Moving food from rural areas into large metropolitan regions is an expensive proposition. Regional shippers are looking for ways to reduce labor costs and improve fuel efficiency. Distribution centers are interested in securing more regionally-produced food to meet consumer demand and differentiate their stores. Planners are looking for ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Food activists want to see food businesses owned by community members bloom in their neighborhoods. This workshop provided an opportunity to consider systemic improvements to how food is moved from rural to urban areas and in such a way that potentially can meet the needs of all stakeholders.The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) hosted the workshop. 58 participants spent the day thinking through issues related to food freight movement.
The workshop ran seven hours, including a working lunch for networking. Three hours were devoted to hearing the experiences of people in the field working on improving transportation and supply chains from rural farming areas to urban markets. Equal time was given for practitioners to discuss in small groups about their concerns and to respond to ideas and questions posed by guest speakers.
- Regional shipper concerns when accessing the Chicago market
- Private sector efforts to improve freight transportation in the Los Angeles megaregion
- Efficiencies to be gained from splitting trucking options into rural and urban modes
- Market issues for accessing regional food and last mile delivery
9:00 – Welcome
Ernest Perry – Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education
Steve Viscelli – Swathmore College
Irv Cernasukas – Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks
Tom Murtha – Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Mr. Gregory Grajewski – USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service
Michelle Miller – UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
9:30 – Session one: Shipping food regionally, efficiently
Larry Alsum , Alsum Farms & Produce, Alsum Trucking , Friesland, WI Alsum – Regional Food Freight Workshop Presentation 1.5.16 FINAL
Rob Reich, Schneider Trucking, Green Bay, WI
Michelle Miller, reporting on the UW Grainger School of Supply Chain Management MBA student project regional food freight presentation
Table talk: What is your experience with regional food shipment – what are the challenges and opportunities?
11:00 – Get your lunch! Arbor is feeding us
11:30 – Session two: Unleashing engineering efficiencies
Table talk: What do private sector supply chain actors need to make this switch?
1:15 – Break
1:30 – Session three: Meeting the market demand for regional food
Table talk: How can we better connect Chicago to our regional food economy?
3:15 – Synthesis: Irv Cernauskas and Steve Viscelli, with participants
3:45 – Concluding Remarks: Ernest Perry
Download the rff meeting packet.
Download the Meeting Evaluation_CMAP results
There will be additional materials available for review provided at the meeting, including a number of journal articles on food resilience published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Studies this fall. Resilient food systems will be addressed at the “Food-Energy-Water Nexus” themed conference of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) on January 19-21 in Washington DC (http://foodenergywaternexus.org/), and a “Strengthening American Food System Resilience” workshop at the conference (http://foodenergywaternexus.org/w-3-strengthening-american-food-system-resilience), should be of particular interest to people who work with the food system. The workshop, which will be from 2:30 to 5:30 pm on the last day of the conference, is based on the recently published Symposium on American Food Resilience (www.foodresilience.org), which addresses the security of our food supply in terms of the ability of the food system to withstand 21st century shocks and stresses; and what scientists, teachers, environmental and food-system professionals, farmers, and other food system practitioners can do through research, innovation, education, community action, or other means to make the food system more resilient and secure. Free downloads of all 27 articles in the Symposium are available at www.foodresilience.org. The first half of the “Strengthening American Food System Resilience” workshop will lay out key Symposium results with illustrative examples from North Carolina, Wisconsin, and California’s Central Valley. Problems will be included, but the focus will be on solutions. In the second half of the workshop, participants will generate a tangible take-home product by examining the resilience issue in terms of their own interests, using facilitated strategic planning to organize their ideas about “Where do we go from here?”
Mr. Rob Reich – Senior Vice President, Equipment, Maintenance & Driver Recruiting, Schneider National, Inc. Schneider was established in 1935 and is one of the nation’s leading trucking companies. With an extensive history of commitment to the environment, Schneider is regularly awarded by EPA’s Smart Way program for its initiatives to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
Mr. Larry Alsum -Alsum Farms & Produce & Alsum Trucking, Freisland, WI. Larry starting farming and packing potatoes and onions in 1981. Today his company is packing and marketing over 1.8 million cwt of potatoes, including russets, reds, golds, whites, and fingerlings from a number of farms in the Midwest. In addition to growing and selling potatoes, Alsum Farms & Produce also buys onions, sweet potatoes and pumpkins and markets them under the Alsum label as well as private labels. The company wholesales 300 different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables including locally grown apples, onions, hard squash, peppers, cabbage, zucchini, celery, sweet corn and asparagus during the season.
Mr. Mike Roeth – North American Council for Freight Efficiency. Mike has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as the Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. Mike is also leading the Trucking Efficiency Operations for the Carbon War Room. Mike’s specialty is brokering green truck collaborative technologies into the real world at scale. He has a BS in Engineering from the Ohio State University and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from the Indiana Institute of Technology. Mike served as Chairman of the Board for the Truck Manufacturers Association, Board member of the Automotive Industry Action Group and currently serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.
Mr. Sage Kokjohn – University of WI-Madison, Engine Research Center. Sage is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research interests include engine modeling and experiments focused on explaining the mechanisms controlling high-efficiency combustion systems and developing pathways to achieve robust, high-efficiency energy conversion. He received his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2012. Professor Kokjohn was a visiting researcher at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Labs where he used optical engine experiments to investigate low temperature, premixed combustion. He has over 40 publications related to high efficiency engine combustion.
Ms. Barbara Daly – Testa Produce has provided produce to Chicago wholesalers for more than 100 years. With a strong commitment to sustainability and sourcing local product, Testa Produce makes regular runs to farms in the Upper Midwest to fill its orders. Barbara Daly, facilities manager, is building a CNG fleet for deliveries and was recognized by Chicago Area Clean Cities for the effort.
Ms. Cynthia Haskins – Illinois Farm Bureau. Cynthia is the Manager of Business Development and Compliance for the Illinois Farm Bureau. Haskins is responsible for creating and implementing programs to assist with local business development; including the expansion of marketing and distribution networks for local food and products as well as keeping informed on food safety issues, labeling requirements and nutrition programs. She has coordinated over 20 Meet the Buyer events, of which link farmers with potential grocery and foodservice buyers. In addition, she has coordinated the Local and Regional Food Summit, an event that has attracted over 300 industry and Illinois Farm Bureau members. Haskins has been in the industry for more than 33 years. As president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, she worked on legislative, environmental, and marketing initiatives for the grower-member association. Other experience includes working for marketing organizations such as David Oppenheimer Group, an international fruit and vegetable brokerage, where she served as a marketing brand manager representing New Zealand apple, pear, and kiwifruit growers. Haskins was a regional manager for the Washington Apple Commission, a grower nonprofit representing apple growers. She was a general manager for Continental Food Service/Sysco, a multi-million dollar produce foodservice organization. Other organizations she has worked for include Dole, an international fruit and vegetable marketing company, Sunkist, a grower cooperative, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Lee Strom – FARM Illinois. Mr. Strom is Executive Director for Food and Agriculture RoadMap (FARM) Illinois and is involved with creating the Illinois Council for Food and Agriculture. FARM Illinois recently completed an extensive public process to set a way forward that strengthens the roles played by the Chicago region and Illinois as a whole in local and regional food systems. Mr. Strom also serves as a principal of Open Prairie and its Rural Opportunity Fund, an Illinois-based private equity company with focus on agriculture and food companies.
Mr. Gregory Grajewski – USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Division. Mr. Grajewski currently works on the Local Foods Promotion Program and previously worked on terminal market analysis and wholesale food issues for USDA. He graduated from Politechnika Poznanska in Poznan, Poland with a masters degree in construction project management and received an MBA from Southeastern University in Washington, DC. Prior to his employment in USDA he worked in private industry both in Poland and US managing various construction projects.
Mr. Stephen Larsen – University of Wisconsin Grainger School of Business, Center for Supply Chain Management. With a degree from Brigham Young University in supply chain management, he joined the transportation company C.R. England. He worked as a logistics analyst, designed and priced new business opportunities within the company’s dedicated fleet services division. In this role, he worked on numerous projects including transportation network design, financial modeling, contract and rate negotiations, and continuous improvement projects.
Mr. Irv Cernauskas – Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks. Ir and his wife founded Fresh Picks in 2006 to provide new market opportunities for farmers and to help stimulate the re-growth of Chicago’s local food system. Fresh Picks’ home delivery service brings great food to thousands of area households, has developed farm based food aggregation hubs to drive down shipping costs, and adds several hundred thousand dollars to the incomes of local farmers each year. Irv earned an MA in Economics, an MBA from MIT, and worked for 20 years as a corporate executive and running his own IT consulting practice. Several years of service on the boards of Seven Generations Ahead and The Land Connection helped forge friendships with local farmers. This convinced Irv of the importance of local agriculture to health, the environment and rural communities, and was the inspiration for starting Fresh Picks.
Dr. Steve Viscelli –concept originator. (PhD, Indiana University; MA, Syracuse University; BA, Colgate University) is an economic sociologist who studies the trucking industry. In 2010 he began working with the University of WI -Center On Wisconsin Strategy as a National Science Foundation fellow. His work focused on developing alternative ways to move freight by truck that reduce fuel consumption and shipping costs, improve working conditions for truckers, and relieve traffic congestion. He engaged industry and government stakeholders to evaluate the benefits and feasibility of what he calls “urban truck ports” that allow truckers to coordinate the of use super-efficient trucks designed for urban or rural hauling. Urban Truck Ports white paper Since 2013, Steve has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College. He is currently completing a book about how deregulation transformed labor markets and work in long-haul trucking and thus fostered a revolution in logistics, based on six months of fieldwork as a long-haul trucker, more than 120 interviews with truckers, and survey data.
Ernie Perry – Ernie is the Program Administrator and Facilitator of the Mid-America Freight Coalition. Before joining the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), Perry was the Administrator of Freight Development at the Missouri Department of Transportation. During his seventeen-year tenure at MoDOT, he also served as research administrator, organizational results administrator, senior environmental specialist, and socioeconomic specialist. Perry has worked closely with freight leadership at AASHTO, FHWA, and MARAD, served on NCFRP panels, and participated in the Scan of European Union Freight Corridors. Perry holds a BS in animal science, an MS in rural sociology, and a PhD in rural sociology from the University of Missouri–Columbia.
Alonzo, Joe CDOT
Alsum, Larry Alsum Farms & Produce, Alsum Trucking
Arias, Lauro Arias Agribusiness Consulting
Bigelow, Mark Local Foods Chicago
Bingham, Samantha Chicago Dept of Transportation
Block, Daniel Chicago State University
Bosso, Max Elwood International Port
Boxer, Greg Coyote Logistics
Broadnax, Jane Chicago Department of Transportation
Cernauskas, Irv Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks
Chachula, Nancy Consultant
Daly, Barbara Testa Produce, Inc.
Doetch, Ronald SITL
Eby, Ben Fifth Season Coop
Frankel, Noam Optimal Freight
Gollnik, Bob Cambridge Systematics
Grajewski, Gregory USDA AMS TM
Haney, Harry Logistics consultant
Haskins, Cynthia Illinois Farm Bureau
Haucke, Rufus Just Local Foods
Heiderscheidt, John AgroBuild, LLC
Holloway, Bill SSTI
Jones, Danielle WI Economic Development Corp.
Kemble, Rebecca City of Madison
Kettleson, Craig MadREP
Kessler, Grant Chicago Market – a Community Co-Op
King, Warren WellSpring Ltd
Knobel, Zachary Coyote Logistics
Kokjohn, Sage University of Wisconsin – Madison
Larsen, Kelly Windy City Harvest
Lawless, Greg University of Wisconsin Extension
Lehman, Karen Fresh Taste
Liu, Caitlyn WI Department of Transportation
Lloyd, Sarah Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative
Lutsey, Andrew Chicago Local Foods
Maietta, Anthony US EPA Region 5
Maldonado, Rosario Chicago Botanic Gardens
Maynard, Kelly UW CIAS
Miller, Michelle UW-CIAS
Morales, Alfonso UW-Madison
Murtha, Thomas CMAP
Perry, Ernie MAFC/CFIRE – UW Madison
Reich, Rob Schneider National, Inc.
Roback, Bradley City of Chicago
Roeth, Michael NACFE
Scaman, Robert Goodness Greeness
Schone, Ryan UW-Extension
Siegel, Sidney Natural Direct
Small, Cathy FamilyFarmed
Smith, Bradley People’s Food Co-Op
Jennifer Spitz Consultant
Strom, Lee FARM Illinois
Szwak, Andrew Openlands
Tansley, Matthew Kane County
Viscelli, Steve Swarthmore College
Wilborn, Pat PortFish, Ltd.
Zietlow, Benjamin CFIRE Center
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60606
The meeting is part of a project organized by the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, Michelle Miller Principle Investigator. The project is supported by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service – Transportation Division.
The planning committee for this project involves three farmers selling into the wholesale market, four regional supply chain businesses, three regional non-profit partners, ten academics and seven students. For more information on the committee download our bios- truck hub proj-11.10.15