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!
Christine Rushton, USA TODAY, August 18, 2015
Americans agree that food from local farms belongs in school cafeterias.
Nearly nine out of 10 people want to see an increase in farm-to-school food programming in the U.S., according to national survey results released Tuesday. The poll — commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation — asked 1,200 adults across the country for their opinions on school nutrition standards and healthy food educational programs.
Along with a desire to improve water drinking habits, the overall results showed more confidence in the quality of public school meals and support for increasing government funding.
The National Farm to School Network reports that about 23 million students currently learn about where their food comes from through activities with local farms.
“Farm to school not only has a significant impact on building a generation of healthy eaters, but also creates economic opportunities for farmers,” said Anupama Joshi, executive director of Farm to School. “It is so exciting to see the broad public support for this win-win approach.”
Patrick Simpson, director of food, health and well-being for Kellogg, said people continue to develop a stronger sense of what is healthy. And farm-to-table programs help more than the students.
“It creates healthier school meals, teaches children about healthy education and creates a market for small farmers,” Simpson said.
By on July 21, 2015
When it comes to improving the food on today’s hospital trays, some medical institutions are finding that onsite farms are the next logical step.
This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital started sending all new moms home from the hospital with a basket of fresh produce, recipes, and literature about the importance of a healthy diet.
All of the produce in the basket was grown on an organic farm on the hospital’s Anderson campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The hospital—part of a six-campus network—has been running a farm on the 500-acre grounds since 2014.
“Our mission is to provide great healthcare and part of that is educating patients about the benefits of a plant-based, organic diet,” explains Ed Nawrocki, president of the Anderson campus. “One of the best ways to do that is to lead by example and show them how delicious produce grown on our farm tastes.
But it’s not just new moms who benefit from the hospital’s bounty. In its first season, the farm at St. Luke’s grew 12 varieties of vegetables on five acres, producing 44,000 pounds of produce that was served to patients, incorporated into the cafeteria menu, and sold at weekly farmers’ markets on several hospital campuses. This year, the farm expanded to 10 acres and 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Mark “Coach” Smallwood, executive director at the Rodale Institute, the nonprofit organization that worked with St. Luke’s to help get its farm off the ground, believes there is a growing interest in serving organic, locally grown produce at hospitals.
Sheboygan Press Media 7:54 p.m. CDT August 7, 2015
The WLFN has announced its Wisconsin Local Food Summit will be in Sheboygan.
The Wisconsin Local Food Network has announced its 10th annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit will be in Sheboygan at the Blue Harbor Resort Jan. 13-15.
Hosted in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the three-day summit will feature comprehensive workshops on the production, marketing and purchasing of local food for farmers, corporate buyers, students and community members.
The summit activities commence Jan. 13 with Sheboygan-based agro-tourism field trips. Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, the summit will offer leading keynote presentations, local field trips, in-depth workshops and facilitated networking sessions.
Local community members, student groups, business owners and farmers may attend. A general information and planning meeting will be at Mead Public Library at 6 p.m. Aug. 20. Contact Greg Zahn at email@example.com for more details.
The 2016 Summit is expected to draw an audience of more than 500 people.
Robin Shreeves ; July 24, 9:59 AM
Read more: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/dark-act-moving-through-congress-quickly#ixzz3hD4eS5Jk
H.R. 1599 would prevent states from passing GMO labeling laws and the FDA from requiring companies to label foods made with genetically engineered ingredients.
It’s been about four months since the introduction of the bill that’s become known as the DARK Act, and it’s an important moment for those interested in their right to know if foods include genetically engineered ingredients or GMOs. Originally introduced in 2014 as H.R. 4432 as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, it didn’t go anywhere at first. It was reintroduced in March as H.R. 1599 with the same name, but now it’s moving quickly.
While the bill’s name makes it sound like something we should all support, the bill serves to put an end to efforts to label GMOs. It would, according to Center for Food Safety, severely restrict the authority of states and the FDA when it comes to requiring labeling including:
Prevent states from adopting their own GE labeling laws.
Prevent state or county laws regulating GE crops
Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GE ingredients and instead continue a failed 14-year “voluntary” labeling policy.
While it may be overused, the phrase “farm-to-table” is more than just a buzzword — it represents an important cultural shift over the past 10 years in both the food industry and in the dining public’s priorities. But as more farmers, restaurants and food purveyors try to source and serve food grown locally, infrastructure needs have grown.
Enter Farmers Web, an online portal that aims to connect farmers and producers with food buyers, making the farm-to-table process seamless. By removing the middle man, FarmersWeb says it enables farmers to cut down on costs, resulting in more local sourcing activity overall. Cutting out the middle man can also mean fresher food on plates. It’s a win-win for all parties.
On the site, which launched in 2012, farmers create a free online profile whereby buyers browse their inventory. In addition to increased exposure and a direct line of communication, the website also offers subscription tools for marketing and managing orders, deliveries and financials. Farmers are responsible for delivering their products directly to buyers, or they can hire a logistics provider with the help of FarmersWeb.
Case Western Reserve University signs option agreement with Wholesome Wave to launch FM Tracks app
CLEVELAND—FM Tracks, a new digital app designed to help farmers’ markets and local healthy foods initiatives manage and evaluate federal nutrition incentive programs, launches Monday, July 13.
The new technology, created to simplify the collection and evaluation process for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, also gives users in-depth reporting tools and real-time information on market performance and trends. The (FINI) Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.