Farm to Fork

EVENTS

Keeping Water in our Soil: Uplands Watershed Group Farm Tour and Farmer-Fisherman Lunch

Date: July 27, 2018, 9:20am
Location: Spring Green, WI
details

Silvopasture Workshop

Date: August 3-4, 2018
Location: Spring Grove, MN and Coon Valley, WI
details

Dairy Heifer Grazing Farms Bus Tour

Date: August 8, 2018, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Tour begins in Madison
details

more events

SUCCESS STORIES

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



CIAS leads diverse projects on food systems, or what happens from the farm gate to an eater's plate. This work is helping to get local, sustainably-grown food to eaters through schools, Community Supported Agriculture farms, and unique partnerships with growers, processors, farmers' markets, grocers and other food-related businesses.

Dairy grazing can provide good financial return (Research Brief #50)

An ongoing financial study of farms that use management intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) shows that generation of income is the main factor separating the farms with the best financial performance from those with the worst financial performance. The graziers with the best financial performance in this study had slightly higher operating expenses per cow, higher […] more

Echineacea as a tobacco crop alternative (Research Brief #48)

Many Wisconsin tobacco farmers are looking for alternative crops following the ongoing reductions in tobacco allotments and tobacco markets. Allotment reductions mean lower production levels and lower incomes for tobacco farmers. One crop proposed as an alternative to tobacco is echinacea (pronounced ek-in-a-sha), or purple coneflower, grown mainly for its medicinal root. Echinacea has enjoyed […] more

The Wisconsin Foodshed

From 1997-2000, CIAS published a newsletter for people working to create sustainable food systems. The Wisconsin Foodshed was conceived as a forum where activists, researchers, farmers, organizations and eaters could network and learn from each other. The newsletter addressed topics such as farmers’ markets, community and prison gardens, value-added marketing cooperatives, community food security, and […] more

Selling Certified Organic Produce to Retail Produce Markets in the Upper Midwest

Retail produce buyers in Minneapolis, MN and Madison, WI were interviewed to see if there are opportunities for small-scale growers of certificed organic produce. Produce buyers considered organic produce to be good quality, appealing to customers who want to help protect the earth. Buyer’s views of their relationship with growers, changing sources of produce throughout […] more

Echinacea as a Tobacco Crop Alternative

Tobacco farmers in Wisconsin have been losing base acreage and income in recent years. Because Echinacea and tobacco production share many similarities, Echinacea has been suggested as an alternative crop for tobacco farmers. Making $3,766 per acre with Angustifolia Echinacea looks better than any corn or soybean budget. But there are risks to consider, mainly […] more

Pastured poultry study addresses broad range of issues (Research Brief #46)

Farmers wishing to capitalize on the trend of increased consumption of white meat can consider raising chickens. But for many, a conventional commercial chicken operation’s high capital investment, large scale, and limited market access are unsuitable. Enter the pastured poultry model, where growing chickens are kept in large, floorless pens that are moved across pasture […] more

Diversity pays off on cash grain farms (Research Brief #44)

Cash grain farmers can improve their bottom line by diversifying crops and reducing chemical inputs, according to a cropping systems trial now in its eighth year of economic analysis. Diversified grain systems at two sites have shown better financial returns than a high-input continuous corn system every year since 1992. These are the results from […] more

Cropping systems trial provides unique analysis (Research Brief #43)

Can environmentally beneficial crop rotations also improve farm profitability? A long-term study underway in southern Wisconsin aims to find out. It blends systems research with strong farmer guidance to measure profitability, productivity, and environmental impacts of six cropping systems. The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) compares three cash grain cropping systems and three forage […] more
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