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The CIAS Network



+Senior Staff

Senior staff have secure appointments at CIAS and manage multiple programs.

Sandy Bennett
Academic Department Manager 

John Hendrickson
Farm Viability Specialist 

Michelle Miller
Associate Director, Researcher

+Project Staff

Project staff work on specific projects at CIAS and rely on grant funding.

Nadia Alber 
WSBDF Director 

Regina Hirsch 
Food Systems Scientist 

Mrill Ingram 
Participatory Action Research Scientist 

+Associate Staff

Associate staff are University of Wisconsin-Madison employees who work closely with CIAS on projects and programs. If you are interested in being a CIAS associate staff, please contact the CIAS Director.

Jason Fischbach 
Associate Staff

Diane Mayerfeld
Associate Staff 

Johanna Oosterwyk
Associate Staff  

+Honorary Fellows

Honorary fellows work closely with CIAS on projects and topics. If you are interested in becoming an honorary fellow, please contact the Center Director.

Margaret Krome
Michael Fields Agriculture Institute
Works with CIAS on cover crops and soil health

Martin Bailkey 
Works with CIAS on the School of Urban Agriculture

Sarah Lloyd
Forever Green Initiative, University of Minnesota
Works with CIAS on dairy policy and market structure.

Tom Kriegl
Emeritus Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics
Works with CIAS on dairy grazing economics

Former CIAS Staff

+Former CIAS Directors

Michael Bell, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Shared leadership team: Jack Kloppenberg, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, Russ Groves, Department of Entomology, Daniel Kleinman, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Michelle Miller, CIAS staff (interim)

Brent McCown, Department of Horticulture

Doug Maxwell, Department of Plant Pathology (interim)

Lydia Zepeda, School of Human Ecology

George “Steve” Stevenson, CIAS staff (interim)

Richard Klemme, founding director, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

+Former CIAS Staff

Daniella Echeverria, Brianna Fiene, Jacob Grace, Vanessa Herald, Ruth McNair, Sarah Lloyd, Cris Carusi, Gregg Sanford, Lindsey Day Farnsworth, Matt Raboin, Pam Porter, Kelly Maynard, Dick Cates, Trish Haza, Sarah Tedeschi, Doug Wubben, Erin Silva, Kathy Martin-Taylor, Jen Taylor, Steve Stevenson.

Faculty Associates

Faculty across campus associate with the Center.

+Faculty Associates

Adena Rissman
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Alfonso Morales
Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

Amaya Atucha, CIAS governance committee
Department of Horticulture

Andrew Stevens
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Bill Tracy
Department of Agronomy

Bret Shaw
Department of Life Sciences Communication

Charles Nicholson
Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics

Chris Kucharik
Department of Agronomy

Christelle Guedot
Department of Entomology

Claudia Irene Calderon
Department of Horticulture

Claudio Gratton
Department of Entomology

Corbett Grainger
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Craig Thompson
Wisconsin School of Business

Curt Meine
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Doug Reinemann
Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Erin Silva
Department of Plant Pathology

Eve Emshwiller
Department of Botany

Francisco Arriaga
Department of Soil Science

Heidi Goodrich-Blair
Department of Bacteriology

Holly Gibbs
Department of Geography

James Crall
Department of Entomology

Jennifer Gaddis
School of Human Ecology

Jonathan Patz
Global Health Institute

Julie Dawson
Department of Horticulture

Kathy Cramer
Department of Political Science

Ken Genskow
Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

Laura Schechter
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Laurie Beth Clark
Department of Art

Lisa Naughton
Department of Geography

Lucia Gutierrez
Department of Agronomy

Mark Renz
Department of Agronomy

Matt Ruark
Department of Soil Science

Matthew Turner
Department of Geography

Michael Bell, CIAS director emeritus
Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Michael Peterson
Department of Art

Michel Wattiaux, CIAS Interim Director
Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

Monica White
Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

Mutlu Ozdogan
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Nan Enstad, CIAS governance committee
Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Peter Lukszys
Wisconsin School of Business

Peter McIntyre
Department of Zoology

Randy Jackson
Department of Agronomy

Randy Stoecker
Department of Community and Environmental Sociology

Russell Groves, CIAS director emeritus
Department of Entomology

Sam Dennis
Department of Landscape Architecture

Shawn Steffan
Department of Entomology

Thea Whitman
Department of Soil Science

Valentin Picasso-Risso
Department of Agronomy

Yiqun Weng
Department of Horticulture


+Emeritus Faculty Associates
  • Bill Bland
  • Brad Barham
  • Brent Hueth
  • Cathy Middlecamp
  • Dan Schaefer
  • Donald Peterson (deceased)
  • Eileen Cullen
  • Herman Felstehausen
  • Eugene Wilkening (deceased)
  • Frederick Buttel (deceased)
  • Gerry Campbell
  • Jack Kloppenberg
  • Dave Stoltenberg
  • Jess Gilbert
  • Jim Nienhuis
  • Joe Lauer
  • Josh Posner (deceased)
  • Ken Albrecht
  • Lydia Zepeda
  • Patty Loew
  • Rebecca Harbut
  • Sara Patterson
  • Dan Undersander
  • Jerry Doll
  • Mike Casler
+Become An Associate

Benefits of associating with the Center include invitations to our events, collaboration and networking opportunities, and graduate students eligibility for the CIAS mini-grant program. While there are no formal requirements for Associates, they collaborate on projects, attend Citizens Advisory Council meetings, and serve as reviewers for our publications.

If you are interested in being a CIAS Associate, please email your CV and a few paragraphs explaining your thoughts on how you might collaborate with CIAS to Michel Wattiaux, CIAS director: wattiaux@wisc.edu.

Citizens Advisory Council

From its inception, CIAS faculty and staff work with a Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) that provides guidance and input on CIAS programs. The CAC brings the perspectives and experiences of small- and mid-size farmers and their strategic partners from different parts of Wisconsin to the University and builds long-term relationships and trust. Current CAC members are listed below. Many past CAC members continue to provide leadership on sustainable agriculture and food systems.

+Citizen Advisors

Joel Kuehnhold – Council Chair
Joel Kuehnhold owns Lonely Oak Farm near Milladore, WI. His highly diversified farm is in the process of becoming certified organic. Over 100 head of sheep and a small herd of beef animals are rotationally grazed on 80 acres. His operation includes feeder pigs, 300 laying hens and two acres of vegetables. The farm’s unique location within a wildlife area encourages management techniques that work in harmony with nature. Joel has built an on-farm certified kitchen where produce from the vegetable fields is processed and sold under the farm’s label. Joel was the agricultural education instructor at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, where he emphasized the importance of practicing sustainability in agriculture. His classes were nationally recognized for their involvement in farm to school initiatives.

Kat Becker
Kat owns and operates Cattail Organics farm, which grows and markets fresh vegetables and mushrooms through both wholesale channels and CSA. Kat holds an M.S. in Rural Sociology from UW-Madison. cattailorganics.com

Dan Cornelius
Dan Cornelius, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, provides technical assistance to American Indian Tribes and Native producers. He also grows Indigenous corn, beans, and squash, as well as harvesting wild rice and ranching in his free time. iacgreatlakes.com

Andy Diercks
Andy is a fourth generation potato grower in Coloma, located 60 miles north of Madison. With his father, Steve they operate Coloma Farms, Inc., a 2,700 acre potato and grain farm. Both are very active within the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and serve on several committees related to marketing, research, and government relations. Coloma Farms and the WPVGA work pro-actively with researchers and leadership within the UW system to address issues in the vegetable industry. Andy received a BS from UW-Madison in Agricultural Engineering and currently serves on the DATCP board.

Andy Gehl
Andy is a 4th generation food manufacturer. Established in 1896, Gehl Guernsey Farms (Gehl Foods) evolved from a regional dairy to a national aseptic manufacturer and co-packer with $250 million in annual sales. Andy gave up the position of president in 2011 to focus on healthier opportunities. Andy’s new company, Contract Comestibles, is focused on small batch manufacturing of sauces and dressings. Contract Comestibles is certified FDA, USDA and organic and regularly works with farmers and entrepreneurs looking to expand into the retail trade. Andy remains on the board of Gehl Foods in addition to holding a seat on the Leadership Council for Food and Beverage Wisconsin. www.contractcomestibles.com

Clara Hedrich
Clara taught high school agriculture for 39 years. Her family started milking dairy goats and shipping milk in 1996, and has since built a vertically integrated agricultural enterprise. Four of her five children work in this family business. In addition to milking 800 dairy goats, they run a creamery where about 35 different varieties of cheese and yogurt are prepared on site, a retail store with locally sourced products, and a café featuring locally sourced food prepared in house. They are gearing up to bottle their milk in house. Additionally, they sell caramels made from the butter and cream, goat meat, and hand soap, liquid soap and lotion made with their goat milk. www.laclarefamilycreamery.com/

Clare Hintz
Clare farms in northern Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. She runs a winter CSA featuring fresh greens and storage crops, plus treats like apple butter and apple cider. She specializes in perennial fruits and nuts as well, and she has a small market garden featuring heirloom vegetable varieties. She also raises laying hens. She manages her farm following permaculture principles and organic standards. www.elsewherefarm.com

Kevin Kiehnau
Kevin started dairy farming in 1979, doubled the size of the farm in 1985, made the switch to rotational grazing in 1992, certified organic in 1994 and started shipping organic milk in 1995. In 2005 he sold the dairy herd and started to raise organic beef, cash crop and work for CROPP Co-op (Organic Valley) part time. Kevin took a full time position with CROPP in 2008 and sold the farm in 2012 after becoming a division manager for the co-op. Kevin has served on the Board of Directors for Equity Livestock and the Dairy Executive Committee for Organic Valley, and has served on many other committees with in those organizations. Kevin is currently on the advisory committee for the organic program at NWTC Green Bay. He believes that helping organic farmers become better managers and helping young people become farmers are two ways we can protect the rural infrastructure and the environment, and put people back on the land. www.farmers.coop

Scott Mericka
Scott Mericka is a first-generation dairyman. He and his wife Liana bought Uplands Cheese Company and Grass Dairy in 2014 with business partners Andy and Caitlin Hatch. Together, they run a pasture-based dairy located in rural Dodgeville. They milk 200 crossbred cows in a closed herd on 600 acres of owned and rented properties. They grow a variety of crops from forage sorghum, corn, forage brassicas, oats and peas, and grass-legume hay. Their diverse perennial pasture is the farm’s centerpiece, and Uplands Cheese Company adds value to the high-quality milk their cows produce. www.uplandscheese.com

Laura Paine
Laura Paine and her husband raise grass-fed beef on their 82-acre farm near Columbus, WI. Laura is an agriculture educator, having held a number of grazing education, research and market development positions in Wisconsin over the last 20+ years. She spent eight years as Grazing and Organic Agriculture Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, assisting producers in developing and marketing organic and grass-fed products. She has also done grazing research and education at the University of Wisconsin and worked for seven years as an Extension agent. She worked for Southwest Badger RC&D as a grazing broker, bringing together non-farming landowners with livestock producers for pasture leasing partnerships. Laura Paine currently serves as the outreach coordinator of the Grasslands 2.0 project, a UW-Madison led effort which seeks to reshape Midwestern agriculture as a perennial, livestock-integrated, grazing-based system in the image of the original native prairies.

Jay Retzer
Jay and his wife Heidi farm 520 acres of grain and alfalfa near Fond du Lac. In 2018, they opened Ledgerock Distillery on their farm to add value to the grain they produce. They currently make vodka, gin and whiskey from their corn and wheat. They also grow alfalfa and corn silage for nearby dairies. Jay graduated from UW-River Falls in 1992 with a BS in Agronomy. He worked as a farm manager, sales agronomist, and agricultural loan officer, and is now a dairy lending specialist at Compeer Financial.

Tony Schultz
Tony owns Stoney Acres Farm, a third-generation, 120-acre, highly diversified USDA certified organic operation located in Marathon County. He runs a CSA operation and market garden, produces maple syrup, and rotationally grazes and direct markets beef, pasture raised pork and pastured chicken. Tony holds a B.S. in Education from UW-Madison.

Former Citizen Advisors

CIAS Student Partnerships

Student Employees 

+Current Graduate Student Researchers

Cathryn Herlihey, farm to institution

Dante Mauriciao Pizarro Paz, sustainable dairy systems

Noah Bloedorn, regional food systems

Pablo Garcia, food grade winter wheat and kernza production

Abby Augarten, soil health and managed grazing

Kate Wells, stockpiling pasture for fall grazing

+Current Undergraduate Students

Raven Hall, organizational support

Alyx Korth, website

Jessie Zweifler, social media and video

+Past Graduate Students

Emily Azevedo-Casey, Daniella Echeverria, James Hughes, Samuel Pratch, Jim Teal, Marisa Lanker, Brittney Isidore, Amanda McMillan Lequieu, Kase Wheatley, Mark Sieffert, Anders Gurda, Leah Potter-Weight, CeCe Sieffert, Jane Kleven, KelliAnn Blazek, Alex McCullough, Lindsey Day Farnsworth, Sarah Lloyd, Matt Raboin, Kathryn Pereira, Rebecca Jolley, David Nelson, Rachel Murray, Brady Williams, Alexandra Lyon, Sheri Young, Anna-Marie Puryear, Matt Mariola, Christine Vatovec, Carrie Sedlak, Rosa Kozub, John Hendrickson, Laura Bru, Ed Brick, Bimal Raj Bhandary, Janet Parker, Paul Dietmann, Rebecca Claypool, Lael Grigg and Brienne Boettcher.

If you worked for or volunteered at CIAS and are not listed here, please contact us!

+Past Undergraduate Students

Peter Werts, Brandon Joe Forseth, Sarah Jane Dougherty, Jesse Moths, Eleanor Voigt, Aiden Kraus.

If you worked for CIAS and are not listed here, please contact us!

Students from the FH King Program

F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture

A student organization working to promote sustainable agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. FH King students hire students to run a market-type garden and distribute fresh produce to other students every growing season. They also organize workshops on topics of interest.

F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture

Agroecology M.S. at UW-Madison

The Masters program trains students to research and engage with agricultural systems in a broader environmental and socio-economic context.

Agroecology M.S. at UW-Madison