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Local Food Issues- Ripon College

Page history last edited by Elizabeth McHone 11 years, 8 months ago

Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 


 Sub-categories in this issue


  • Energy Use
  • Poverty 
  • Sustainability
  • Human Rights
  • Healthcare
  • Distribution of Resources
  • Community Gardens and Farms
  • Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, and Anti-Hunger Programs
  • Food Policy
  • Nutrition
  • Food Production
  • Community Development
  • Small Business and Non-profits 


Types of Service   short-term  |  ongoing school year  |  summer

  • Short-term
    • Project connects students with local producers to provide opportunities for working or volunteering on farms in the area .
  • Ongoing School year
    • Students will build and maintain a community garden, using it as an educational opportunity for the college as well as an opportunity to interact with community members, especially local school children and the Ripon Food Pantry.
    • Students will participate in events that prompt discussion of food ethics and initiate efforts at working with local producers, campus food services, and the local food pantry.
    • Cutting down on food waste with trayless meals.



Academic Work   courses  |  service-learning  |  CBR and policy research   |  departments and institutes

  • Courses and Possible Service-Learning Partners

    • Anthropology 318: Ecological Anthropology (Professor Whitehead) Professor Whitehead is interested in the interactions between humans and their environment. The course is an overview of anthropological approaches to human and cultural ecology, as well as the varied means by which human groups adapt to and modify their environments, covering foraging groups, horticultural and agricultural peoples, and pastoralists.

    • Sociology 302: Sociology of Health and Medicine (Professor Clark) Focuses on the institution of medicine in contemporary industrial society, including societal and individual views of disease, health policy, and ethical issues in health care. Students could approach food ethical issues from an analytical, health-based perspective. 
    • Biology 247: General Ecology (Professor Wallace) Interactions of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals with their environment. Course discusses human impacts on the environment and uses/abuses of natural resources.

    • Biology 226 & 227: Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Biology of Plants (Professor Wittler) The anatomy of flowering plants as it relates to the physiological phenomena of nutrition, water relations, photosynthesis, development and physiological ecology. A comprehensive study of the kingdom Plantae.

    • Biology 337: Terrestrial Ecology (Professor Wittler) Study of the ecology of the terrestrial ecosystems of central Wisconsin. Emphasis will be placed on the natural history of plant communities of the natural areas near Ripon. Field trips to prairies, savannas, woodlands and forests will demonstrate firsthand the range of communi­ties in this part of Wisconsin. Professor Wittler is deeply involved in the maintenance of the nearby Ceresco Prairie Conservancy and campus grounds, frequently takes students to observe the natural and not so natural habitats nearby, and has expressed interest in giving his advice on the community garden to be constructed.

    • Business Administration 310: Nonprofit Organization Management (Professor Avery) Professor Avery has many local business contacts and already connects students with community members. The course is a study of the world of philanthropy including history and current practices, an introduction to the world of nonprofit organizations, and the application of business and entrepreneurial models to community problems and the needs of nonprofit organizations.

    • Business Administration 325: Business and Society (Professor Avery) A review of business and its relationship to society as a whole. Corporate social responsibil­ity including corporate philanthropy, employee relations, environmental responsibility and business ethics will be the primary focus of the course. Students develop projects that help build ethical leadership skills.

    • Chemistry 100: Global Chemistry (Professor Byron) A course which explores the chemistry behind global environmental issues on a need-to-know basis. Air pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, water pollution, energy and nuclear energy issues are addressed from chemical and political points of view.

    • Chemistry 352: Environmental Chemistry (Professor Katahira) Professor Katahira is active in campus and community organizations focused on sustainability, environmental responsibility, and human rights. The course is built upon chemical principles introduced in previous courses and integrates these principles within the context relevant to environmental concerns. Topics include water pollution and treatment, atmospheric chemistry and pollution, geochemistry, soil chemistry, industrial impact on the environment, hazardous waste and toxicological chemistry.

    • Communication 336: The Rhetoric of Social Movements (Professor Roy) The role of rhetoric in the development, maintenance, and decline of social movements. Impact of social movements on American ideology.

    • Economics 332: Resource and Environmental Economics (Professor Hauge) Topics include public goods and common-property resources; private cost, social cost, externalities, and market failure; designing and implementing envi­ronmental policies; benefit-cost analysis; the global environment.

    • Economics 361, 461: Development Economics (Professor Hauge) Major analytical and policy issues facing the “less developed” nations--3/4 of the world’s people. Global issues include defining development, its global patterns and historical process, theories of growth and underdevelopment, role of the state in industry, and finance and trade. Applications to selected topics, such as poverty and inequality, agriculture and the environment, women and health and education and employment that are imbedded in local food issues.

    • Economics 451: International Economics (Professor Hauge) International trade in goods and services, and its effects on national welfare and economic structure. Fundamental theories applied to policies regarding international trade , finance, economic integreation,  and related labor and environmental issues.

    • Environmental Studies 120: Environmental Studies (Professor Wittler) Correlation of ecological, ethical, political, legal, economic, social and historical aspects of the study of our environment.

    • Environmental Studies 243: Philosophy and the Environment (Professor Jeffries) Professor Jeffries is interested in local food issues and has spoken at several events, such as the Feast or Famine? dinner recently hosted by Amnesty Int'l. The course is an exploration of the relationship of human beings to the natural world. An examination of such contested issues as what responsibilities, if any, do we have to the rest of nature and how we can weigh wisely competing claims about natural resources.

    • Environmental Studies 332: Resource and Environmental Economics (Professor Hauge) Theoretical framework for the analysis of environmental pollution and renewable and nonre­newable resource management. Topics include public goods and common-property resources; private cost, social cost, externalities and market failure; designing and implementing envi­ronmental policies; benefit-cost analysis; the global environment.

    • First Year Studies 175: Economics (Professor Hauge) The course examines relationships with our planet, focusing on their economic aspects, looking at the sources and environmental impacts of economic choices, evaluating and explaining problems of natural resource depletion and pollution -- especially global warming -- and looking for their solutions. "While thinking globally, we will act locally to address environmental choices in the campus and surrounding communities."

    • First Year Studies 175: Environmental Studies (Professor Beres) An overview of ecological, political, social, economic and ethical facets of environmental studies with an emphasis on issues related to climate change.

    • Politics and Government 112: Global Political Economy (Professor Farrell) Defines political economy and examines its manifestations in today’s increasingly interdepen­dent world. Specific issues include resources, environmental protection, and human rights. History 340: Ripon Local History (Professor Blake) Students choose areas of study in the history of Ripon that interest them, which may include the history of the Ceresco community, economic and social life in the Midwest, and Ripon's role in national political issues.

    • Philosophy 202: Business Ethics (Professor Jeffries) How does business serve individual freedom? Do pressures of economic com­petition affect one’s freedom and responsibilities? The course will identify prominent alterna­tive ethical criteria and consideration of their role in moral reasoning, with application of this reasoning to case studies.
    • Philosophy 353: Human Rights (Professor Jeffries) An examination of the concept of human rights in historical perspective in both Western and Eastern thought. Also, an exploration of some contemporary issues in human rights, includ­ing the rights of minority peoples and the relationship between human rights and the natural environment. 

  • Departments and Institutes

    • The Ethical Leadership Program (ELP)

    • Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)

    • Local chapter of Amnesty International

    • Chefs Anonymous Club

    • Environmental Group of Ripon (EGOR)


Education & Training   forums  |  workshops  |  reflection activities

  • R.I.P.E.N. will cooperate with Bonner students and other campus groups and initiatives like the ELP, SIFE, EGOR, Amnesty Int'l, and Chefs Anonymous to educate the RC community about food issues, produce educational videos on issues and recipes, and organize events that will involve community interaction.



Campus and Organizational Capacity-Building   training  |  fundraising  |  resource development

  • Local Producers are asking for advertising on campus of their services and work or volunteer openings.
  • The Ripon Food Pantry is stretched thin and needs volunteers and donations that may come in the form of students and community garden produce.
  • Education in local schools about nutrition and local food could be improved by Ripon College students hosting educational events and working with younger students in the community garden.
  • An annual conference co-hosted by SIFE and the ELP looked at the environmental ethics of businesses and non-profits.
  • Campus groups like EGOR and Amnesty International are willing to co-host events promoting local food on campus.



Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy   evaluations  |  policy research  | issue forums  |  advocacy

The Office of Community Engagement's local food intern Elizabeth McHone has spent time researching producers near Ripon, WI and organizing lists of community members with connections to local food issues, as well as some of the assets in Ripon. Scary statistics on the economic, health, and environmental impacts of not eating locally have been gathered. Elizabeth has been working on establishing a network of students, faculty, staff, and community members interested in local food in Ripon in the hopes that student opinion will guide school food policies in the future. Further attempts to attain information on food issues, educate the community on those issues, and create a local food movement beneficial to the Ripon community are embodied in R.I.P.E.N.


  • Ripon's Office of Community has started R.I.P.E.N. (the Ripon Initiative for local Produce Education and Nutrition), a project aimed at using social media (such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook) to educate the Ripon College community about the economic, health, and environmental benefits of local food and other food ethical issues, as well as opportunities to get involved with farms and food-related initiatives in the community. R.I.P.E.N.'s goals include the following:
    • Communicating with local producers through phone, internet, and meetings and constructing an easy to use directory available to community members
    • Establishing connections between those producers and the campus community
    • Informing students of opportunities to work or volunteer on local farms and join CSA's or coops
    • Creating videos that educate the community on local food issues and how to prepare fresh, local food
    • Working with campus food services to introduce locally grown/raised food to the school cafeteria
    • Collaborating with campus groups to organize events that provide an outlet for discussion of food issues and activities related to food issues in the community
    • Working with the campus plant department to construct a community garden in which students and community members will interact
    • Establishing a network of students connected through social media that organizes events and informs the campus of student opinions


The first of R.I.P.E.N.'s videos is completed and available for viewing on YouTube and Facebook. http://www.youtube.com/user/RiponLocalFood


Contacts   staff  |  faculty  |  students  |  community partners (local, regional, national)

  •   Staff
    • Lindsay Blumer: Director of the college's Ethical Leadership Program
    • Andy Prellwitz: Librarian at the college, family owns Prellwitz Produce, a local strawberry farm
    • Jolene Rueden: Admissions Counselor, has experience working in PR for farms
    • Dana Polasky: Biology Department Laboratory Coordinator and owner of local CSA (Polasky's Farm Market)
    • Sarjit Singh: Director of the college's food services (Sodexho)
  • Faculty
    • Skip Wittler: Professor of Biology, specializing in Botany and Environmental Studies
    • Kat Griffith: Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies, interested in sustainability
    • William Whitehead: Professor of Anthropology, specializing in environmental issues
    • Diane Beres: Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, interested in local food issues
    • Dean Katahira: Professor of Chemistry, interested in human rights and environmental issues, regularly attends local food-related events
    • Paul Jeffries: Professor of Philosophy, interested in human rights and environmental issues
  • Administration
    • David Joyce: College President, interested in local food issues and their impact on the community
  • Local Producers
    • Tracy and Richard Vinz: owners of Olden Produce, a CSA in Ripon
    • Lindsey and Aaron Blumer: owners of small organic farm in Ripon
    • Dana Polasky: owner of Polasky's Farm Market, a CSA in Ripon
    • Chuck Prellwitz: owner of Prellwitz Produce, a local pick-your-own strawberry farm
    • Ryan Prellwitz: relative to Chuck and Andy, president of the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association
    • Danielle and Mat Boerson: owners of Boerson Farm, a local CSA
    • Jim and Ginger Quick: owners of Honey Creek Farm, specializing in free range chicken and beef
    • Prospera Farm, a CSA in Berlin, WI
    • Tom and Heather Bandt: owners of Green Barn Farm Market, specializing in black angus beef
    • Marcel and Marian Mildebrant: owners of 4M Bison Farm, has locally raised bison meat
    • Laird and Linda DeCramer: owners of local CSA, sell vegetables and organic eggs
    • Greg and Barb Becker: owners of local apple orchard
    • Stephanie Buhrow and John Hoppa: owners of Thundering Hoof Ranch LLC, specializing in grass-fed and pasture-raised meat
    • Joel Goodlaxson: owner of Hickory Ridge Farm, CSA in Waupan, WI specializing in organic beef
    • Nicole and Joe Schauer: owners of Good Earth Farm, CSA in Oakfield, WI that also provides to local restaurants
    • Russ and Tracy Ratkowski: owners of Five Oaks Farm, CSA in Oakfield, WI transitioning to certified organic
    • Thomas and Susan Wrchota: owners of Cattleana Ranch, CSA in Omro, WI
    • Tim Rasmussen: college student and owner of Tim's Producein Fond du Lac, WI specializing in sweet corn
    • Edward and Barbara Mischler: owners of Mischler Berry Farm, CSA in Waupun, WI specializing in strawberries and asparagus
    • Dan Culvey: owner of Park Ridge Organics LLC, CSA in Fond du Lac, WI certified organic


              click here for the contact information of producers near Ripon: List of Producers local to Ripon, WI 


  • Community Members
    • Ruth Jeffries: active in Amnesty International and interested in local food issues, wife of Professor Jeffries
    • Lynne Joyce: has local cooking show and interested in local food issues, wife of President Joyce
    • Craig Tebon: Executive Director of Ripon Main Street, Inc.
    • Amy Pollesch: Director of the Ripon Thrift Store and Food Pantry
    • Laird and Linda DeCramer: active in Ripon Food Mill Coop, Linda is a librarian at Ripon Public Library
  • Students
    • Andy Bean: (Ripon '10) president of EGOR, on college's Sustainability and Food committees, active in Amnesty International
    • Lisa Hilleren: (Ripon '12) president of Ripon College Greens, on Sustainability committee, active in Amnesty Int'l
    • Annie Oliver: (Ripon '10) former president of Chef's Anonymous
    • Jesse De Angelis: (Ripon '11) former president and current Urgent Action Coordinator for Amnestry Int'l, active in EGOR
    • Hannah Emanuel: (Ripon '09) president of Amnesty Int'l
    • Elizabeth McHone: (Ripon '11) Regional Action Coordinator for Amnesty Int'l, active in EGOR, intern in college's Office of Community Engagement working on local food issues



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