What does the Interdisciplinary Community Food Systems (CFS) Team do?
The Community Food Systems Team functions like a community of practice to support UW-Cooperative Extension colleagues around the state programming in community food systems. The team builds colleague capacity for food systems work by connecting colleagues, creating and sharing food systems resources, and building food systems skills through peer learning. The team generally hosts two face-to-face meetings per year to provide professional development and opportunities for colleagues to share scholarship (September and late January) and supports webinars, trainings, and provides mini-grant awards. View minutes, reports and publications on the team CFS Team Sharepoint site (login required).
What do team members have in common?
Members of the CFS Team do not subscribe to or advocate one particular value or belief system around food. The team leadership encourages a diverse membership that brings multiple viewpoints and creates a welcoming space for discussion and dialogue around difficult food systems issues. The team has implemented the Whole Measures Framework for encouraging a systems and value based approach to food systems work and developed a working Purpose, Vision, and Values Statement that is in line with our work and values as Extension educators.
How is the team organized?
The CFS Team is currently administered by an Executive Committee that oversees financial and administrative aspects of the team. The team also supports shared programming opportunities through colleague led workgroups in food waste management, farm to school, community gardens, food equity and access, and food entrepreneurship. To find out who to contact about a particular interest area contact a team member. All committee minutes can be found on the team’s Sharepoint site.
Where can I find resources about community food systems topics?
The CFS Team public website or the Food Sytems Profiles Portal are good places start your search. Many other Universities also maintain excellent bibliographies of food systems resources including University of California-Davis, University of Minnesota-Extension,and Cornell University. Additionally, the Wallace Institute Resource Library, the Healthy Food Access Portal, and USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass are useful food systems portals and information aggregation sites.
How can I connect with colleagues interested in similar issues?
Ask topical questions, stay informed on the team’s activities through the monthly meetings, and share news and resources by joining the team’s email listserve or Google+ community. We encourage topical discussions mainly on the Google+ community.
How do I get involved?
The best way to get involved is join us at a face to face meeting. The September meeting is a retreat type event with an evening bonfire generally held at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station. The winter meeting is generally held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Local Food Summit. Joining the Team’s email listserve or Google+ community are also good ways to find out who is programming in food systems in your area.