The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems wishes to thank its outgoing interim co-directors: Jack Kloppenburg and Daniel Kleinman, both of the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, and Russell Groves of the Department of Entomology.
Kloppenburg, Kleinman and Groves assumed leadership of CIAS in September, 2009. For two years, they led CIAS through a transition period that included a shift to an administrative hub. They worked with the CIAS Citizens Advisory Council, UW-Madison faculty and the CIAS staff to sustain popular programs such as the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and the Eco-Fruit Project.
“I’d like to express my deep appreciation for Daniel Kleinman, Jack Kloppenburg, and Russ Groves for serving as co-directors of CIAS for well over two years,” said Deirdre Birmingham, chair of the CIAS Citizens Advisory Council. “I greatly appreciate their dedication and concern for the mission and future of CIAS. They added CIAS to their already full plates because of their strong sense of the importance CIAS has for diversified and sustainably managed farms in the state. “
CIAS was established in 1989 in response to farmers’ requests for university research and outreach on sustainable agriculture. Over the past 22 years, the center has been recognized both locally and nationally for its contributions in managed grazing, food systems and training for beginning farmers.
Citizen engagement is a cornerstone of how CIAS operates. In addition to collaborating with its council of citizen advisors, Kloppenburg, Kleinman and Groves worked to ensure that family farmers and small business owners have a voice in sustainable agriculture research and outreach at UW-Madison.
Michael Bell, professor of Community and Environmental Sociology, was named CIAS director by Bill Tracy, interim dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, this November. Bell looks forward to further engaging both campus and community stakeholders with CIAS.
“Jack, Daniel and Russ gave CIAS the bridge it needed—a sturdy one with three spans,” said Bell. “Despite these tough budgetary times, they were able to guide CIAS into a more stable and secure future. We should all be very thankful for the service they gave.”