7th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit:
Common Ground: Everyone Eats!
The 7th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit took place February 1st and 2nd, 2013 at Northland College in Ashland, WI. We had over 200 enthusiastic local food advocates in attendance. Many thanks to all who were able to participate! Plans are underway for the 2014 WI Local Food Summit, check back for details soon.
We couldn’t do this without our generous sponsors! Learn more about our sponsors.
Mike Wiggins, Chair, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Mike Wiggins Jr. is currently on his second term as the Bad River Tribal Chairman. Mike was raised on the Bad River Reservation and has come to intimately know and respect the lands and waterways of his homeland. Mike represented the collective voice of the Wisconsin Tribes in 2011, when he gave the annual State of the Tribes address in Madison, WI. In citing the importance of dialogue about the potential impacts from mining to the people, lands, air, and waters of Wisconsin; Mike publically fired the first shot across the bow of the fast-tracked approach the State was taking to mining.
Mike is active hunting and fishing utilizing Treaty Rights, Ojibwe Harvesting Methods and the spiritual considerations that come with harvesting in a good way. Having worked in alcohol and drug prevention, the educational system and conservation enforcement, Mike recognizes that sustenance, access, and holistic benefits are all benefits that individuals and communities experience from local and cultural food systems.
Sharon Adams, Program Director and Co-founder , Walnut Way Conservation Corps
Here is a link to a short video ( Real Media Player | Windows Media Player ) produced by Wisconsin Public Television, which showcases the work of the Walnut Way Conservation Corporation, the recipient of the 2007 Wisconsin Idea Award.
Sharon Adams believes deeply in the transformative power of collective action. When she and her husband Larry found an old Milwaukee neighborhood unsightly, they did not move away, they moved to make the changes.
In fourteen years, she has been a stimulus behind the changes witnessed in a 110-block area in central Milwaukee. From the beginning, work has been rooted in initiatives to bring together residents, young people, business owners, non-profits, and a range of stakeholders to lift a vision of caring neighbors dedicated to equity, opportunity, and cooperation.
Walnut Way Conservation Corp. continued to grow since those early 1998-1999 days. Sharon fostered initiatives to engaged neighbors; document the oral traditions of elders; reduce crime; expand rain gardens to manage storm water; demonstrate healthy food production, offer educational and recreational opportunities for youth. Housing revitalization resulted in $26 million invested for over 200 new home constructions and restored vintage houses.
Leading efforts for environmental health, with the help of children, neighbors, staff and partners, gardens produce enough food to take to two local markets. Walnut Way has grown into a neighborhood campus where neighbors, children and other transformative spirits engage in collaborative efforts. In 2008, the Zilber Family Foundation selected Walnut Way to convene a comprehensive quality of life plan, resulting in comprehensive and collective strategies to make this a place for innovation and vibrant living.
Adams helped launch and now facilitates the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Health Alliance, involving 20 medical, academic, and resident partners. She is leading a campaign to build an Innovation and Wellness Commons on 16th and North Avenue. The 26,000 sq. ft. Commons will be a gathering place for education and training and businesses providing integrative health services.
Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is a Revson Fellow at Columbia College in New York City and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. She is the recipient of several awards including the 2011 Purpose Prize Fellowship and 2010 Frank Kirkpatrick Award, Greater Milwaukee Foundation. She and her husband Larry live, work, shop, worship and play in the Lindsay Heights neighborhoods.