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The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. more

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CIAS 2017 Annual Report

Posted July 2018

2018 was another busy year at CIAS. We achieved new milestones in beginning farmer training, research, outreach and support for students.

CIAS was founded at UW-Madison in 1989, in the wake of the 1980s farm crisis, to lead research and outreach that benefits family farmers. Over the years, we’ve stayed true to that purpose, particularly during challenging times for agriculture. We work closely with farmers, business owners, workers and organizations across Wisconsin to identify innovative ideas and research opportunities. These relationships ground our work in real-world needs.

We’re looking forward to an important milestone: in 2019, CIAS will celebrate 30 years of advancing sustainable agriculture and food systems. Despite changes in the agricultural landscape, CIAS remains firmly committed to the values we’ve held from the start: farmer leadership, participatory approaches, and furthering the Wisconsin Idea. We look forward to our next thirty years of collaborative research and outreach to sustain family farms and businesses.

Read the CIAS 2017 Annual Report (PDF)