Steve Stevenson, Senior Scientist, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, University of Wisconsin
Fred Kirschenmann, Director, Leopold Center, Iowa State University
Theresa Marquez, Marketing and Sales Director, Organic Valley Family of Farms/CROPP Cooperative
The American agri-food system is becoming increasingly dualistic featuring, on the one hand, farming and food enterprises that are successfully developing direct marketing strategies and, on the other hand, enterprises that effectively contract for the sale of bulk agricultural commodities. Increasingly at risk and disappearing are mid-scale, family farms that are currently unable to successfully market bulk commodities or to market directly to consumers. This breakout session introduced ideas and solicited feedback relative to the establishment of a national initiative sponsored by a network of sustainable agriculture centers in land-grant universities to develop strategies for regenerating a significant agriculture-of-the-middle.