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The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. more

more madness

Join the 2020 Great Lakes Apple Crunch!

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020

We know the Great Apple Crunch will be different this year, and we are still excited to support our local farmers and ensure access to nutritious foods. The simple and fun premise of purchasing and crunching into local apples can be adapted for remote meal options and socially distant participation. Our team is working to make it easy and safe to participate.

What is the Crunch? Celebrate National Farm to School Month by collectively purchasing and crunching into locally and regionally grown apples at NOON on Thursday, October 8. Then share photos from your Crunch on social media! Everyone is welcome to Crunch! Although we aim for a regional Crunch on October 8, you are welcome to Crunch any day or time in October that works for you.

Who: K-12 schools, early care and education sites, hospitals, colleges and universities, farms, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, local businesses, groups, and even households can register to Crunch this year! Anyone who wants to show support for local farmers and school food can join!

Where: Anyone across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio can register to Crunch in 2020! Crunch from a socially distanced classroom, the apple orchard, Zoom, the school garden, home, or any safe and creative place!

Join in! Last October 1,815,331 students, children, teachers, and good food supporters across the region crunched. Let’s join forces and meet the HUGE goal of 2 MILLION CRUNCHES in 2020! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get updates and see photos from last year’s Crunch. Register your Crunch today to receive the helpful Crunch Guide and special resources for crunching during COVID-19.

Registration now open!

preschoolers with apples


To learn more about National Farm to School Month and farm to school initiatives across the Great Lakes Region, please visit

Hayward apple crunch