Topic Areas

Consumer Education and Promotion

Includes activities that promote local and regional foods at the point of contact with the consumer, such as labeling, nutrition education, and educational events and celebrations that inform consumers about opportunities to be involved in a local food system.

Community Development

Many food system efforts – particularly those in urban areas – are driven by goals that are related to food production and access, but focus more on aspects of community development and community enhancement. Included in this issue area are efforts such as youth and leadership development, neighborhood enhancement, community engagement, drug and violence prevention, community economic development, and integration of arts and culture into food system activities. Community development considerations also would address how organizations and networks function, and how community groups and local and state governments are involved in promoting local food systems.

Farm to School Initiatives

“Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers” (Source: National F2S Network)

Food Security and Health

Includes working to make local, healthy food accessible and affordable for all Wisconsin residents, including low income people and people in rural and urban food deserts, and also realistically addressing food safety issues.

Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure Development: includes development of aggregation, storage, transportation/distribution, and processing facilities for all scales of local food.

Market Development

Market Development is the improvement and expansion of direct, intermediate, and wholesale local food markets. Direct marketing refers to the producer selling product to the end user, with no middlemen (Example – Farmers Market, CSA). Intermediate and wholesale marketing refers to selling product through a middleman(s) before the product is consumed by the end user (Examples – Grocery store, restaurant, institutions).

Organizational Development

Organizational Development includes WLFN efforts related to organizational planning to increase our organization’s effectiveness and/or efficiency through governance and capacity building. The Organizational Development Topic Area Board Director also plays a support role to WLFN member organizations and assists other local and regional local food groups looking to form into an organization.

Policy Outreach and Education

Many policies affect local food, from regulations on how food can be produced to programs that provide grants to improve marketing and distribution of local food. The WLFN Outreach and Education Topic Area Board Director helps WLFN network members and policymakers know how policy affects local food and what policies are needed to help improve local food in Wisconsin.

Producer/Processor Development

Producer/Processor Development builds producer/processor capacity by providing business & technical assistance, and production assistance. Business & technical assistance can address, for example, business planning, accounting, label development, food safety and whole farm planning. Production assistance improves the product and crop production process by addressing common barriers such as land access, post-harvest handling, and processing skills.