Welcome to Columbia County Local Foods
Columbia County UW-Extension is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community food system that is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just for all Columbia County residents. This Local Food web portal has been developed by Columbia County UW-Extension to provide local food systems resources and timely information to all residents and businesses across the county. The goal of the website is to provide information and link to local food resources.
Columbia County farmers are stewards, they own and manage 63% or 307,973 acres of the county’s land. This includes local produce & fruits, cropland, rangeland, pasture, tree farms and farm forests. As stewards of the land, farmers use conservation practices, such as crop rotation, nutrient management and integrated pest management, to protect environmental resources and provide habitat for wildlife.
Local food sales contribute $1,184,000 to Columbia County’s economy. More and more Columbia County farmers sell directly to consumers from roadside stands, farmers’ markets, auctions and pick-your-own operations, with grass-fed beef is a growing enterprise. Buying local food when possible is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and support local businesses and farms.
- 157 local food farms generate $1,894,000 in sales.
- provides jobs for 4,029 Columbia County residents.
- accounts for $779 million in economic activity.
- contributes $241 million to the county’s total income.
- pays $12.9 million in taxes.
- 35% of adults are obese (WI 31%)
- 8% are diabetic (WI 9%)
- 7.1% have asthma (per 10k hospitalizations, WI 8.7%)
- 3.4% have coronary heart disease (hospitalizations per 1000 pop, WI 2.8%)
- 3.2% have cerebrovascular disease (hospitalizations per 1000 pop, WI 2.5%)
Studies show that healthy eating and daily physical activity have a profound impact on the body and mind by improving the ability to learn and comprehend, boosting energy, improving school/work attendance and changing attitudes, behavior and more.
Local Food Resources
- Columbia County Health Rankings http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/wisconsin/2018/rankings/columbia/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot
- REAP Food Group publishes the South Central Local Food Atlas, directory of local food producers. It also coordinates Madison’s F2S program. http://www.reapfoodgroup.org/farm-to-school
- UW-Extension Local Food interactive map of Wisconsin Food Processing Facilities: List of kitchen and co-packing facilities with contact information. http://fyi.uwex.edu/foodbin/the-food-bin-network/
- Columbia County Agriculture & Local Food Statistics https://anre.uwex.edu/files/2015/01/Columbia_2014.pdf
- Studies and Why Local Food Matters. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Why%20Local%20Food%20MattersThe%20Rising%20Importance%20of%20Locally%20Grown%20Food%20in%20the%20U.S.%20Food%20System.pdf
Other UWEX county local food websites:
- Dane county @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/danefoodsystem/
- Douglas Co @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/douglascountylocalfood/
- local food communication and marketing @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/localfoodmarketing/
- WI Local Food Locator @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/wilocalfoodlocator/contact-us/
- Community Food systems
- UW-Madison Center for integrated agricultural systems @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/danefoodsystem/
- Community food systems team @ https://fyi.uwex.edu/cfsi/
- Center for Community & Economic Development’s County Food Systems Data https://cced.ces.uwex.edu/2012/11/16/access-county-data-on-new-food-systems-portal/
Other state and national resources:
- Food systems profile portal
- WI Local Food Network @ https://wilocalfood.com/
- Healthy food access portal @ http://www.healthyfoodaccess.org/
- 2018 WI County Health Rankings and roadmaps @ http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/explore-health-rankings/reports/state-reports/2018/wisconsin
- Know your farmer, know your food compass, one-stop shop for financial and technical assistance resources from USDA to grow your local food enterprise https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/KYFCompass.pdf