Category Archives: Jobs/Employment/Volunteer Opportunities

Kudos Gene Schriefer!

Matt and Beth Mueller, who farm east of Lancaster, discuss cover crops with Gene Schriefer (right), the Iowa County UW Extension agriculture agent, at a field day at Lancaster Research Station. David Tenenbaum, University Communications

The Driftless’ Own Gene Schriefer is promoted to head Wisconsin’s Farm Service Agency, the Biden Administration announced yesterday. For those of you who may not know Gene, he, his wife and son raise lamb and grass-fed beef from a farm outside of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Since 2009, he has served as a Senior Outreach Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension and Agriculture Educator in Iowa County. He engages with farmers and faculty on sustainability, soil health, regenerative agriculture, regional food systems, and climate change. Prior to his current Extension role, Gene was a regional grazing specialist with Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development, working with producers in nine counties. He has also served as an Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent in Rusk and Columbia Counties. Gene earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University in Agriculture Education and Farm Management. His current work with the Grasslands 2.0 project has been invaluable.

Gene’s straightforward approach, curiosity, and his social networking skills will serve Wisconsin well at FSA. As he takes this important state-wide position that links Wisconsin farmers to federal farming programs, we look forward to his perspective on high-leverage ways to strengthen and transform Wisconsin agriculture.

A U.S. Policy Roadmap: The Intersection of Food + Tech.

Moderated by Chloe Sorvino (Forbes) and Danielle Nierenberg (Food Tank).

Presented by Food Tank and the ReFresh Working Group

TODAY—REGISTER NOW. Tuesday Feb 2: The Power of Connectivity: Broadband Expansion in Rural Communities

Panelists: Michelle Miller, UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems; Leanna Mulvihill, Farm Generations Coop; Kim Olson, Retired US air force, Democratic nominee for Texas Agriculture Commissioner; and Ankita Raturi, Purdue University.

Wednesday Feb 3: Protection and Accessibility: Ensuring the Fair Use of Data in the Food System.

Panelists: Kacey Hanson, Dell Medical School; Ali Lange, Google; Matthew Lange, IC-Foods; and Robyn O’Brien, rePlant Capital.

Thursday Feb 4: Reducing Inequities Through a Digitally Skilled Workforce

Panelists: Kevin Krueger, Facebook; Jose Oliva, HEAL Food Alliance; Chris Ramsaroop, Justice for Migrant Workers; Dr. Sekou Siby, ROC United; and Nezahualcoyotl Xiuhtecutli, Farmworkers Association of Florida

Friday Feb 5: Strengthening Supply Chains to Build Trust and Improve Food Security

Panelists: Tatiana Garcia Granados, Common Market; Chris Roper, Chris Roper Services; Karen Washington, Rise and Root Farm; Amy Wu, Farms to Incubators, and more to be announced soon!

All panels are recorded. Register for one or all sessions at

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition director job announcement

Are you deeply committed to public service, experienced in administration and the field of sustainable agriculture, and would enjoy leading a passionate, high-performing, member-engaged, and collaborative organization that is dedicated to advancing racial equity in our work on sustainable agriculture and food systems policy.  NSAC is looking for a new Coalition Director.  Please see this job announcement to learn more.

NSAC offers competitive non-profit salary and benefits and is an equal opportunity employer.

Business Investors Showcase

Slow Money Wisconsin and LION to host 2013 Business and Investors Showcase

Slow Money Wisconsin and LION  (Local Investment Opportunities Network) will host the 2013 Business and Investor Showcase featuring local food and fiber businesses on Friday, April 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road in Madison.

Hosted by Tera Johnson, founder of tera’s whey, Jim Gage, president of Town and Country Resource Conservation and Development, and Rebecca Ryan, director of Next Generation Consulting, the event is designed to spark conversations and connections among sustainable food and farming entrepreneurs, investors, intermediaries, food activists and members of the public who are interested in supporting the local food system.

The 2013 Showcase includes 10-minute presentations from a juried selection of nine local, sustainable food and fiber businesses, including:

•                Judy Tholen, JRS Country Acres, delivering 100% Wisconsin produced cage free vegetarian fed brown eggs to grocery stores, restaurants and institutions within 200 mile of Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

•                Adrian Reif, Ōm Boys Food Movement (OBFM), manufacturing and selling a line of fresh, home-style nut butters and a line of uniquely nutrient-dense, raw, sprouted, and gluten free cereal-granolas.

•                Bill Anderson, Crème de la Coulée, offering French “esoteric” soft-ripened artisan cheeses made with raw milk from Wisconsin organic dairies.

•                Rufus Haucke, Just Local Foods, an aggregating, processing, marketing and distribution hub located in the Food Enterprise Center in Viroqua, WI, sourcing from over 100 family run farms located throughout the state of Wisconsin. 
Walter Harvey, Taste of Soul  Foods Innovation Kitchen, a start-up food processing operation that will manufacture a line of small batch preserves, condiments and dry rubs, and will manufacture products for food entrepreneurs looking to outsource preparation, packaging and labeling of private recipes.

•                Jacy Eckerman and Heidi Speight, Yum Tum, LLC, offering freshly frozen baby food produced from local organic produce.

•                Gilbert Williams, Lonesome Stone Milling, a local flour mill and a seed cleaning operation, offering wholesale local stone-ground flour to bakeries as well as product mixes for home use.

•                Ellen Barnard, Food Enterprise and Economic Development Kitchen (FEED), a food business incubator and community kitchen facility that will feature 5 commercial kitchens, and food-service training programs for unemployed youth and adults.

•                Bartlett Durand, Black Earth Meats, processor and distributor of sustainably raised meats (beef, pork, lamb, goat) One of the only USDA inspected, certified organic, certified humane processing facilities in the country offering

Ten minute presentations will be followed by Q&A with the entrepreneur and individual and small group interaction time is built into the day.

Brian Bengry, of Conscious Capital, will also present the case for building an investment portfolio that includes local investment.

If you are a local food activist, an impact investor, a sustainable business entrepreneur, a program officer, or an individual interested in line-of-sight investments, the Showcase is an opportunity to participate in what called “one of the top five trends in finance” and Rodale called “one of the top ten trends in organics.” Tickets to the Showcase include a locally sourced breakfast and lunch, and are $30 for general public and $15 for students at or call (888) 406-7969.

Join Showcase presenters, nurture capitalists, investment advisors and university students for pre-event networking reception on Thursday, April 25 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Brocach Irish Pub, Capitol Square, Madison. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students.

Sponsored by: Slow Money Wisconsin, LION, Town and Country RC&D, Incredible Edibles Investment Club, Kailo Fund, and Sustainable, Edible, Economic Development (S.E.E.D.), with the support of the Wisconsin School of Business.


Slow Money Wisconsin supports efforts toward creating a resilient, sustainable economy by increasing our investments in small-scale, sustainable food and farming enterprises in the region.


LION (Local Investment Opportunities Network) connects local investors in the Madison, Wisconsin area with local business owners who need capital. For businesses, LION is an alternative to banks or other commercial lenders. For investors, LION is a way to see where your money is going, and who it is helping. It enables you to invest in what you know and can see, in the local businesses that make Madison and Dane County the unique place it is.


At more than a few meetings in the region, we’ve heard people talk about the need for a unified Driftless identity, a way of communicating the high quality of life  and the Region’s unique cultural identity. It looks like folks in Decorah are taking the lead.

We like what we see in Inspire(d) Driftless magazine, subtitled “Positive News form the Driftless Region”. Based out of Decorah, the magazine’s summer issue has an emphasis on the food and farming scene west of the Mississippi. It has a beautiful calendar, features local artists and recreation highs.

They are looking for contributing writers from Southeast Minnesota, Southwest Wisconsin or south of Decorah. I think they aspire to serve the four state region so, whaddaya say? Lets help them out! Contact editor Aryn Henning Nichols with a writign sample or commit to advertising your business or event in their pages.

You can like them on Facebook at Inspire(d)Media and visit their web site at They distribute the magazine free or you can subscribe for $25. Wouldn’t it be nice to see this magazine available free throughout the region?

The Equitable Food Initiative

Please share widely with your friends and colleagues!

The Equitable Food Initiative is hiring a Senior Advisor to engage major actors in the food industry to join the EFI.

The Equitable Food Initiative ( is a consortium of major food buyers, growers, farm worker groups and consumer advocates to ensure dignified livelihoods for farm workers; a trained workforce and safer, more sustainable food. The co-chairs of the coalition are Oxfam America and the United Farm Workers of America.

The position will engage major actors in the food industry, other organizations and the public with the goal of strengthening the EFI program as well as providing steering for the design of field-based training, certification and verification.

The position will be based on the West Coast. To apply, see Positions at Oxfam America.

Peter O’Driscoll
Project Director
EquiTABLE Food Initiative

202-777-2933 (desk)
617-407-8171 (cell)


1.3 million servings of WI veggies, please

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is in Madison today to award our project a grant!

CIAS is working with farmers, processors, and distributors  to go from zero Wisconsin veggies in Wisconsin public schools to 1.3 million servings in 2014.That amounts to targeting 60% of Wisconsin school districts with two new food service-friendly products.

Andy Dierks, Coloma Farms, Teresa Engel at DATCP, Anna Maenner at the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, Mary Pesik with DHS, June Paul with DPI, Cheryl Piel with the School Nutrition Association, and Mike Bell (CESoc) and Alfonso Morales (URPL) at the UW,  supported the project proposal.

The project encourages two new products to the school lunch menu: Harvest Medley – a mix of root vegetables, squash and herbs – and a roasted potato blend. Both products have been successful in St. Paul and Milwaukee school lunch program trials.

Fifth Season coop in Viroqua will be working with Reinhart to get the new products to market. Maglio’s in Glendale is working with SYSCO.

Not too shabby.

Congratulations and thank you to Sarah Tedeschi and project partners for making this happen!



Regional Foods Coordinator job

From Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach:

Regional Foods Coordinator applications due June 29th
Be sure to spread the word about the part-time Regional Foods Coordinator job we have open at Dubuque County ISU Extension & Outreach.  For the complete job description please visit: