Current and Past Citizens Advisory Council Members Gather for Summer Meeting
Posted July 2014
CIAS is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, and our Citizens Advisory Council is at the center of our history. When CIAS was created by an act of the Wisconsin Legislature in 1989, we were instructed to convene an advisory group including sustainable farmers and representatives of the environmental community. Over the years, this unique advisory body has engaged dynamic leaders from Wisconsin farms, businesses and organizations in participatory research, schools for beginning farmers and setting priorities for CIAS.
Past and present members of the CIAS Citizens Advisory Council gathered at Ferguson’s Orchards on July 17. Host Tom Ferguson and his son, Andy, gave us a tour of their Eau Claire orchard. The Fergusons grow cutting-edge apple varieties, like Pazazz, as well as classic varieties like Haralson and Cortland. Andy Ferguson is the current president of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association and Tom is a past president. The farm uses integrated pest management and has participated in the Eco Fruit Project.
Rick Klemme, who served as CIAS’s first director and is now dean and director of UW-Extension, was on hand to illustrate both the early history of CIAS and future possibilities for the center. Citizens Advisory Council members shared entertaining and moving stories about CIAS and their own efforts to create more sustainable food and farming systems.
This meeting was a prelude to the CIAS reunion on December 5. Stay tuned for details. We hope to see you there!