Farm to Fork


2017 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

Date: November 28-29, 2017
Location: UW-Madison Pyle Center

Midwest CSA Conference

Date: December 7-8, 2017
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference

Date: January 21-23, 2018
Location: Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI

more events


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

Great Lakes Region Farm to School Network

Posted February 2009


CIAS serves as the Great Lakes Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network. There are eight Regional Lead Agencies across the country, working to strengthen and expand existing farm to school programs and provide assistance for beginning programs.

The National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, the environment, economies and communities. The network’s priorities for achieving this vision include networking, policy, research, training and technical assistance, media and marketing, and information dissemination and development.

The National Farm to School Network sprouted from the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms, and improve student health by reducing childhood obesity. National staff and partners at eight regional lead agencies provide free training and technical assistance, information services, networking and support for policy, media and marketing activities. The National Farm to School Network began in 2005 as a collaborative project of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and the Community Food Security Coalition, funded through the Kellogg Foundation. In 2011, the National Farm to School Network evolved into an independent organization fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center.

The Great Lakes Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Diverse farm to school efforts in the region include local food in school lunch lines, school gardens, nutrition education, farm tours, local food school fundraisers and much more. At least 244 farm to school projects involving at least 1,155 different schools operate in the region. You can join the movement by adding your school or project at

Whether you are brand-new to farm to school, looking to boost an existing program or interested in selling food from your farm to schools, there are many ways to connect with the resources you need:

  • Visit to find state and national resources, list the details of your farm to school program and find out more about farm to school in your state.
  • Contact your National Farm to School Network state lead listed below.
  • Follow the Great Lakes community on Facebook to get the latest updates and to share your story.
  • Learn more about Farm to School Month in October at
  • Join the Farm to School and School Garden Research Consortium online at

For more information, contact regional coordinator Vanessa Herald or your National Farm to School Network State Lead listed below.

Great Lakes Farm Region to School Network Coordinator:
Vanessa Herald
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin, Madison
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1215
Phone: (608) 263-6064

State Contacts:

Laura Hormuth
Indiana State Department of Health
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 234-3498

Colleen Matts
Michigan State University CS Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture
East Lansing, MI
Phone: (517) 432-0310

JoAnne Berkenkamp
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Minneapolis MN
Phone: (612) 870-3410

Julie Fox
Ohio State University Extension
Piketon, Ohio
Phone: (740) 289-2071 x225

Sara Tedeschi
UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Madison, WI
Phone: (608) 513-3980