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Wisconsin's Farmers' Markets Come In Many Sizes And Structures

Whitewater Farmers Market

As many Wisconsinites know, not all farmers' markets are the same, but they are found in all types of communities – cities, small towns, suburbs and rural areas. With differences in size, rules and management styles, many of these markets offer unique features and face diverse challenges in providing localized access to fresh foods and other products.

Food Entrepreneur Roundtable and a tour of Forage Eau Claire

Roundtable

Food Entrepreneur's Roundtable and a visit to Forage EC

Forage Eau Claire recently held a roundtable for Food Entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley.  The event was sponsored by Forage and the Western Dairyland Business Center. The discussion included the growth of Forage, the difficulties of being a food entrepreneur, and a tour of the Forage commercial kitchen and new pop-up food event space. The event was led by Forage owners Kristen Dexter and Michelle Thiede.

How Americans Forgot And Rediscovered The Values Of Farmers' Markets

In a highly connected age of smartphone shopping and new automated grocery delivery services, a trip to a local farmers' market can seem like an anachronistic journey to the past. The streets and parking lots where markets are often held find neighbors greeting each other amid fresh produce and baked goods as live music fills the air, creating a different atmosphere than supermarkets, much less a glowing screen at home.

Crystal Ball Barn Fire

Crystal Ball Fire

Sad news to report this morning in the local food department. Beloved Osceola organic milk supplier Crystal Ball suffered a devastating barn fire last night, and the barn is a total loss. Thanks to an unknown person reporting the fire to the family they managed to remove all of the cows from the barn and they are all doing fine. 

The Precarious Path From Food Stamps To Self-Sufficiency

groceries

Political rhetoric around food stamps is often driven by anecdotal evidence and exaggeration. One perennial point of contention is about how long people who receive food assistance want to and should be supported.

Advocates for public-assistance programs and people who work to support the hungry through organizations like food banks generally believe that the best outcome for someone on food stamps is to ultimately find a stable job that pays grocery bills.

Trump budget would undo gains from conservation programs on farms and ranches

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Texas farmer Taylor Wilcox received USDA funding to flood his fallow rice fields, creating habitat for black-necked stilts and other birds.

Tickets on sale for Look and See

Look and See Logo

Look & See -- Exclusive Trailer

Wis.Community is happy to be showing our first community film screening. Tickets are now available on-line at  . The film will be shown at the Oakwood Mall theatre in Eau Claire on Feb 8, 2018, 7:30 PM.  But it will only be shown if you help out.

Growing Incentives For FoodShare Users At Farmers' Markets

Eau Claire Farmers Market

Throughout the growing season, many Wisconsinites stop by farmers' markets to grab a bite to eat, chat with neighbors and, of course, purchase fresh produce and other foods. But this type of shopping can be cost prohibitive for people who have lower or fixed incomes. Until recent years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants could not apply their benefits, often called food stamps, to fresh produce purchases at farmers' markets. An increasing number of markets around Wisconsin are accepting SNAP, though it remains an incremental process.

Wiscoboxes

Sarah Botham, a marketing director with Botham Vineyards, always saw gift baskets as a problematic gift — oddly shaped, inefficient and hard to send.

While looking for ways to generate additional revenue for the vineyard, which her husband owns, Botham began to consider ways that their wine could be gifted in a more elegant manner.

Gordy's Markets continue to close in the Chippewa Valley

News today is that the Gordy's on Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire is closing at 5 PM today. This was announced, as have been a few others, by a sign on the door the day of the closing. This leaves just one Gordy's in Eau Claire (on West Clairemont, the one that is near the Menards) that remains open. One is left in Chippewa Falls as well.  Several of the other stores are being taken over by Festival Foods.