Farm to Fork

EVENTS

Food and the Wisconsin Idea

Date: September 20, 2017, 3-5pm
Location: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison
details

CIAS Harvest Dinner 2017

Date: October 29, 2017, 5:30pm
Location: University Club, UW-Madison
details

Edible Startup Summit

Date: November 17-18, 2017
Location: American Family Center, Madison, WI
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more events

SUCCESS STORIES

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



Tiers of the Food System: A New Way of Thinking About Local and Regional Food

Posted September 2010

Visual display of the tiers of the food system

From farmers’ markets to supermarkets, there is a spectrum of relationships between consumers and the businesses that grow, process, distribute and market their food. The burgeoning local food trend has caused many people to seek food from—and personal contact with—local farmers as a way to connect with the food they eat.

Consequently, small-scale, local food production is often contrasted with the anonymity of global, industrial food production, resulting in a black and white portrayal of local and global food systems. In reality, the food system is far more complex than local versus global and artisanal versus industrial.

Between backyard gardening and multinational food conglomerates, there are diverse food businesses that cultivate a variety of relationships with their customers and partners along the supply chain. In order to better understand production and consumption relationships across the food system, researchers in Wisconsin developed the Tiers of the Food System framework identifying five different levels of relationships between food producers and consumers.

Read the “Tiers of the Food System” framework (PDF)