"Cultivate a relationship with your food and the farmers who feed us, and discover what’s fresh and in season in Southern Wisconsin.
"Experience the growing season at farms across Southern Wisconsin in these 5-minute audio farm visits by Julie Garrett! Photo galleries, recipes and stories help you make the most of the growing season when you visit us online. We'd love to hear your feedback & suggestions. Enjoy!"
5 Minutes on the Farm website
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"Some remarkable changes have taken place in the food and farming landscape since the book was published in 2006. Consider this handful of statistics, each in its own way an artifact of the 'where-does-my-food-come-from' question:
"There are now more than 8,000 farmers markets in America, an increase of 180 percent since 2006. More than 4,000 school districts now have farm-to-school programs, a 430 percent increase since 2006, and the percentage of elementary school with gardens has doubled, to 26 percent. During that period, sales of soda have plummeted, falling 14 percent between 2004 and 2014.The food industry is rushing to reformulate hundreds of products to remove high fructose corn syrup and other processed-food ingredients that consumers have made clear they will no longer tolerate. Sales of organic food have more than doubled since 2006, from $16.7 billion in 2006 to more than $40 billion today."
Excerpted from Michael Pollan's “The Omnivore’s Dilemma 10th Anniversary Edition”. Read the full article here.
"Wisconsin leads the nation in number of organic dairy and beef farms. That's not per capita — that's total numbers of farms for the humble Dairyland.
"Wisconsin is also second in the nation for total number of organic farms — 1,228, behind California's 2,805. (New York is third at 917.) We're second only to California for total acreage in organic production, and we're home to more organic farmers than any other state.
"Why is it our state has emerged as an organic leader?
"'It's because of our heritage of dairy farms and small-scale farms, which is amenable to organic management,' said Steve Pincus, who along with his wife, Beth Kazmar, operates Tipi (pronounced teepee) Produce, a 76-acre certified-organic farm near Evansville."
Written by Jennifer Rude Klett for the Journal Sentinel. Read the full article here.
"These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
"In 1982, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights extrapolated the statistics on land loss and predicted the extinction of the Black farmer by the year 2000.
"They were wrong. While the situation is still dire, with Black farmers comprising only about 1 percent of the industry, we have not disappeared. After more than a century of decline, the number of Black farmers is on the rise.
"These farmers are not just growing food, either. The ones you’ll meet here rely on survival strategies inherited from their ancestors, such as collectivism and commitment to social change. They infuse popular education, activism, and collective ownership into their work."
Written by Leah Penniman for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
"At this point in the campaign race, we know the candidates' beliefs on issues like war, immigration and Wall Street. But what about food?
I wrangled all the information I could find--from tweets to votes--to see where the candidates stand on issues of food policy. Keep in mind, I'm not saying who's right or wrong, just pulling together quotes and votes to help us understand how each candidate views the issues."
Written by Eve Turow Paul for HuffPost Politics. Read the full article here.
"The New Farmers Student Loan Assistance Program would provide money to new farmers, who have received an associates or bachelor’s degree, or attended the UW-Madison short-course farming industry program. Over a span of five years, farmers would receive payments for their student loans, to help them be successful in farming and investing in that career, rather than paying off their student loans."
Written by Abigail Hantke, for WEAU 13 News. Read the full article here.
Read the full poll results here.
"While important work is being funded through the agency’s local foods grants, it’s important to note that $34.3 million for local food is only a drop in the bucket of the USDA’s overall 2016 budget of $156 billion. Allocations for commodity crops will be $14.2 billion next year, plus $8.2 billion in crop insurance, both programs favoring conventional, industrial agriculture."
By: Leah Penniman, for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
Clare Hintz of Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, Wisconsin, has compiled research of women farmers in the Midwest. Visit the Women Farmers Practicing Regenerative Agriculture website to hear their stories and view galleries of their farms.
"Women farmers in the U.S. are more likely than men to adopt more ecologically-based practices on their farms. How do these farmers learn the values and skills that shape their work? Despite decades of scientific work on agroecosystems, very little research includes the farmer as a part of the system and even less research describes the experiences of women farmers. That means that the bulk of women’s experiences are missing from programs to train new farmers. Yet women farmers are on the leading edge of innovation in agriculture."
Read more here.
"As I grew to adulthood and began a family of my own, I realized that this little farm was more than just a pastoral dream. It was an antidote to industrial food, climate change, harried living and social injustices. But how was one little grassfed livestock farm high in the mountains going to support two families? I looked to my Appalachian neighbors, who had lived well up here for generations, with little to no cash. If they could do it, so could we. We would simply have to learn to make what we couldn’t buy. I would become the radical homemaker. I thought it was just a sensible choice. I didn’t know it would spark a revolution."
Read more from Shannon Hayes here.
Each week we post articles, poems, and essays that relate to food sovereignty, health & wellbeing, and eating culture.