Dane County UW-Extension is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community food system that is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just for all Dane County residents.

USDA Announces $27 Million in Grants Available to Support the Local Food Sector

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. “These grants will continue USDA’s support for the local food sector as an important strategy for keeping wealth in […]

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Popular Grower Schools are Back!

Registration is now open for three Center for Integrated Ag Systems (CIAS) grower schools. All of these schools are intensive courses that help aspiring growers understand what it takes to start their own business.  Check out the websites below to learn more and register. The Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers will run from January […]

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Resources for Farmers’ Markets in Accepting FoodShare (SNAP) Benefits

Farmers’ markets can become licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture to accept federal food benefits (SNAP; known as FoodShare in WI). In order to accept FoodShare, farmers’ markets  need to have terminals that can process electronics benefits transfer (EBT) information, which allows for the process of government benefits to the authorized retailer. Information, […]

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New resource serves as road map for Wisconsin’s food entrepreneurs

Wisconsin Food Processing Guide available from UW-Extension Contact: Erin Peot, erin.peot@ces.uwex.edu, 608-890-4606 Entrepreneurs thinking about starting or scaling up a food processing business can find a way to make their dreams a reality with the help of the newly released Wisconsin Food Processing Guide: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs and Managers, available from the University of […]

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What does “local food” mean to Wisconsin consumers?

Wisconsin consumers widely agree that “local” food means food grown in Wisconsin, according to a new statewide survey conducted by faculty affiliated with UW-Extension, UW-Madison, and UW-River Falls. Food from Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, meanwhile, is not considered “local” by most Wisconsin shoppers. Researchers aimed to provide farmers and communities with strategies informed by […]

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New Resource Available: Building a Legally Resilient CSA Workbook

Farm Commons has releases a Building a Legally Resilient CSA Workbook. This resource guides farmers through the complex and subtle legal issues that affect Community Supported Agriculture programs around the country. Their approach empowers farmers to understand, assess, and manage the risks specific to their CSA operation. Farmers will find tips, tools, and resources to build CSA […]

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Report Brings Attention to Food Insecurity in Dane County

Hunger is a Significant Public Health Issue Hunger and food insecurity affects one out of every five children in Wisconsin. In Dane County, one in five White households and one in three Latino, African American and single-parent households experiences food insecurity. When a household experiences food insecurity, people are unsure of where their next meal […]

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Raising Sweet Potatoes to Help Feed Our Community

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. You can bake, fry, mash, stir fry and even make pie with them. They are versatile, store well and full of nutrients. So what’s not to love? But that is not the only reason I am going to raise them in my garden this summer as part […]

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USDA Launches New Toolkit on The Economics of the Food System

Every community wants to support initiatives that promote economic growth and create new jobs, but sometimes it can be hard to decide on the best way to accomplish these goals.  Now there is a new resource to help communities make the economic case for investments in local food. Today, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability […]

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New Resource – Marketing Recommendations for Direct Market Farmers

Check out the PDF of “Wisconsin Consumers and Local Food: Marketing Recommendations for Direct Market Farmers.” This brief describes key findings from a 2015 survey of Wisconsinites about their opinions and behaviors regarding local food, including what people believe the definition of “local” to be, opinions about benefits of local produce, differences in people based on where they live in the […]

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