Project Milwaukee: What's On Our Plate?

The Impact of Wisconsin's Food Economy

Wisconsin is one of the nation's biggest producers of cheese, milk, butter, sweet corn, oats and carrots. The state is known globally for its cranberries and ginseng. Agriculture and related industries provide more than 300,000 jobs, or about 10% of the state's total employment, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

While some sectors of the economy have been shrinking, there appears to be opportunity for growth in Wisconsin's food-related industries. Numerous jobs in Wisconsin are connected to foods grown, produced and packaged in the state, and shipped around the world.

During November of 2010, the Project Milwaukee: What's On Our Plate? series focused on the foods made in Wisconsin, and the impact of the state's food-related economy.

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Project Milwaukee
8:50 am
Tue November 16, 2010

The State of Our Food Economy

Our Project Milwaukee series What’s on Our Plate? continues with an overview of Wisconsin’s place at the food producing table. Kyle Cherek is known to many of us here in Milwaukee as the host of the syndicated television show Wisconsin Foodie, currently in its third season. It profiles where our food comes from, the region’s artisanal resources and culinary high points. Cherek is also a frequent contributor and speaker on culinary topics and the farm to table trend.

Project Milwaukee
8:48 am
Tue November 16, 2010

Expanding Fruit & Vegetable Production

While Wisconsin may be number one, or close to it, in growing and producing many foods, a new agricultural report from Iowa State University finds there’s even more we could be doing in terms of fruits and vegetables. But some believe the issue is more challenging than just changing what farmers grow. Michelle Miller is associate director for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at UW-Madison. She spoke with Stephanie Lecci as part of our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series.

Project Milwaukee
8:46 am
Mon November 15, 2010

The Booming Organic Valley

We travel to Organic Valley to learn how supporting family farms and committing to organic practices made this Wisconsin company very successful – and a national role model. WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence takes us there for our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series, and we hear from reporter Joanne Weintraub, who wrote about Organic Valley in the current issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Project Milwaukee
8:43 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Wisconsin's Economy has Deep Roots in Agriculture

A turn-of-the-century book about Milwaukee boasted of the economy's connection to farms.

WUWM begins a week-long look at the state's food economy in our series, Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? The foods that are grown here have always been intertwined with the state's history. Some analysts believe food is also key to the region's future. In our first installment, Ann-Elise Henzl reports on how Wisconsin became so closely associated with food.

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Project Milwaukee
8:40 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Wisconsin's Food History

Wisconsin food history marks the first segment of our Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate? series. John Gurda is a Milwaukee historian, the author of nineteen books, including The Making of Milwaukee and Cream City Chronicles, and he’s our regular Lake Effect history contributor.

Project Milwaukee
8:38 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Milwaukee's Brewing Tradition

Our series on Wisconsin’s food economy wouldn’t be complete without a look at Milwaukee’s brewing tradition. Brewery historian Leonard Jurgensen owns the largest private collection of Schlitz memorabilia in the nation. Kevin Cullen is an archaeologist and educator at Discovery World in Milwaukee. He helps run the museum's "Distant Mirror" archaeology program and blog and teaches the "Ale Through the Ages: The Anthropology and Archaeology of Brewing" courses. Cullen and Jurgensen lead the museum's "Legacies of Milwaukee Brewing" tours around the city. They spoke with Stephanie Lecci.

Project Milwaukee
8:35 am
Mon November 15, 2010

An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State

Our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series takes a look at what foods we make in Wisconsin and how it impacts our economy. First, we look at our food history.

Terese Allen is the author of the new edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Tomorrow on our Project Milwaukee series, What’s On Our Plate?, we move into the present and take stock of what’s being produced in Wisconsin today.

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