Marc Eisen is a Madison freelance writer and editor who is seriously worried that flea beetles will once again devastate his backyard horseradish crop.
What’s next for the Dane County Farmers’ Market?
By: Marc Eisen - July 6, 2022
The Dane County Farmers’ Market, widely praised as one of the best markets in the nation, marks its 50th anniversary this fall. It will be a time of well-earned celebration for the DCFM but tempered by the reality of change. Reeling from 15 months of COVID-19 safety disruptions, the market seemed almost normal when it […]
Organic Valley struggles, then surges in turbulent dairy market
By: Marc Eisen - April 20, 2020
Here’s more evidence of the hard times — but also of new hope — in farm country. Organic Valley, the nationally known organic farmers co-op headquartered in LaFarge, lost money for the third straight year in 2019, but observers say its economic performance has improved and more importantly organic milk sales are unexpectedly zooming […]
Which way to turn?
By: Marc Eisen - February 3, 2020
(Part two in a two-part series.) Mark Kastel, a passionate organic farming watchdog, lays out the crisis that is chipping away at the moral high ground occupied by organic food. Consumers pay a premium price for federally certified organic farm goods, he says, not just for the selfish reason of protecting their own health from […]
Organic food crisis threatens Wisconsin dairy farmers
By: Marc Eisen - January 31, 2020
(This is part one in a two-part series.) “The last two years have not been smooth sailing,” Ron Miller, general manager of the R&G Miller & Sons farm, says carefully when I ask how the family’s organic dairy farm is faring. The Columbus-area farmer, one of six Miller family members running a venerable homestead farm […]
Dairy farmers are in crisis. Lawmakers need to rally round.
By: Marc Eisen - July 18, 2019
Pete Hardin, an intrepid farm reporter, had been chronicling the dairy crisis for four years when in early February he came across more evidence of its devastating impact: An estimated 32% of Wisconsin dairy farmers hadn’t secured spring planting loans. That’s what was reported at the annual meeting of the Land O’ Lakes farm cooperative. […]