Farm to Fork

EVENTS

2018 OGRAIN Winter Conference

Date: January 26-27, 2018
Location: UW-Madison campus
details

2018 GrassWorks Grazing Conference

Date: January 30-February 1, 2018
Location: Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI
details

Wisconsin Farmers Union 87th Annual State Convention

Date: February 2-4, 2018
Location: Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI
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.

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

Managing a CSA farm 2: community, economics, marketing and training (Research Brief #41)

Community supported agriculture (CSA) farmers need communication and management skills to meet a variety of challenges in building a community of members, balancing income and expenses, marketing their farm, and obtaining training. A multi-professional farmer-led research team including John Hendrickson and Marcy Ostrom, researchers for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), completed several case […] more

Managing a CSA farm 1:production, labor and land (Research Brief #40)

Farmers using the community supported agriculture (CSA) model can expect both rewards and challenges in this intense, diversified, community-oriented approach. A solid understanding of CSA and effective management will help CSA farmers overcome challenges in production, labor, and conserving and securing land. John Hendrickson and Marcy Ostrom, researchers for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems […] more

New markets for producers: selling to colleges (Research Brief #39)

Colleges can support local farmers, highlight regional foods in their cafeterias, grills, and catering services, and educate future consumers about local, sustainably produced foods. This makes them an intriguing potential market for growers. Yet farmers selling to college food services can face challenges in working with institutional food-buying systems. Can it work? Yes—-if farmers focus […] more
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