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.
Flavor, not health claims, key in marketing pasture-based cheese (Research Brief #66)
A small but growing group of consumers is paying attention to the health benefits of milk and meat from animals raised on pasture. Meat and milk from grazed ruminants have higher levels of "good fat" than ruminants fed stored feeds. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is one of those "good fats." Some people claim that CLA can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, enhance immunity, reduce cholesterol, and replace fat with muscle. Can dairy farmers raising cows on pasture capitalize on these health claims with specialty cheese?
Harvest Festivals Reveal the Benefits and Challenges of Serving Local Produce in Schools
What do students at Shorewood Hills, Lincoln, and Chavez Elementary Schools have in common? All 1,400 of them, along with school staff and parents, will experience the bounty of local agriculture this month in school-wide Harvest Festivals. As pilot schools involved with the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch farm-to-school project, each school will host Harvest Festival meals […] more
Poultry Enterprise Budget Makes Management Decisions Easier
Low commodity prices have inspired many farmers to look at alternative enterprises, like poultry production, to increase their farm income. With careful financial planning and management, poultry enterprises can make money for farmers. The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a budget to help farmers make financial and management […] more
Poultry Enterprise Budget
Enterprises like pastured poultry can add to farm income with careful financial planning. CIAS has developed a spreadsheet to help farmers make financial and management decisions about new or existing poutry enterprises. While the budget was developed for a CIAS pastured poultry project, it is applicable to most kinds and sizes of poultry enterprises. This […] more
Large-scale pastured poultry farming in the U.S. (Research Brief #63)
Can you make a living raising pastured poultry on a large scale? "Yes, but talk to farmers who'll give you their whole story, including their failures, before you begin," one producer participating in a 2000 Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) survey advises.
Raising poultry on pasture (Research Brief #57)
A common way to raise pastured poultry involves putting 75 to 100 three- to four-week old meat chickens in movable pens during the growing season. These floorless 10' by 12' by 2' pens are moved daily by sliding them along the ground, providing fresh pasture. Chickens also receive a grain-based ration. At 8-14 weeks, the chickens are butchered and sold to consumers or restaurants.
The College Food Project: Economic Impact
UW-Madison’s Memorial Union caters food for many events on campus, including large summer conferences. In July 2001, the Union served four mostly organic and locally grown meals to 1,000 plant scientists at the Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Congress. Here is a budget for the local food served at that event: Farm or Farmer Cooperative Location Food […] more
The College Food Project: Sample Menus
Seasonal Regional Organic Vegetarian Dinner Frank’s Place dining hall, UW-Madison October 10, 2000 Menu: Vegetable stew Stir fry with rice Veggie burgers Potato and nacho bar Root vegetable mix Beets Acorn squash Cranberry wild rice Salad bar Dinner rolls Caramel apples Organic ice cream Cranberry topping Soy Delicious chocolate velvet frozen dessert Pear crisp Hickory […] more