Marketing track at LaCrosse conference, July 27-29

Are you marketing products as Driftless or want to? Come share your experience and learn from others at the Northern Nut Growers conference in LaCrosse, Monday & Tuesday, July 27-29. Its not too late to register! For more information and to register, go to

Sessions & speakers on marketing and supply chains include a talk on Geographic Indication work linking the US and Europe, an international session on cashew supply chains, a session on supply chain for oils and vinegars: another session on wildcrafting nuts for market, and people from around the region building supply chains for nuts grown here.

On Monday:

Justin Gibson, VomFass, will be joining us from Madison, WI to talk about VomFass and how they work with growers and processors to deliver a high quality nut oil with a story to market.

Tom Rutledge, Hammons Products in Missouri, will talk about their supply chain, bringing wildcrafted nuts to international markets.

Bill Nash, Chestnut Growers, Inc. in Michigan, will share information on cooperative chestnut marketing.

Jeff Jensen, American Hazelnut Company, joining us from Iowa, will update us on regional hazelnut supply chain development.

On Tuesday:

Beth Barham, American Origin Products Research Foundation in Arkansas, is offering a workshop on Geographic Indication, with panelist Butch Weege past president of the Wisconsin Ginseng Growers Association, and another speaker, yet to be announced.

Karen Korsland & Amanda Sames from University of Minnesota, will talk about market research for regional hazelnut production.

Brad Paul, TechnoServe and the University of WI Land Tenure Center, will share his stories of cashew supply chains originating in Mozambique so that we can learn from international experience.

Wednesday tour – July 29:

Brad Niemcek, Kickapoo Culinary Center in Soldiers Grove, will show us the new products kitchen in this rural town and talk about hazelnut processing.

Dani Lind, Rooted Spoon in Viroqua, WI will talk a bit about the role of chefs in developing supply chains for regional food, and will show us how she does it by serving a delicious meal.

Organic corn field day – September 18th, East Troy

Breeding Corn for Organic Farmers with Organic Farmers.
Field day, Friday, September 18th, 10 AM to 3:30 PM, East Troy/Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

The Mandaamin Institute is breeding corn : 1) for high nutritional value (protein, methionine, lysine, and carotene) and taste; 2) that does not allow itself to be pollinated by GMO corn; 3) that is nitrogen efficient; 4) that combines these characteristics with good yields and dry-down. This research is funded by USDA-NRI-OREI, the Ceres Trust, and Organic Valley.

The field day will show how we are developing corn hybrids and varieties. And because this work can only succeed in conjunction with organic farmers and others, we will also highlight the work of our most local associates.

We will rendezvous at an organic café (2894 On Main) on the town square of East Troy, Wisconsin at 10 AM to see a unique partnership between market gardening and restaurant, run by the Rohrer family.

The first stop will be at the Rohrer farm. There we will view the Mandaamin Institute’s yield test plots and discuss how we are breeding for cross incompatibility with GMO corn. We will also view cover crop plantings in the corn and summer seeding berseem clover before heritage wheat. Organic farmer John Pounder will discuss his work growing and marketing open pollinated and hybrid corn varieties from our project and our cooperative work with heritage wheat varieties.

The second stop will be at the Goldstein’s organic farm (W2331 Kniep Road, Elkhorn, WI) to view the first yield trials of our N efficient hybrids. A lunch will be available there for $10 for those who register for the meal in advance. We will highlight corn bread made from our first released open pollinated variety, and eggs raised with our corn that have ultra-bright yellow-orange yolks. During lunch, cooperating corn breeder Kevin Montgomery (Montgomery Consulting, Maroa, Illinois) will speak about how to breed hardy, disease resistant corn for organic farmers.

Third stop will visit yield trials taking place on the historic Zinniker farm, which is a 75 year old biodynamic farm. There we will discuss relationships between farm management, yield trials, soil and grain quality, and weed control. John Bashaw of Pendragon specialties will show a hydraulic weeder suited for weed control in row crops, vegetables, and test plots.

Finally, those who wish to meet and talk further can meet back at the café for free tea or coffee.

Topics will include:
 Breeding corn for organic farming
 Grain quality, nutritional value, egg quality
 Breeding N efficient corn that works with N fixing bacteria
 Cross incompatible corn that avoids GMO contamination
 Cover crops, and organic and biodynamic soil management
 Weeds and weed control equipment
 Heritage wheats
 An organic café

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Biodynamic Association of North America, Pounder Bros Farm, Rohrer Enterprises, and Pendragon Specialties.

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

Time to register: Northern Nut Growers conference

The 106th Northern Nut Growers Conference will be held this July in LaCrosse! Register by July 1 and save. Register now at the NNGA website at  or go directly to the meeting registration website at:

July 27-28, speakers from across North America will share their experience with a variety of nuts – chestnuts, hazelnuts, oaks, butternuts, hickory nuts, walnuts, even cashews. Sessions will cover breeding, crop management, marketing and business development.

We expect to draw 200 nut growers, sellers, and allied supply chain partners. Don’t miss this networking opportunity!

The program will feature sessions on running a nut business, given by business leaders in the field. Beth Barham will be traveling up from Missouri to talk about her work on geographic indication – that is, Taste of Place. See her academic article at

The tour organized for July 28th includes a hike through a native chestnut grove, a tour of Mark Shepard’s polyculture farm, and a look at the American Hazelnut Company’s processing facility. The tour ends with dinner at the Rooted Spoon.


Continental Nut Grower conference July 26-29 in LaCrosse

The 106th Northern Nut Growers Conference will be held this July in LaCrosse!

July 27-28, speakers from across North America will share their experience with a variety of nuts – chestnuts, hazelnuts, oaks, butternuts, hickory nuts, walnuts, even cashews. Sessions will cover breeding, crop management, marketing and business development.

The tour organized for July 28th includes a hike through a native chestnut grove, a tour of Mark Shepard’s polyculture farm, and a look at the American Hazelnut Company’s processing facility. The tour ends with dinner at the Rooted Spoon.

Register by July 1 and save. Register now at the NNGA website at  or go directly to the meeting registration website at:

SW Badger RC&D needs a new ED!

Could it be you??

Southwest Badger RC&D is seeking a new Executive Director. Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council is looking for an energetic and organized individual to serve as Executive Director. The Executive Director works with a regional Council to carry out the mission of the organization and oversees all aspects of day to day operations including administration, personnel, project management, fundraising, and public relations activities. Application materials can be found on the web:

Deadline is Monday, May 4, 2015.

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.


Midwest School for Beginning Grape Growers

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, March 29-31, 2015

You bring your interest and hopes for your own vineyard business. We expose you to what you need to know and plan for as you plant grapes and grow.  This intensive, three-day course gives you a realistic picture of what it takes to start and operate a successful vineyard business—including capital, management, labor and other resources. Topics covered include market assessment and profitability, site selection and soil preparation, variety selection, pest management, economics, equipment and labor needs.

What do we offer?

  • A unique program that combines knowledge from experienced growers and regional experts.
  • Learn essential concepts in vineyard management and what it takes to succeed in the business.
  • Spend extended time with experienced growers and gather invaluable tips and practical know-how.
  • Network and learn from fellow growers and entrepreneurs.

Program highlights
This class affords the opportunity to immerse yourself into the realities of grape growing with a team of instructors who share your enthusiasm. We do more than scratch the surface on topics such as variety selection and pest management; rather, we take a deeper dive to expose you to the information and tools required to launch a successful vineyard business. Our goal is to start you on a path toward a sustainable and profitable business. Over the three days we will discuss the joys and challenges of operating a farm business in addition to growing grapes in the Midwest.

Is this workshop right for you?
This course is intended for people who are serious about starting an orchard business in the Midwest. To learn more about this school, contact John Hendrickson at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW-Madison, (608) 265-3704 or

WHEN: March 29, 30 and 31, 2015
TIMES: 10–4:30 Sunday; 8–4:30 Monday; 8–2:30 Tuesday
LOCATION: Madison, WI (details provided after you enroll)
COST: $375

For more information and application materials contact:

John Hendrickson
Phone: (608) 265-3704

Grant writing workshops in March

The UW-Extension Community Food Systems Team (Carrie Edgar, Erin Peot, & Andrew Bernhardt) is partnering with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and will be leading three Grant Writing Workshops for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Foods Promotion Program (LFPP) at three locations around the state –

  • March 3:   Eau Claire County UW-Extension, 227 1st Street West, Altoona, WI 54720
  • March 4:   Brown County UW-Extension, 1150 Bellevue Street, Green Bay, WI 54302
  • March 6:   Dane County UW-Extension, 5201 Fen Oak Dr. Madison, WI 53718

Each workshop will run from 10am – 3pm and all workshops are free (including free lunch) but you must register.

Register at:

Please register at least a week prior to the event so that we can get accurate counts for lunch.

This is a great opportunity to refine your own project idea and learn about these great grant programs!

Learn more about this event at:

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.