Center for Cooperatives
(608) 263-4775
Registration and Cost: $100 per participant includes light breakfast, lunch and onsite parking at the Fluno CenterRegister two or more individuals from the same cooperative and receive a 10% discount!There is a limited number of financial hardship registrations available. If you need assistance, please contact us.
Thank you to Cooperative Network for cosponsoring this event!
This program is presented by:
The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives and UW Extension
Copyright © 2015 University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, All rights reserved.unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Food Chains showing on campus March 12

Havens Center on the UW-Madison campus will screen Food Chains,  a film by Sanjay Rawal at the Union South Marquee Cinema, Wednesday March 12, 7 pm.

Jose Oliva of the Food Chain Workers Alliance and Gerardo Reyes of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will lead a discussion following the film.

Union South is located at 1308 W. Dayton Street.  This event is free and open to the public.

Remember that National Farmworkers Awareness Week is March 23-29.


Aronia meeting March 19-21

The Midwest Aronia Association will be holding their 2015 conference, open to both members and non-members, in Moline, IL, March 19-21.  MAA focuses on education and communication.

The conference and other benefits of membership is not limited to those who have a common business interest in growing aronia.  Anyone who has an interest in learning about and promoting aronia as a socially and environmentally sustainable alternative can enjoy membership benefits for $25 annually.  Academic non-voting membership includes students, teachers, instructors, institutions and members of the general public at large.

To learn more about the mission of MAA, how to become a member, and details about the annual conference, please visit   With the conference location nearby, and the wide range of speaker topics, this would be a good time to consider participation in the MAA annual conference.

Field days at West Madison Agricultural Research Station focus on vegetable flavor

This year at West Madison, Horticulture professor Julie Dawson planted trials of several
species of vegetables with a particular focus on flavor, with varieties selected by plant breeders at UW Madison and by seed companies with organic seed offerings for direct-market growers.

They have beets, carrots, onion, lettuce, hot and sweet peppers, melons, winter squash, cabbage, tomato, potato and sweet corn in collaboration with plant breeders at UW Madison and the West Madison demonstration gardens.

Field days are each month from 3-5 pm. Participants will tour a breeding nursery or larger trial each time, and also look at all the crops in the demonstration gardens and do a taste test.

  • Wednesday August 27th: tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, peppers
  • Monday September 22nd: beets, carrots, onions, tomatoes
  • Tuesday October 21st: potatoes, winter squash, carrots

All the field days will be held at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station 8502 Mineral Point Rd, Verona WI 53593,

For more information and to receive information on project results, contact Julie Dawson,
Department of Horticulture,

Strengthen your values-based supply chain connections

Remember the talk about a trade association for regional food? the Local Food Association, based in Lexington, KY,  is organizing just such a service! The director bio is awesome and they have a great board of directors. They are hosting a first conference November 6th for supply chain businesses, including farmers / shippers, to meet and do business.

IPM for Vineyards workshop July 10

Date: July 10, 2014, 9am-5pm

Location: New Lisbon, WI

This workshop will add to your existing knowledge of pest management for grapes and add to your repertoire of knowledge about spotted wing drosopliha and how to calibrate your sprayers.

  • Gain hands-on experience in scouting for the major grape pests
  • Learn in-field/in-vineyard scouting techniques for major and minor pests of grapes, including flea beetle, grape berry moth, anthracnose, phomopsis, black rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew
  • Learn how to determine thresholds for each of the main pests
  • Discuss options for managing each major pest using organic and non-organic pesticides as well as cultural and biological management options
  • Collaboratively build management plans for the host vineyard and its pests
  • Learn how to calibrate your sprayers

This unique, innovative program provides an intensive, full-day applied workshop including hands-on demonstrations as well as team scouting opportunities.

Registration for the workshop is limited to 40 participants on a first come, first served basis. This class size allows for active discussion and interaction with course instructors. Registration fees cover course materials, refreshments and lunch.

Field guides will be available for purchase during the workshop.

This workshop is a collaborative effort between the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and UW-Extension.

Registration questions? Contact Regina Hirsch at 608-335-7755 or


Beginning and Advanced IPM Practices for Vineyards

Loving of the Land concert this Saturday

Date: April 26, 2014, 8:00pm

Location: UW-Madison Music Hall


Join us for a benefit concert on April 26th to fund student research in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

The third annual “Loving of the Land” concert will feature the Madison class-grass quintet Graminy. Class-grass is a musical style that blends bluegrass and classical traditions.

Graminy will be joined by men’s and women’s vocal groups from Madison’s West High School—Chromatic and Ten—directed by Anthony Cao.

The concert will be held in Music Hall at UW-Madison, starting at 8:00pm. Stephanie Elkins, Wisconsin Public Radio, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Student tickets are available for $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets, through CIAS (262-8018,, and from Agroecology students.

The Loving of the Land concert is one of a series of events in 2014 celebrating the 25th anniversary of CIAS.

Proceeds from this concert will fund student scholarships for research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. To learn more about the students and research CIAS has supported through this concert, visit

The Loving of the Land concert is co-sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Program in Agroecology, Wisconsin Public Radio and F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture.

Celebrating Driftless Apple Growers

Enjoy your favorite apple products, this year of plenty!

UW-Madison is recognizing the work of our Eco-apple project. See the story at:

Growers are meeting here in Madison on December 9th to talk about their efforts this growing season and their concerns for the next. If you are a commercial apple grower and want to join us, contact us!

If you want to hear the farmers tell their own story, go to this short video:

At the Core: Apple growers of the Upper Mississippi River

Apple growers from Wisconsin and Minnesota share their thoughts on running a farm-based business, the pleasures of apple growing, opportunities for learning and assistance, and what the future holds.

This video features the following growers:
Steve Louis, Oakwood Fruit Farm, Richland Center, WI
Doug Shefelbine, Shefelbine’s Orchard, Hollman, WI
Tom Ferguson, Morningside Orchards, Galesville, WI
Craig Schultz, Bushel and a Peck, Chippewa Falls, WI
Dave Pagoria, Helene’s Hilltop Orchard, Merrill, WI
James and Barbara Lindemann, Gardens of Goodness, McFarland, WI
Charlie Johnson, Whistling Well Farm, Hastings, MN

Produced by Laurie Greenberg for the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems


Dubuque-area food and farm events September 21st!


For more information, go to:


EVENT ONE:  Driftless Farm Crawl


This event is aimed at connecting residents and families to local food and farms.  This event will feature several farms located in the tri-state area that will open their doors to the public on Saturday, September 21st from 1:00pm-5:00pm.  We will be providing maps and information for families, as well as descriptions of each participating farm!


Each farm will host at least one scheduled tour during the day.  Farms will able be encouraged to sell their product on site during the event, as we hope to increase the economic viability of local, family farms


EVENT TWO: Driftless Farm to Table Dinner


Delicious food from local farms will be artfully prepared by four Tri-state area chefs, highlighting our rich local food culture.   This dinner will be a one night only, family-style, four course creation based on what’s ripe and good from our farmer’s fields.


This dinner will be prepared by:

Driftless Market – Platteville, WI

L.May Eatery – Dubuque, IA

One Eleven Main – Galena, IL

East Mill Bakeshop – East Dubuque, IL