Food scientists Barbara Ingham and Steve Ingham have for a program to provide food safety training to small-scale food processors. The proposal was among 14 selected from nearly 100 submitted in 2008 to the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. The project, titled Wider Economic Opportunities for Wisconsin Farm Families: Small-Scale Food Processing Training, is summarized as follows:
Wisconsin is a prime agricultural state and, increasingly, owners of small family farms are diversifying their income through manufacture of processed products such as jams, jellies, salsa and pickles. Many of these food products have found a ready market through outlets such as farm markets and on-farm sales, while community groups see small-scale food processing as a way to empower clients to develop new skills. In July, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection began enforcing regulations that require food safety training for all small-scale food processors. This initiative will provide a training program aimed at helping Wisconsin farmers and others produce safe, high-quality processed foods suitable for sale to the general public.
The Baldwin endowment, now in its seventh year, funds projects at UW-Madison that directly advance the Wisconsin Idea through collaborations with communities and outside organizations. Projects are judged by an eight-member campus committee on the strength of their ability to address the needs and priorities of external partners.