The UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems announced the appointment of five new members to its Citizens Advisory Council. These Council members will help set the agenda for Wisconsin research on food production, marketing, and distribution systems that are profitable, environmentally-friendly, and good for local communities.
“Citizen participation lies at the heart of the Center’s work,” said Bob Wills, owner of Cedar Grove Cheese and chair of the Citizens Advisory Council. “Council members provide input on the Center’s plans for research and education on sustainable farming. They work with University of Wisconsin researchers to address issues that are important to farmers and other citizens.”
The new Citizens Advisory Council members include:
Will Allen, Milwaukee: Will raises vegetables and operates the Milwaukee Small Farm Distribution Center. He is the co-director of Growing for Profit, a non-profit organization that encourages the development of local food systems. He works on farmers’ market development and youth agricultural training.
Laurel and Tom Kieffer, Strum: Laurel and Tom manage a sheep dairy and raise goats and pastured poultry. They sell lamb, bratwurst, eggs, roasters, turkeys, and wool products directly to their customers.
David Perkins, Blue Mounds: David manages Vermont Valley Community Farm, a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. He has worked in agribusiness as a crop consultant for a regional cooperative, and has served as a Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection policy analyst.
Pastor Curt Rohland, Chippewa Falls: Curt serves as an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pastor for a rural church. He managed a 240-acre dairy farm with his family until 1995. Curt is the current president of the Wisconsin Farmland Conservancy.
Dale Secher, Oregon: Dale has raised apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and other small fruits for over 30 years. He markets his produce locally through pick-your-own, farm retail, and farmers’ markets. Dale has practiced Integrated Pest Management for 30 years.
Since 1989, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems has sought creative solutions to the challenges facing people in small- and medium- scale food and farming enterprises. The Center’s research is guided by a diverse group of citizens and scientists who reflect a wide range of disciplines and professions. The Center’s work on management intensive grazing and regional food systems has helped many Wisconsin family farmers stay in business.
For more information about the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, call (608) 262-5200 or visit www.cias.wisc.edu.
Author: Cris Carusi