We are pleased to announce that in this the fifth year of our Seed Money initiative we have awarded funds to ten innovative initiatives that extend our goals to help build healthy, vibrant rural communities in SW Wisconsin with a focus on local foods, sustainable agriculture and food security. We are both excited and proud to share that we have also been able to extend this program into Southeastern Wisconsin due to a generous grant from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. We conducted Listening/Networking Sessions in and surrounding Milwaukee in Fall 2022 and invited applications for Seed Money immediately following the sessions. We were able to fund an additional twelve projects that seek to reduce the rift between rural and urban communities and instead help build vibrant rural/urban connections with a focus on local foods, sustainable farming and food security.
The board reviewed all the applications in early February. In addition to evaluating whether a project furthered the Network mission and the priorities raised in the Listening/Networking Sessions, they considered these criteria: Does the project: 1) address a significant community issue; 2) outline an innovative solution to confronting the issue; 3) build a network of individuals/groups to collaborate on the issue and 4) demonstrate energy and commitment to achieve the stated goals?
To see short descriptions of our Seed Money projects, please click here.
We are grateful to Bader Philanthropies, Inc for the grant that funded our work in SE Wisconsin and to the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Compeer Financial, Wisconsin Farmers Union and individual contributors in SW Wisconsin for making this initiative possible.
Thank you to all who visited our markets during the 2022-23 season! Our mission of bringing together rural and urban communities through local healthy food, both at our markets and while enjoying meal fellowship was certainly evident at every event this year. Our markets remain a favorite yearly event! Committed congregations, enthusiastic shoppers and vendors who continue to offer wholesome, sustainable products truly make the season a success. Thank you for another great year!
We are pleased to announce that Linda Sheridan will serve as the new Chair of the Food Faith & Farming Network Board starting April 1, 2023. Linda has been on the Board since 2020, after five years as our Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market Coordinator. Linda learned about the Network when she coordinated the first Winter Farmers Market at St. Albert the Great Catholic Parish in Sun Prairie, WI where she served as the Director of Stewardship, Development and Special Events.
When Linda moved back to her hometown of Milwaukee, we were delighted to have her join us as our Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market Coordinator. Linda comes with a wealth of experience in the corporate and non-profit worlds. She and her husband, Jim, are the parents of their talented adult daughter Lindsay. Linda holds an Associate’s Degree in Marketing Management from Milwaukee Area Technical College.
We are proud to share that Linda has built a large network of followers in the Milwaukee area, and took the lead role in collaboration with Roger Williams, Dave Williams and Trudi Jenny, in planning our 2022 Southeastern WI Listening/Networking sessions this past Fall. We marvel at Linda’s energy, passion and commitment to our mission. We look forward to continued growth and innovative new initiatives as Linda takes the helm.
Please join us in congratulating Linda (email@example.com).
I’m very happy to be working with a small, dedicated group of volunteers making a huge impact on the communities we serve through our Seed Money Grant programs in Southeastern and Southwestern Wisconsin, and our Winter Markets and Meals program in the greater Milwaukee area. It is exciting to envision the ways we can continue to connect with people over the issues of the rural/urban divide, educate consumers about the value of locally sourced food, introduce consumers to producers, and help all strive for a healthier planet through conservation practices that honor the sacredness of the land.
I’ve learned throughout my varied career experiences that you can’t do it alone, and that joy comes from working together. If you would like to share your time and talent by joining us in our project work or supporting us financially so that we can continue to extend our outreach and further fulfill our mission, we would be so grateful. I look forward to what we can accomplish together.
Our Gardening Project continues as we seek out congregations that are interested in starting or upgrading a garden on their property. Master Gardener, Jeff Wild, retired pastor at Madison Christian Community on Madison’s West Side, is volunteering his time to foster the development of congregational gardens with Wisconsin faith communities. The goal of this project is to encourage faith communities to grow healthy produce for congregational members and for the wider community through local food pantries.
We are currently working to map gardens grown by faith communities in Wisconsin. If you have a garden in your community, would like to share the story of your congregation's gardening project, or consult with Jeff, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Food, Faith and Farming Network is offering grants of $100 for a limited time to faith communities starting or upgrading gardens.