Healthy Food Systems Poster Session

Date: November 14, 2014 2pm
Location: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Atrium

Sustainable Intensification in Agricultural Systems

Date: Friday, November 14, 3:00pm
Location: DeLuca Form, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

The Edge of Extinction: Travels with Enduring People in Vanishing Lands

Date: Saturday, November 15, 3:00pm
Location: Barnes and Noble West

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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.

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.


Current and Past Citizens Advisory Council Members Gather for Summer Meeting

CIAS is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, and our Citizens Advisory Council is at the center of our history. Past and present members of this unique advisory group gathered at Ferguson's Orchards on July 17 for its summer meeting.

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Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

February 25-26, 2015
La Crosse, WI

The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium invites proposals for research paper presentations immediately before the Organic Farming Conference organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), the symposium organizers invites proposals from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards.

This is an excellent forum for researchers engaged in projects funded by the USDA-Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). The sympoisum organizers are especially interested in presentations by farmer-researcher teams.

Researchers are encouraged to respond to the National Organic Standards Board research priorities or other similar priorities identified through public processes. Topic areas of interest include:

  • Functional biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by organic farming systems
  • Soil health, quality and nutrient cycling
  • Biological and cultural practices to manage insects, diseases and weeds
  • Holistic animal health and nutrition, grazing and pasture management systems
  • Breeding, selection of crops and animals, and seed systems suitable for organic production
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy systems
  • Integration of perennials in organic farming systems and permaculture system design
  • Value added production and processing without synthetic food additives and processing aids
  • Nutritional quality, health benefits and integrity of organic food
  • Organic agriculture‚Äôs impact on rural communities
  • Organic farm economics, marketing and consumer behavior
  • Appropriate methods and practices for systems and on-farm research
  • Public policies to facilitate the transition to organic farming.

Researchers are asked to submit abstracts not exceeding 500 words that include:

  • Names of co-authors
  • Contact information
  • Working title
  • Topic area
  • Introduction explaining the context and purpose of the research
  • Methods used
  • Brief summary of the results and conclusion

Cross-disciplinary papers are encouraged. Works in progress may be considered, but the paper for the proceedings must be completed by December 31, 2014.

The symposium will be held in La Crosse, WI on February 25 and 26, with plans for live streaming. The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extension and other agricultural professionals, educators and others interested in organic agriculture. The symposium will be held in conjunction with a conference that is attended by organic producers and processors from across the U.S.

Presentations will be selected based on their innovative excellence, relevance to the research needs and priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, soundness of the methodology used, and overall scientific quality. Proceedings will be open access and electronically available via

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2014. Abstracts should be sent to Brian Baker at Researchers with questions about the conference can call 541-228-0876. Reviews are expected to be completed and registration information available by September 15, at which time presenters of selected papers will be asked to confirm their participation. The program will be set by October 31.

If you are interested in helping organize the symposium, we are interested in co-sponsorship from aligned organizations. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, we are developing a list so that reviewers with appropriate expertise will consider submissions. Please contact Brian Baker if you or your organization is interested in participating. The organizing committee currently includes representatives from:

  • UW-Madison CIAS
  • California Certified Organic Farmers
  • Cornell University Department of Horticulture
  • eOrganic
  • IPM Institute
  • The Ohio State University
  • Oregon State University
  • The Organic Center
  • Organic Materials Review Institute
  • Organic Seed Alliance
  • Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources