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Panel to offer ag industry views on food, farming and Michael Pollan

Viewpoints from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Organic Valley Co-op, the state’s cranberry growers and the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board regarding food, farming and the work of author Michael Pollan will be presented in a panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The discussion, to be held at 4 p.m. in Room 2103 at Chamberlin Hall, 1150 University Ave. on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, is titled “Wisconsin Farmers: What to Eat.”

It is the first in a series titled “What to Eat: A Seven-Discourse Meal,” presented by the UW-Madison agroecology program.

Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food,” was chosen as this year’s selection of the Go Big Read common-reading program. Pollan’s writings have attracted passionate defenders and critics, and the reading program encourages discussions of viewpoints on all sides of the issue.

The discussion will be presented by a panel including:

– Bill Bruins, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and dairy farmer near Waupun;

– Richard Cates, member of the state Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and pasture-based beef farmer near Spring Green; and

– Louise Hemstead, chief operating officer of Organic Valley Co-op and an organic dairy farmer near La Farge.

– Tom Lochner, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association

John Shutske, associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and leader of the Agricultural and Natural Resources program with UW-Extension Cooperative Extension, will introduce the panel.

Details about the “What to Eat” lectures series, which is associated with UW-Madison’s Go Big Read project, are available online at http://gobigread.cias.wisc.edu/

More details about the common book project itself can be found at http://www.gobigread.wisc.edu.

For more information on this or other lectures in the series, contact Michael Bell, professor of community and environmental sociology, at 608-265-9930 or michaelbell@wisc.edu.

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