The Wisconsin Local Food Network


Thank you for visiting the Wisconsin Local Food Network’s (WLFN) website.

The WLFN is a collection of individuals and organizations (hopefully you) that all share a common vision for Wisconsin: a state that offers communities and businesses a local food system that supports sustainable farms of all sizes, a strong infrastructure for those farms and supporting food business to thrive, and affordable access to healthy locally grown food for ALL Wisconsin residents. If you support this vision and are working toward such a Wisconsin – then you are a part of the Wisconsin Local Food Network.

You may be wondering, “But what does the WLFN do?” And it would be a great question.

In the fewest words possible: We help local food businesses (whether a farm, a processor, a distributor, a restaurant, a farmers market, or a grocery store) thrive!

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Let’s Fix FSMA For Good the Second Time Around!

WLFN FSMA Pic RESIZEWLFN has just released it’s latest Policy blog on the current comment period for the re-proposed rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

This blog post will direct you to all the resources you need to effectively comment and effect change on FSMA — comment period closes December 15th so act now!

Many of us remember that around this time last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in the process of trying to finalize a myriad of rules relating to food safety under the auspices of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which became law in 2011. This represented the first time since 1938 that significant food safety reform had been undertaken in the United States.

The charge of overhauling food safety in the United States is a herculean task and one that will have significant ramifications for producers and processors in the future. This is why it is imperative that FSMA be implemented and enforced correctly with an eye towards achieving equitable results for all producers, especially small and mid-size producers who will bear the brunt of the burden with the rules as they are currently written.

The first go around of the Food Safety Modernization Act was rife with vagaries, redundancies, and inconsistencies. Two rules in particular – The Produce Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule – put an inequitable burden on small and mid-sized farms, particularly diversified operations, threatening to handicap present and future progress in developing local food systems and use of organic and other sustainable agriculture approaches. So many regulations in the first iteration of FSMA were unpalatable to the public that almost 22,000 individuals and organizations submitted feedback to the FDA – many, like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), were laudably noted for their grassroots campaigns educating the masses on the deleterious effects those complicated regulations could potentially have on small farms.

Because of this feedback, the FDA went back to the drawing board and re-drafted these regulations. This is the current situation we all find ourselves in and once again it is time to take action. Some adverse provisions of the two rules were revised or removed completely, illustrating that the FDA listened and responded to some of the concerns of commenters. However, too many of those adverse provisions remain such as definitions of farms vs. facilities that would require many small farms to be regulated out of proportion to their operation’s food safety risk, costly water testing criteria that are not rooted in science, other costly regulatory burdens on the modest profits of small farmers, and lack of clarity about impractical impositions on small processers and farmers’ markets to name a few. If you’re interested, you can read more on what’s been fixed and what is still detrimental to small farms and local food systems in this National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition article on top FSMA fixes and fails.

NSAC staff has been hard at work pouring over the re-proposed Produce Rule and Preventive Controls Rule and has launched a one-stop website with information, resources, and sample comments to get you everything you need to fix FSMA once and for all. After this comment period, the agency will read over the comments and begin publishing final rules later this year.

It’s not hard to comment and the deadline for submitting comments to the FDA is December 15th

Learn more, comment today, and #FixFSMA!

Spread the word and visit to stand up for healthy farms and healthy food!

The post can also be found on WLFN’s ‘Policy, Outreach, and Education‘ page.

Nominate yourself or recommend someone for WLFN Board of Directors

The Wisconsin Local Food Network would love for YOU to get involved by serving on the Board of Directors!!!

Nominate yourself before Monday December 1st, by completing the form at the following link:

There are 8 open positions. (4 regional and 4 topic-based)
• Central
• Eastern
• Northcentral
• Northwestern
• Infrastructure Development
• Farm to School
• Food Security and Health
• Community Development

Also – you can help out by encouraging others to nominate themselves or letting us know about folks that would make great Board Directors with the Wisconsin Local Food Network – you can reach out to them personally and make the suggestion or you can email me ( with your suggestions and I will be happy to contact them for you!

Learn more about current Board Directors and Board Director Position Descriptions at

  • Nomination period ends Nov 30.
  • Candidates will be announced on Monday Dec 8.
  • Voting starts Jan 1.
  • New Board Directors will be announced at the 2015 WLFN Summit!

WI Local Food Summit – Call for Poster Presentations

The Wisconsin Local Food Summit brings together community organizers, agency advocates, educators, local food producers, students, and stakeholders from all aspects of our food system to learn, network, and help shape our local food systems.

Do you have information to share or a success story to tell about your work with local foods? Please submit a proposal for a poster presentation! 

The WI Local Food Summit, for the first time, will feature poster presentations that visually highlight local food system research, education, innovative models and artwork. The Wisconsin Local Food Network (WLFN) is requesting proposals for posters to be displayed at the 9th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit on January 30 & 31, 2015 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Applications are due by November 20, 2014.  See attached for details. Request for Poster Presentations

WI Local Food Summit Presenter Application Deadline 9/26

Attention Local Food Advocates,

The WI Local Food Network is seeking speakers for the 9th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit.  The Summit, themed “Seeds for Change: Learning from the Past to Grow Food for Tomorrow,” will be held in Wisconsin Rapids on January 30 & 31, 2015.    Anyone with local food expertise is encouraged to apply.  Travel reimbursement is available for those who need assistance.

The Wisconsin Farm to School Summit will be held on January 29th in the same venue as the Local Food Summit. Farm to School event speakers may use the attached application to be considered for both Summits.

Applications are due by September 26, 2014.  See attached for further details.

2015 WI Local Food Summit Presenter ApplicationForm


WI Local Food Summit Planners Seek Presenters

Attention Local Food Advocates,

The WI Local Food Network is seeking speakers for the 9th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit. The Summit, themed “Seeds for Change: Learning from the Past to Grow Food for Tomorrow,” will be held in Wisconsin Rapids on January 30 & 31, 2015.   Anyone with local food expertise is encouraged to apply. Travel reimbursement is available for those who need assistance.

The Wisconsin Farm to School Summit will be held on January 29th, in the same venue as the Local Food Summit. Farm to School event speakers may use the attached application to be considered for both Summits.

Applications are due by September 26, 2014. See application for further details.


2015 WI Local Food Summit Presenter Application Form 

New go-to career for New England’s young: Farming

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Farming is hip in New England.

Across the region, young people are choosing crops over cubicles, new farms are popping up and the local food movement is spreading.

Farmers and industry experts agree New England is bucking a trend toward larger, but fewer, farms because many of its residents want to buy their food locally and its entrepreneurs want to produce it. The region’s small size makes it easy for farmers and consumers to connect at farm markets and stands.

Many of these new farmers are young people increasingly interested in the origins of their food and farming, who are eager to take over for the nation’s aging farmers. Continue reading

Apply now for grants to grow local food markets

Release Date: August 18, 2014 Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames 608-224-5041

Jim Dick, Communications Director 608-224-5020

MADISON – Since its inception in 2008, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program has generated $6 million in new local food sales. Farmers and others in Wisconsin’s food industry who want to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply in the 2015 round of grants. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and business more efficiently process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools and institutions.

“Just as a wide variety of foods makes for a healthy diet, a variety of farms and agribusinesses makes for a healthy economy,” said BLBW program manager Teresa Engel. “We encourage growers, processors and distributors of diverse products to apply, and we look forward to funding some innovative ideas.”

Pre-proposals must be received at DATCP by 4 p.m. Dec. 1. Each pre-proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and three-page project description. The necessary documents can be found online at

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Apricot Pistachio Squares

Apricot Pistachio Squares

ready for the oven

apricot pistachio squares

from Smitten Kitchen –

This recipe is lightly spun from this pear-almond tart from Dorie Greenspan, with a simpler crust and streamlined steps. This is the kind of bar recipe that should theoretically be flexible to use with other ingredients; I’ve been eager to try a peach-pecan or plum-walnut combo. I’d love to hear what kind of spin you give them. You can estimate roughly need twice the weight in pistachios if you’re buying them in their shells.

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Memorial for local foods crusader to take place August 6

July 23, 2014

Sandra Streed

Sandra Streed

Her colleagues at NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies knew that Sandra Streed had a lot of connections, but they didn’t fully recognize Streed’s stature in Chicago-area social justice movements until after her unexpected death last month.

“Sandra was so modest, she never told us the extent of her involvement or the circles she ran in,” said CGS Director Diana Robinson. “After her passing, we learned about things such as the overseas economic development trips she took with (former Chicago) Mayor Daley and the key role she played in creating the successful health sciences incubator iBio. She was an integral part of many very high-profile projects, but she always downplayed her own involvement.”

Streed’s NIU colleagues and her many admirers from throughout the region will honor her legacy at noon on August 6  when they dedicate a memorial to her in the Communiversity Gardens east of Anderson Hall at 200 Garden Road. All community members are welcome. Continue reading