Every local food system is a unique blend of strengths and synergies, as well as areas for enrichment. Dane County is especially known for its agricultural production and local food markets and restaurants. It’s helpful to look at the full picture of the Dane County food system’s inner components in order to see what’s working and where there are opportunities for growth. For a detailed assessment of the Dane County food system, check out the 2023 report below.
2023 Dane County Pandemic Food System Study Report
In 2022, the Dane County Pandemic Food System Study was commissioned by Dane County and City of Madison to explore the food system gaps that the pandemic exposed and the interim solutions that were created in response to the crisis. This study was conducted by Sift Consulting LLC, in partnership with a liaison team of members from the Dane County Food Council, a team of community advisors, and data collaborators.
This work involved a rigorous primary data collection process that aimed to raise up the voices of the Dane County food system and included 20 interviews, 7 focus groups, and 1 targeted farmer survey. The findings of the primary data collection process are presented across three interrelated systems: 1) food production, 2) food infrastructure, and 3) food access.
The Dane County Pandemic Food System Final Report recommends 5 overarching priorities for the Dane County Food Council and other food organizations to embrace, along with 10 distinct actionable strategies for county-level action. These overarching priorities and county-level strategies aim to strengthen the resilience of our food system. Find the report materials and 3/22/23 presentation here.
How can I get involved with the Dane County food system?
There are many ways to engage in the Dane County food system, including connecting with local organizations, participating in the food councils or work groups (Dane County Food Council and Madison Food Policy Council), supporting local producers, and much more! Visit the Organizations & Resources page for more information and ideas.