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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Wisconsin Farm to School Success Story: Youth Get Active with School Lunch

Posted July 2016

As farm to school grows in both popularity and maturity in Wisconsin, schools are looking for ways to develop increasingly comprehensive programs that will thrive for years to come. In order to accomplish this goal, student involvement and community engagement are essential. When students take leadership in farm to school programs, peer education and reaching out to families becomes a priority. Involving youth and families in farm to school leads to the community as a whole feeling pride, ownership and a sense of responsibility for maintaining its farm to school program. Community members recognize the many benefits of farm to school for the youth and the community as a whole.

This is a story about the farm to school experience in one Wisconsin county. In 2009, the Vernon County Farm to School initiative created the “Harvest Challenge,” a menu planning and cooking contest for high school students highlighting the many benefits of including fresh, nutritious and locally grown foods in school lunch programs. The Harvest Challenge team guidelines are that lunch menus must meet all National School Lunch Program regulations, utilize local products, show culinary and aesthetic sophistication, and taste delicious—all at a cost of under $1.00 per meal! This is no easy task, even for those familiar with school kitchens. In the words of a Kickapoo School District Harvest Challenge student team member, “I never knew how much preparation went into making our school’s lunch. I now appreciate the lunch program and our cooks so much more.”

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