Learn from those who have done it in their respective states. Let’s work together to find a path to effective change and focus on strengthening programming and advocacy at the local, regional, AND state levels!
The Summit will take place at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse on January 12-13th.
Keynote Panel: Conversation with Midwestern State Food Policy Leaders – Friday – 10 a.m. – Noon
This year, we are featuring a keynote panel with leaders from Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan who have led local food policy initiatives in their states. These panelists will be discussing the work they have done to build local food charters, policies, and funding systems in their respective states.
This expert panel will consist of:
- Bridget Holcomb: Executive Director of Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN)
- Michael Dahl: Director of Minnesota Food Charter Network
- Tom Spaulding: Executive Director of Angelic Organics
- Jude Barry: Food System Specialist at the Center for Regional Food Systems – Michigan State University
BREAKOUT Thursday – Session 1 – 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
- Gardening with Youth – Jennica Skoug, Goodman Youth Farm Manager; Nothing gets kids more excited about local food than growing it themselves! In this session, we will share tools and techniques that make it easy for children and youth to get involved in all aspects of the garden, from planting and harvesting to composting and cooking. These tools have been used by kids of all ages at Community GroundWorks’ Goodman Youth Farm and Troy Kids’ Garden programs, which see thousands of student visits each year. Come ready to expand and share your youth gardening toolbox! Kid Friendly Garden ToolsHandouts: Garden Accessibility; Kid Friendly Garden Tools; Garden Building Projects ; Building a Compost Sifter or Seed Spacer ; Planting with Kids; Prepping a Garden Bed with Kids
- A Little R & R: Resources and Regulations from DATCP – Brian Jorata, Food Scientist Advanced Licensing; Kietra Olson- WI & Local Foods Specialist; Hear from staff at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture (DATCP). DATCP’s Division of Agriculture Development helps to grow Wisconsin agriculture through assisting value-added food and farm businesses, exporting agriculture products, and offering technical assistance to farms and food businesses. We will offer an overview of our resources. DATCP’s Division of Food and Recreational Safety will offer an overview of licensing food facilities in Wisconsin, specifically highlighting the requirements for a food processor and mobile food facilities. If time permits, a listening session will be held to hear what resources attendees feel are lacking in the state. DATCP Resources
- The Michigan Good Food Charter – Our road to 2020 – Jude Barry, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Center for Regional Food Systems; Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country and yet significant numbers of Michigan residents have little or no access to healthy food. The Michigan Good Food Charter was developed in 2010 as a road map to develop a food system that is healthy green, fair and affordable (michiganfood.org). This policy document, outlines a set of 6 goals and 25 agenda priorities to be achieved by 2020 which have guided the work of organizations and helped to organize networks to achieve food systems change. This presentation will provide an overview on:
- the development of the Michigan Good Food Charter
- the development of different networks with a common agenda to drive economic development and food access,
- some of the challenges and opportunities associated with food system development,
- and how Michigan is coordinating the measurement of change Michigan Good Food Charter Handouts
- Community Food Assessments and Actions: Lessons from Shawano and Menominee Counties and Tribal Lands – Kari Hopfensperger, Shawano County Planner; Samuel Knapp, AmeriCorps Vista; Kara Skarlupa; Shawano and Menominee Counties, and the region’s Tribal lands, contain some of Wisconsin’s most impoverished areas and a high number of rural food deserts – areas where access to fresh fruits/vegetables and other healthful food options is limited. The FRESH Project – a coalition of three Tribal nations, county government, community organizations and local citizens in Shawano and Menominee Counties – works to improve the regional food system through assessment, education, and community engagement. FRESH Project team members will share results and lessons learned from their 2016 community foods survey and focus groups. These results are informing a series of recommended actions to build local food systems that are sustainable, accessible, and culturally-appropriate. The College of Menominee Nation (CMN), a Tribal college located at the border of Shawano and Menominee Counties, conducted a similar community foods survey on the Menominee Indian Reservation (Menominee County) in 2014. A CMN representative will discuss survey results, how those results informed action steps (e.g. community gardens, farmers’ markets, etc.) and the status of current efforts in 2016. F.R.E.S.H. Project
- Sustainable Development: Research-Based Strategies for Farmers Markets and Mobile Markets – Will Cronin, Crawford County UW-Extension; Bard Meier, Hunger Task Force; The development of food and market access in urban and rural counties present different and unique challenges. In this session, you will learn strategies from both the rural and urban perspective. First, the session will highlight Crawford County UW-Extension’s work in 2015 to support three farmers markets in the county through the collaborative development of a marketing plan, which included consumer facing research on the barriers they experienced shopping at farmers markets. Then, from an urban perspective, Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee will present on their mobile grocery, a sustainable solution to address the limited access of fresh, healthy and affordable foods in their most underserved neighborhoods, using data driven analytics and how they engaged non-traditional stakeholders. Attendees will learn how these strategies can be replicated in other geographies. Crawford County Farmers Markets Grow
BREAKOUT Thursday – Session 2 – 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Wisconsin Farm to School: Continuing the Momentum – Vanessa Herald, Farm to School Outreach Specialist; Allison Pfaff Harris, WI Department of Public Instruction; Beth Hanna, Community GroundWorks; Natasha Smith, REAP Food Group; Now in its fifteenth year, Wisconsin Farm to School translates to $9 million of direct spending on Wisconsin-grown foods each school year, and over half a million Wisconsin students benefiting from healthy, Wisconsin-grown ingredients on lunch trays. And the work continues. In this presentation we will share highlights from three innovative Farm to School efforts that are supporting Wisconsin’s system of producers, processors, distributors, and regulations, which means more local foods on students’ trays.
A Chop! Chop! Resource Guide has been developed to compliment the Chop! Chop! video series. Both resources are designed to help school food service staff use more fresh produce and whole grains in daily menus. The Federal State Market Improvement Program Grant from USDA awarded DATCP a project focused on overcoming supply chain barriers in both processing and distribution to create new, Wisconsin-identified yogurt, potato, applesauce, carrot and broccoli products appropriate and accessible to institutional markets. Finally, the Department of Public Instruction was awarded $97,100 through USDA’s F2S Grant program to increase the amount of traditional and local foods served through child nutrition programs by providing targeted technical assistance and trainings to Bureau of Indian Education schools in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Farm to School
- Local Production: Fishing for Dinner & Growing Grass-Fed
Fishing for Dinner – Theresa Stabo, Fisheries Outreach Coordinator and Michael Schmit; With more than 15,000 lakes, 13,176 miles of trout streams, 200 miles of Mississippi River shorelands and a freshwater coastline that extends for 800 miles, no one in Wisconsin should feel like they are in a “food desert.” Stop in to learn about opportunities to bring healthy fish from Wisconsin waters to your plate. We’ll discuss our fishing tradition, some barriers to getting people to adopt it and how you can cross those barriers or help others do so. Before you leave, you’ll have a good handle on how to tie a fishing knot and how to ensure your catch is fit to eat.
Growing Grass-Fed Locally – Robert Bauer, Grazing Broker/Grazing Educator; The U.S. imported over $1 billion in grass-fed beef in 2012, according to Allen Williams, because domestic production has not kept pace with demand. Consumers recognize that grass-fed beef offers many health advantages relative to feedlot beef: less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Managed grazing can increase productivity of existing grasslands to meet local demand for grass-fed beef; however, tens of thousands of acres of existing grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Wisconsin are threatened with destruction by conversion to annual cropping. The Grazing Broker project seeks to prevent loss of grasslands by connecting landowners with livestock producers seeking pasture. We reached a total of 2,122 landowners and livestock producers with descriptions of the program, brochures, and applications distributed at 64 educational events. Outreach resulted in 143 landowner and producer clients who received ongoing individualized technical assistance, grazing plans, and brokering services to develop 2,556 acres of rotational grazing in Southwest Wisconsin. To expand awareness of rotational grazing on rented land in the future three landowners have rented 118 acres to our nonprofit for 3 years to use as demonstrations of prescribed grazing. Lessons learned include (1) landowner participation in USDA cost-share programs during CRP expiration is a major predictor of brokering success; (2) landowners in lease relationships with livestock producers are able to use a professional pasture valuation to negotiate for greater pasture rental payment; and (3) subdivision of rural land and conglomeration of land ownership in large farm enterprises are threats to conservation grazing.Growing Grass Fed Locally
- How I Lead – Bridget Holcomb, Executive Director, Women, Food, and Agriculture Network; Women are needed at every level to change the food system – from rural coop boards to county commissions to state legislatures. This workshop is for women who want to see change and are looking for the tools to be effective. We will learn from women who have advocated, created coalitions, and ran for office. Participants can expect to walk away with new tools and inspiration to help you on your leadership path.
- Food Waste and New Opportunities for Food Recovery – Chris Brockel, Healthy Food for All; Jonathan Rivin, World Environmental Consulting; The amount of food wasted in the United States is extraordinary, with some estimates that 40% of all food grown is never eaten. At the same time household food insecurity is also on the rise with more and more families lacking access to nutritious foods. Here in Wisconsin, estimates suggest that there are 150 million pounds of edible, wholesome surplus food that never makes it to consumers. How can the food system step up its game, change its focus, and solve both problems? This workshop will explore the extent of food waste, the challenges in the system, and opportunities for recovery. This session will feature Healthy Food for All’s food recovery model that takes bulk prepared food donations and repackages them for household consumption. The session will also highlight the on-going food waste research projects in Wood County’s Nekoosa and Marshfield school districts where food waste generation was quantified and measured through food preparation and plate waste to determine consumption/waste generation patterns. Attendees will come away with a working model of food recovery at every link of the supply and consumption chain and how small efforts can make a huge impact on both feeding families and helping the environment. Healthy Food for All Dane County
- Developing Food System Capacity through Food Hubs – Cary Junior, The SEMPA Cooperative; Teresa Weimerslage, Iowa Food Hub; Food hubs are the essential “middle” component of a food system, connecting growers to markets, processors, and distributors, which then connect those products to consumers. Successfully creating food hubs to increase the capacity and connectivity of local food systems could have an immediate economic impact on underserved areas by providing entrepreneur and employment through market access. Join us in this session to learn about how two different food hubs operate and build capacity in different local food systems – one being the major metropolitan city of Detroit and the other in rural public schools in Iowa. Each system has employed different strategies and leverage points. This session will feature representatives from SEMPA, a producer cooperative of small, African–American farmers, which are using the food hub model to supply food to insecure areas in Detroit. The Iowa Food Hub has helped four rural school districts double their local food purchases using of a variety of strategies including a seasonal Farm to School cycle menu, dedicated delivery routes, integration of local pork, beef and dairy, and minimally-processed vegetables has contributed to their success. In its third year of F2S sales, IFH now serves 18 school districts with over $60,000 in sales in 2015. In this session, participants will learn more about IFH’s strategies to connect farmers and schools.Iowa Food Hub Local Food System Development
BREAKOUT Thursday – Session 3 – 2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
- Launching a Frozen Pizza Product with Madison Youth – Donale RIchards, Food & Agriculture Coordinator; In the summer of 2016, UW Extension worked with a local non-profit and a college preparatory program to develop a “healthy frozen pizza” product. The non-profit, Mentoring Positives, works with youth of color on Madison’s East Side. The PEOPLE Program is a pipeline program to diversify the student population at UW-Madison. Over two months we completed phase 1 recipe development and served 31 prototype pizzas to an audience of community members, academic colleagues, and business leaders. In the fall of 2016 we’re working to scale up production and maintain consistency and quality data. Our next big test will be a fundraising event in November requiring 90 pizzas. We meet with the kids weekly to involve them in business planning, food safety, recipe development, and marketing. Our goal is to maximize the use of Wisconsin-grown tomatoes, vegetable toppings, cheese, and meat. We have received great support from UW-Madison Food Science students, the culinary chef at Madison College, and FEED Kitchens. Not only has this been a good project to engage youth in food and agriculture, but we are learning a lot about the steps to launching a local food product, including regulations and licensing, working with a shared commercial kitchen, and the importance of project planning and careful record keeping. Launching a Frozen Pizza Product
- Food & Farm Policy and Farm Service Agency Loans
Farm Service Agency Loan Options and Process Demystified – Teresa Engel , Farm Loan Officer Trainee; Jessi Nagel, Farm Loan Officer; Tailored to the sustainable farm enterprises, this will be an interactive session to understand the loan options that FSA has for farmers. We will walk through the process and keep it interesting Farm Loan Program
- Farms Forever Initiative: Facilitating Innovative Farmer Succession and Land Tenure Arrangements That Protect the Land, Community and Farms – Tom Spaulding, Executive Director, Angelic Organics Learning Center; The Farms Forever Initiative focuses on Angelic Organics Association, located along the Illinois-Wisconsin border and operates as an instructive real world case study of how to navigate through the challenging waters of farm succession, land conservation, and land tenure and deliver outcomes that lower the cost of entry for a junior farmer and protect the interest of farm stakeholders and the general public to see Angelic Organics farm and Learning Center steward natural resources and extend its life for the coming generations. The Farms Forever Project utilizes a number of strategies including:
- Farmer succession planning
- Farm stakeholder engagement in fundraising for land protection for community-supported agriculture and ecological farming approaches (Biodynamic and organic)
- Angel investors
- Community land trusts
- Land conservation easements
- Long-term land tenure legal arrangements Farms Forever
- Healthy Choices: A Family-Centered model for Obesity Intervention – Tatiana Maida, Healthy Choices Department Manager; The rising prevalence of obesity in the United States is particularly concerning in communities of color. The Healthy Choices Department at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers was created to respond to this public health issue and create sustainable change. Healthy Choices (Elecciones Saludables) is a comprehensive 12-week family education program that focuses on obesity intervention and prevention. The program is culturally grounded and tailored to the Latino community, but can be adjusted to fit within any culture. Healthy Choices works with the family as a unit, yet respects the age and language preference of the different generations of participants.
This presentation will: 1) share the promising outcomes of a 2 year evaluation with the Center of Urban Population and Health and 2) show you how your organization or community group can replicate this model and see the same success in your community.
- Connecting the Dots and Collaborating in Wisconsin’s Local Food Systems – Michelle Miller, UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems; Jennifer Rengert, Fifth Season Cooperative; As more and more Wisconsinites are looking for locally-grown food, the need for connections for smaller producers and processors to their customers is on the rise. In addition, our overall success in changing the food system depends on world views like efficiency, diversity, resilience as well as a host of critical thresholds like the amount of food produced in a region, the size of a truck, the cost of fuel and distance to market. Join this session to learn from UW Madison’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and from Fifth Season Cooperative about the leverage points for change and the importance of collaborative smaller supply changes to make the food system more sustainable, more just and more local. Fifth Season Handout Fifth Season Presentation Connecting the Dots
BREAKOUT Friday – Session 1 – 8:15 – 9:30 a.m.
- Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)- Growing Farm to Early Care and Education in La Crosse – Daithi Wolfe, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; Audra Wieser, The Parenting Place; Jordan Tredinnick, The Parenting Place; Beth Hanna, Community GroundWorks; Jill Carlson Groendyk, Community GroundWorks; Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) is a growing movement nationally, state-wide, and here in La Crosse to offer increased access to healthy, local foods, gardening opportunities, food-based activities, and family engagement to enhance the quality of the educational experience in all types of ECE settings (e.g., preschools, child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start/Early Head Start, programs in K-12 school districts). Join us to learn more about farm to ECE and to discuss how bringing farm fresh foods and learning opportunities into the ECE setting can benefit children, farmers, and communities across Wisconsin. Farm to ECE
- Know Your Resources: Local Food System Development & Promotion –
Know Your UW-Extension Resources for Local Food System Development – Trisha Wagner, Jackson County UW-Extension; University of Wisconsin-Extension agents and specialists provide research-based farm business management information and decision-making tools to farmers and agribusinesses. UW-Extension helps Wisconsin farmers improve business profitability and lifestyles through informed decision-making. Management topic areas include: strategic planning; financial management; business agreements; beginning farmer programs; dairy and grain price risk management; human resource management; farm succession and retirement planning and beyond. Get familiar with the UW-Extension office in your county/region and find learn of various projects happening to enhance local food systems. UWEX Growing a Strong WI
Using Google Forms and AwesomeTables to Promote Local Food Locations – Michelle Grimm, UW-Extension Taylor County Community Resource Development Agent; Dan Marzu, Lincoln and Marathon Counties UW-Extension Agricultural Development Educator; To fill a need in our counties we have used technology to connect producers to consumers. By using a UW-Extension FYI site and developed a Google form to compile information. This information is uploaded into an AwsomeTable that creates a Google map to locate the direct sale locations. Customers are able to search this program for local food road stands, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture (CSAs), u-pick/u-cut, and agri-tourism businesses in their area using their mobile device. This project can be done on a statewide basis. The team plans to evaluate value added to local producer and to the activities of local organizations interested addressing food security concerns and awareness of local food sources. The website also contains University of Wisconsin, USDA, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection links and publications on farm marketing, food safety, and food preservation. Using Google Forms and Awesome Tables
- The Minnesota Food Charter, a Story of Network Building – Stephanie Heim, Associate Program Director in Community Food Systems at University of Minnesota Extension; Michael Dahl, Director of the Minnesota Food Charter Network; Amy Meinen and Amy Korth – Directors of Support Staff, healthTIDE; Addressing significant challenges such as healthy food access and local food infrastructure requires innovative solutions that need to be created and driven by the community and people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Learn how collective impact principles can be used for movement-building, with an emphasis on transforming systems by bringing together diverse stakeholders to build a common values based vision of food systems future. In this session, these principles will be described and illustrated through the work of healthTIDE here in Wisconsin and the sharing of Minnesota’s story of network building- the development of the Minnesota Food Charter Network, a statewide network, rooted in Minnesota Food Charter strategies, that supports and fosters shared action towards healthy food access for all. Minnesota Good Food Charter Network
- Food and Farm Policy in the Trump Era – David Lee, Feeding Wisconsin and Nick Levendovsky, Wisconsin Farmers Union; With rural America being credited the results of the recent presidential election and commodity prices continuing to struggle, there is a possibility of an accelerated Farm Bill in 2017. With nutrition programs representing 80% of Farm Bill spending, this could be the start of a perfect storm where an emboldened Congress makes structural changes and harmful cuts to vital nutrition programs in order to deliver a big Farm Bill with expanded agricultural insurance programs. At the same time, what happens to funding for conservation, local food and food systems? This session will give an overview of the Farm Bill, the perspective of the new leadership at USDA, what’s at stake in the Farm Bill, and how we must stand together to ensure that nutrition programs and other investments in healthy food systems stay strong. Food and Farm Policy in the Trump Era
- Building a Community Based Food System – Pam Hartwell, Executive Director of Hillview Urban Agriculture Center; Hillview is a nonprofit leader in La Crosse, WI that is building a community based food system by taking a holistic approach and offering programs in the following areas- food waste, soil building, growing food year round, preparing and preserving whole grown foods, and coalition building with all the players in the food system to grow access to healthy and economical food for all. This presentation briefly outlines the challenges that are faced with our current food system including rates of food insecurity, poor health, and environmental damage. We’ll show and tell about our vermicomposting system that has taken over 40,000 pounds of food waste from UW-La Crosse and Mayo cafeterias and turned into 10,000 pounds of VermiGold- a local and sustainable fertilizer. We grow food year round in our Hoop House and Greenhouse and have volunteer opportunities and educational events to help others do the same. Working in our greenhouse, we produced 5,000 organic and heirloom variety seedlings to put out in our community for sale and donation. In our Market Baskets cooking class program we have given away 600+ crockpots and bags of ingredients as part of low cost healthy meal planning. We also launched Future Iron Chefs program focused on kitchen skills for middle and high school students. And we lead the Coulee Food System Coalition that has distributed $135,000 in mini grants to collaborative projects that bring forth a community based food system. All of this is doable in other communities and we want to share our work and learn from others. Building a Community Food System
Convergence – Friday – 1:30 – 2:55 p.m.
The Wisconsin Food System Convergence will be a forum to solicit input from food system stakeholders on how to create a sustainable, good food movement throughout our state. The Convergence will build on all the great work that has been done in the past, and through a modified process of Appreciative Inquiry, will seek to chart a coordinated path forward. Join us to share your input on how to more effectively work together to build a food system that makes it easy to grow, sell, access, and eat healthy food for all people in Wisconsin. Convergence Presentation