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Reflecting on Our First Farm Climate Smart WI Event!

A person stands in front of a screen, speaking to an audience.
WFU Membership Coordinator, Allison Crook presents at the event.

The Community Room at the Oshkosh Food Co-op is painted a sunny yellow with warm lighting and large windows that look out on the street. On the cold and rainy evening of Monday, March 25, Farm Climate Smart WI, for the first time, gathered a group of farmers, community members, and other local organizations together in the cozy Community Room to talk about building a more connected and resilient food system in Northeast Wisconsin. 

The event kicked off with the perfect comfort meal for a rainy day: a chicken dinner with corn, mashed potatoes, three kinds of salads, milk, and iced tea. We’re so thankful to the Co-op for providing this food - it was delicious! 

Food, including three large bowls of salad, are displayed on a table. There is a Wisconsin Farmers Union sign in the background.
A chicken dinner was provided by the Oshkosh Food Co-op.

New WFU staff members Erin Lenninger (Conservation Coordinator) and Erin Thompson (Communications Specialist) introduced the new Farm Climate Smart WI project with a presentation about the collaborative partnership and climate-smart agriculture more broadly. The presentation shared information about the role of WFU in regional network development through events, farm visits, and connections with underserved communities. WFU Membership Coordinator Allison Crook discussed the mission of WFU and her role as a resource for farmers in Northeast Wisconsin. 

After the presentation, a rich discussion lasted well into the evening. We broached questions like, “How do you view the farmer-eater relationship? Where are there strengths or weaknesses?,” and “What does a vibrant, regional network of farmers, eaters, supporters, and advocates look like to you?”

In total, 22 climate-curious attendees braved the rain to learn more about their role in advancing climate-smart agriculture.

People sitting at tables that are arranged into rows.
We had great food and great conversation!

Many of us left feeling inspired and bolstered, knowing that there are others in our region concerned about the same sorts of issues as us. A big thank you to everyone who came! We’re excited to use this momentum to continue moving opportunities for family farmers forward in Northeast Wisconsin. Be on the lookout for more information about our next Farm Climate Smart WI event in June!

To learn more about Farm Climate Smart WI, please visit:

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