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For the latest updates on UW–Madison plans and responses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit covid19.wisc.edu.

Please note visitors are not allowed in UW facilities and employees are working remotely.

Growing the future

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is an engine of scientific discovery, with researchers working across the spectrum of agricultural and life sciences. Academically, the college offers research-based, hands-on teaching of undergraduates; world-class graduate programs rich in research and project assistantships; and short courses, workshops and other programs. Our outreach activities bring the work of the college to Wisconsin businesses, organizations and communities throughout the state. Learn more about CALS.

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Disruption to food supply chains from COVID-19 is catastrophic to many independent businesses, from farmers to food distributors. We need a reasoned approach, based on data, to fairly distribute food and federal aid.

CALS Faces

Michelle Miller

Under normal circumstances in the United States, we spend more than $600 billion per year on food and consume more than half of it away from our homes. The COVID-19 crisis has upended this usual state of affairs. What does this mean for food supply chains? Michelle Miller, researcher and associate director at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, has been discussing disruptions to food systems, supply chains and food transportation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She says that the way the system is structured, large companies are positioned to knock out independent businesses that serve local farmers, rural towns and small cities, and accelerate reduced resilience in the system. For instance, she states that in Wisconsin, there are 414 independent grocery stores, creating 21,000 jobs. These stores will likely suffer a greater proportion of out-of-stocks as the pandemic continues.

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