Fellows Network

Michelle Miller

Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems - University of Wisconsin – Madison, Associate Director

Madison, Wisconsin

Through the sustainable agriculture research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, Michelle works with over 50 researchers, representatives from 13 state agricultural organizations, and 19 Center staff on projects that contribute to rural economic health, vibrant rural communities, and environmental enhancement on working lands. Michelle is organizing fruit growers, university specialists, and food entrepreneurs to scale up food production in the Chicago / Twin Cities region, home to nearly 20 million people.

Michelle bridges between farmers and a host of other interest groups, such as organic activists, environmental activists, academics, government officials, and scientists. Since 2000, Michelle has negotiated with leaders in Wisconsin apple production to develop a systematic approach to reducing pesticide use while at the same time expanding their ability to market these eco-apples. Her team developed a way to measure pesticide reduction goals and can document a 57% reduction in pesticide risk over the course of the project. Nearly 50 growers now participate in project work, and similar networks are in development for berry growers and wine grape growers.

Michelle is also helping the UW campus to walk the talk through a food service commitment to local, sustainably-grown food. She has a strong commitment to students, helping them find their way through the institutional maze, and finding ways for them to contribute their skills and passion to the sustainability movement. As a student she helped to organize the FH King Students of Sustainable Agriculture, and now advises this student group on attaining their goals.

Updated December 2011.