VALUE ADDED: On January 28, the Driftless Food and Farm Project convened at the Midwest Value Added Conference in Madison. The purpose of the meeting was twofold. First, we wanted to continue to provide a venue for introducing project participants to one another. We did so successfully with an hour long speed networking session. Thanks to all who participated.
We also heard from Josh Miner, the Farm-to-School Coordinator at La Crosse County Health Department, who talked briefly on the challenges related to pooling products from multiple producer groups, matching of supply and demand, developing an efficient distribution system based on a per-case handling fee and other aggregation and distribution issues. Here are Josh’s PP slides on Farm-to-School aggregation challenges. Click here to email him.
RAW MILK CHEESE: Then, on February 3, we joined raw milk cheesemakers from around the region for a session exploring terroir, the “taste of place”, co-sponsored by the Dairy Business Innovation Center. Presentations included one on the microbiology of terroir in cheese and one on the potential for modifying the French concept of terroir for use in the United States. We concluded with a tasting menu provided by Madison restaurant L’Etoile and a discussion of ways local cheesemakers can capitalize on the marketing potential of the taste of the Driftless.