Citizens Advisory Council


Norther Nut Growers Association annual meeting

Date: July 26-29, 2015
Location: La Crosse, WI

Farm Technology Days 2015

Date: August 25-27, 2015
Location: Statz Bros. Inc. Farm, Sun Prairie, Wi

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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 Eco-Fruit Program Receives Wisconsin Idea Award

Since 2000, the CIAS Eco-Fruit program has been helping growers reduce or eliminate risk from pesticides by using IPM. Participating growers have reduced their pesticide risk by 46 percent and increased their reliance on IPM strategies by 54 percent. more


The Agroecological Imagination

On June 14, CIAS welcomed 49 guests to exchange ideas and develop collaborative efforts at a unique conference: The Agroecological Imagination: a Franco-American Exchange. more

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Adamski, Rick

Citizens Advisory Council Chair
Rick farms with his wife, Valerie Dantoin, on a 160-acre organic dairy in Shawano County. The farm has been owned and operated by the Adamski family since about 1900. Managed grazing has been the foundation of this farm since 1987. Conservation, efficiency and renewable resources, including a 35 kW wind turbine, are the guiding principles for this farm. Rick has served on several committees with Organic Valley. He is a member of Wisconsin Farmers Union. Determined to help the next generation of grass-based dairy farmers, Rick and Valerie have hosted several interns from the School for Beginning Dairy Farmers, including a current milk share agreement with one of the school’s graduates.

Andrews, David

David Andrews is the Executive Director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. He previously served as Global Programs Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Story County Extension Education Director. He has extensive international agriculture experience managing farming operations in Romania, the Philippines, Africa and the Middle East. David has owned and operated Green Vale Farms in Melbourne, Iowa, for 25 years. The farm has been part of the family since 1869.

Becker, Kat and Tony Schultz

Tony and Kat own Stoney Acres Farm, a third-generation, 120-acre, highly diversified USDA certified organic operation located in Marathon County. They run a 160 member CSA operation and market garden, produce maple syrup, and rotationally graze and direct market beef, pasture raised pork and pastured chicken. They are board members of Family Farm Defenders and work on legislative change through the Wisconsin Farmers Union. They are involved with educational opportunities for beginning farmers through a partnership with UW-Stevens Point, and Kat teaches a course on organic agriculture at UW-Marathon County. Kat holds a M.S. in Rural Sociology and Tony a B.S. in Education from UW-Madison. Kat and Tony believe the family farm has been a central form of economic democracy in our country, and they hope to reinforce this tradition to support a healthy and socially just world.;

Birmingham, Deirdre

Deirdre is starting an organic apple orchard in Iowa County. The orchard features English and French cider apples that she will process to make draft and vintage ciders. She helped initiate and runs the Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network. She also helps nonprofits and farmers apply for various grant programs. She is president of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), and a past director of the REAP Food Group. She has experience running an educational nonprofit and working in international agricultural development, particularly in Africa. She holds a Joint Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Land Resources and Adult Education.

Diercks, Andy

Andy is a fourth generation potato grower in Coloma, located 60 miles north of Madison. With his father, Steve they operate Coloma Farms, Inc., a 2,700 acre potato and grain farm. Both are very active within the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and serve on several committees related to marketing, research, and government relations. Coloma Farms and the WPVGA work pro-actively with researchers and leadership within the UW system to address issues in the vegetable industry. Andy received a BS from UW-Madison in Agricultural Engineering and currently serves on the DATCP board.

Ferguson, Tom

Tom Ferguson and his family have been farming apples and pumpkins for ten years in the beautiful Coulee region of Western Wisconsin. Tom fully incorporates Integrated Pest Management practices on his farm. The Fergusons own 235 acres, with 130 acres planted to apples and about 10 acres of pumpkins. Tom is a member of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, where he was a director for eight years and held the offices of vice president (2009) and president (2010-11). He is also a member of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association and the Chambers of Commerce in Eau Claire, WI and Lake City, MN. He previously worked as a manufacturing manager with 3M and Imation.,

Hintz, Clare

Clare farms in northern Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. She runs a winter CSA featuring fresh greens and storage crops, plus treats like apple butter and apple cider. She specializes in perennial fruits and nuts as well, and she has a small market garden featuring heirloom vegetable varieties. She also raises laying hens. She manages her farm following permaculture principles and organic standards.

Lutsey, Tom

Tom Lutsey grew up in Green Bay and spent 30 years of his life in the family business: Gold Bond Ice Cream. The business went from two plants and sales of $3 million in 1973 to 6 plants and sales of $250 million in 1990. Tom became the company’s president in 1980. He has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, and he currently sits on the Green Bay Packers, Graybow Communications and Wisconsin Specialty Proteins Boards. In the ‘80s, he started the Thomas H. Lutsey Scholarship Foundation in his father’s name to help rural kids earn agriculture-related college degrees. The Lutseys have a small office in Green Bay which manages several enterprises including Waseda Farms, a soon-to-be organic beef farm with 120 head of registered Angus and Hereford cattle.

Olson, Mark

As a teenager, Mark sat on the Growers Council—the precursor to the Dane County Farmers’ Market board. He was the first office manager for the Wisconsin Rural Development Center. He helped create standards for the certified organic dairy industry. In the mid 1980’s he started Renaissance Farm, which grows and processes fresh herbs. Renaissance Farm is setting up a national distribution network and has six product lines. Mark helped form Driftless Development in the spring of 2010. Its mission is to replicate the construction of locally-owned processing parks by organizing and training local management, farmers and plant workers to process raw agricultural products.;

Paine, Laura

Laura Paine, Grazing & Organic Agriculture Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, provides economic, business and market development education and assists producers in developing and marketing organic and grass-fed products. She coordinates and advises several private sector advisory councils and teams including the GrassWorks Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council. Paine has been a guest speaker at the Wisconsin Grazing Conference and the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, and authored a chapter on pasture management in Organic Dairy Farming: A Resource for Farmers. She and her husband raise grass-fed beef on their farm near Columbus, Wisconsin.

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