Farm to Fork

EVENTS

Agroecology Barn Dance

Date: October 14, 2017, 6:30-10:30pm
Location: Cates Family Farm, Spring Green, WI
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



Values-Based Food Supply Chain Case Study: Shepherd’s Grain

Posted April 2013

Shepherd's Grain farmer

In the mid 1980s, a pair of wheat producers, Karl Kupers and Fred Fleming, became convinced that the conventional dryland wheat farming they were practicing was not sustainable in the Palouse region of eastern Washington. They set out to tackle both the agro-ecological challenge of sustainability by reversing soil erosion and soil degradation, and the economic challenge of remaining financially viable without federal commodity subsidies.

In 2003, Shepherd’s Grain sold its first batch of specially blended baking flour to Hot Lips Pizza, a small restaurant chain in Portland, Oregon. This initial sale was the culmination of more than three decades of wheat production experience and a healthy dose of creative thinking.

Shepherd’s Grain case study (PDF)
Shepherd’s Grain Research Brief (PDF)

These publications are part of a series of case studies and Research Briefs examining values-based food supply chains—strategic business alliances formed between primarily midsize farms/ranches and their supply chain partners. Values-based food supply chains distribute significant volumes of high-quality, differentiated food products and share the rewards equitably. Farmers and ranchers function as strategic partners rather than easily replaced input suppliers. All participants in these business alliances recognize that creating maximum value for the product depends on significant interdependence, collaboration and mutual support. These supply chains attach importance to both the values embedded in the production of the food products AND the values that characterize the business relationships.