The Future of Food and Farming Systems

Food and farming systems are the same system.  How do we share a vision of a sustainable food system and what framing and language do we use to communicate in our planning discussions?  How do we honor the past while coping with the rapid acceleration of technology that provides so many new possibilities for our relationship with food?  How do we bridge the gaps in income and labor between food production and modern lifestyles?  This talk attempts to answer these and other questions about our future.

Agronomist, Ron Doetch, was raised on a small working dairy farm in Northern Illinois.  The farm at this time was without chemicals and integrated as a diverse system where everything got used in some way.  After receiving a degree in agronomy at the University of Illinois, Ron worked on special projects for John Deere including new ways to incorporate conservation into modern farming techniques.  It was then a natural fit to become specialty crops manager for Itochu, a global Japanese trading firm, to connect Japanese food processors to American farmers.   In 2003, Ron assumed the helm as Executive Director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute to oversee the agriculture education, research and outreach programs of the now 20 year old organization in East Troy, WI.  Today, Ron works as an independent consultant in food and farming systems