Farm to Fork


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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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Value Chain Teaching Materials

Posted June 2011

The national Agriculture of the Middle initiative has produced three sets of curricular resources on value-based food supply chains for university-level business and economics courses.

These curriculum materials are based on a set of four case studies developed by the Agriculture of the Middle initiative. These case studies offer models of how mid-sized farms and ranches can prosper through producing and selling high-quality, differentiated food products into a variety of markets. They feature four innovative enterprises: Country Natural Beef, Organic Valley, Red Tomato and Shepherd’s Grain.

Course instructors can use these curricular resources to explain the differences between mainstream and value-based food supply chains. The Agriculture of the Middle case studies provide a foundation for analysis and discussion of concepts such as sustainable supply chain management and new generation cooperatives.

As a part of the Agriculture of the Middle initiative, CIAS provides leadership to renew a disappearing sector of mid-scale farm and food enterprises. This effort focuses on new business models, public policies and research supporting mid-scale farms, ranches and fisheries. For more information, visit the Agriculture of the Middle website.

Curricular resources include:

Value Chains Teaching Materials for a Course in Agricultural Marketing
Developed by Dr. Cheryl Brown, Agricultural and Resource Economics, West Virginia University (

Using Ag of the Middle Case Studies in a Course on Cooperative Organization
Developed by Dr. Robert P. King, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota (

Teaching Case for Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Developed by Dr. Mellie Pullman, School of Business, Portland State University ( and Dr. Zhaohui Wu, College of Business, Oregon State University (

  • Country Natural Beef: A Maturing Co-op at the Crossroads
    Word document | PDF
  • A teaching note for this case study is available from Dr. Zhaohui Wu. Please contact him directly regarding this resource:

Please contact Cris Carusi if you have difficulty downloading any of these files.