Friday, May 25, 2012

Young Chinese scholars to visit Iowa County Economic Development

In an earlier post I wrote about elite young Chinese scholars visiting our Iowa County Area Economic Development work and the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen this summer. I am very excited to meet these new Chinese friends and welcome them to our work in creating safe, effective regional food systems.

The Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars (ENCSS) began in 2006 and now connects friends in over 20 top American Universities with members in more than 60 disciplines, connecting 23 states in the U.S. with 27 Provinces in China.

The future President of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, first visited our area in 1985 on a visit to study agriculture in the Upper Midwest. He stayed in beautiful Muscatine, Iowa, just south of us on the Mississippi River. Our region was very honored to welcome Mr. Xi back earlier this year, in February, 2012.

Being able to celebrate Mr. Xi's understanding of our region, with the enthusiasm of these young Chinese scholars - likely visiting our area for the first time - seems like a great opportunity to build collaborative projects in the future. I am hoping we can inspire and enable sustainable agricultural enterprises in both countries through the economic development work we have pioneered in Iowa County at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

The full schedule for this summer's visit will be completed and posted in the near future, but here is the growing list of friends - and those I want to get to know - who will host our visitors to make this a success. They include:

Northwestern University and the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development, Jack Palmer
The Field Museum, Kristin Willcutt
The Chicago Metropolitan Water District, John Robinson
Blackhawk College, Mary Shuda
Augustana College, Dane Rowley and Norm Moline
University of Iowa and the U of Iowa Mississippi River Station at Muscatine, Douglas Schnoebelen
Muscatine High School, Douglas Schnoebelen and Carol Kula
City of Muscatine, Mayor DeWayne Hopkins and Sarah Lande
Corps of Engineers, Angela Freyermuth
River Action, Kathy Wine
Quad Cities Chinese Association, Mary Shuda
Western Illinois University and the W. Illinois University Institute for Environmental Studies, Roger Viadero
Iowa Department of Natural Resources and its water program, Dave Bierman and Tammie Krausman
US Geological Survey and the Mississippi River lab, Yao Yin
Mississippi River National Museum and Aquarium, Ginger Sakas and Missie Wersinger
Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, Rick Terrien
University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the Confucius Institute at the UW-Platteville, Marian Maciej-Hiner
University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Park, Mark Bugher
Aqua Most Technology, Todd Asmuth
Devils Lake State Park and Sauk Prairie School District, Mike Mossman
Ho Chunk Nation, Fremina Funmaker and Mark Thiel
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Norm Monson
Crave Farm, Norm Monson and Karl Gutknecht
Ripon College, Jack Christ
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Jeff Smoller
Horicon Marsh International Education Center, Elizabeth Herzmann
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Air Management Program, Bart Sponseller
International Crane Foundation, Cullie Shelton
Edgewood College, Ed Taylor and Melissa Hamer
Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Deborah Mahaffey
Youth Shakespeare Theater, Wendy Vardaman
Tesomas Boy Scout Camp, Scott Domino
Trees for Tomorrow, Jack Palmer
Fishing for the Future, Jack Palmer
Lawrence University, Marty Finkler
Milwaukee School of Engineering, Caleb Black

What a fun summer this will be for these young Chinese scholars. What an honor for those of us who have the opportunity to visit with them.

We look forward to welcoming our Chinese friends!

Rivers As Bridges. Intro brochure. 2 pages. 1.3 MB

Rivers As Bridges. Full brochure. 8 pages. 5.9 MB.

What a day!’ Savvy, friendly, powerful ... Xi Jinping made quite an impression on his ‘old friends’ in Muscatine. The Muscatine Journal. February 15, 2012.

Mr. Xi Jinping. Wikipedia.

Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars (ENCSS).

Download the ENCSS brochure. PDF

Iowa County (WI) Economic Development. Come Grow With Us.

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

My family ties to great friends in China.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Great M7 FaB network gathering in Milwaukee

Wisconsin has an amazing tradition of making safe, wholesome foods and beverages. I love this history and momentum.

Our Milwaukee regional economic development group is M7 - for the 7 great counties that comprise their region. M7 has a vibrant food and beverage (FaB) network. We gathered last Tuesday for the M7 FaB / Grant Thornton Executive Food Forum.

I am honored to be involved as an M7 FaB Advisory Council member.

It was fun to catch up with old friends and make many new friends.

The Milwaukee region is an amazing, globally relevant, food processing resource. Celebrate. Join us.

M7 FaB. Milwaukee 7 Food and Beverage site.

Grant Thornton Milwaukee. Thank you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Creating a life of opportunity. The age of the DIY Innovator is here.

This blog is about humankind entering the Renaissance age of entrepreneurship and how we create sustainable enterprises to meet and maximize this opportunity. This future is arriving faster and brighter every day.

Here is a Ted Talk is by Peter Diamandis, founder of the X PRIZE that celebrates this fact. Mr. Diamandis offers a realistic and positive perspective that builds on the vision of Dr. Buckminster Fuller, among many others, about where we are and where we are going. We are creating ever increasing abundance for ever more people at ever more more accessible costs. We are welcoming ever increasing numbers of people to participate in this global advance. We are creating economies that can support all of us. We are creating sustainable work globally. We are slaying dragons along the way. Sounds like a plan to me.

You can't watch Mr. Diamandis' and not get a sense of just how widespread this amazing global entrepreneurship opportunity is right now. The day and age of the DIY (Do It Yourself) Innovator is here - right now.

Mr. Diamandis' wrote about his Ted Talk for CNN:

The future is brighter than you think.

By Peter Diamandis, Special to CNN:

"...four emerging forces give us the potential to significantly raise global standards of living over the next two to three decades,

• exponentially growing technology,

• the DIY (Do It Yourself) Innovator,

• the new breed technophilanthropist and

• the rising billion, the poorest of the poor who are finally plugging into the global economy."

"Abundance for all is actually within our grasp."

Amen. Thank you Peter Diamandis. Forward. Everyone.

CNN original story.

X PRIZE Foundation. Revolution through Competition.

Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Wisconsin - Food for the World

My friend Nick George is President of the Midwest Food Processors Association. Nick is featured in an article entitled 'Food for the World' in the May issue of Corporate Report Wisconsin.

Some great quotes from this article:

"But mankind does not live by cheese alone. While the dairy industry accounted for state exports of $231 million in 2011 (up from $213 million the year before), it is only the fourth largest food category export for Wisconsin. Cereal grains lead the way doing $380 million in business and beverages came in second with $318 million — not counting ethanol. Miscellaneous foods such as soups, sauces and the like are third with a $249 million export value in 2011, dairy is fourth and fifth is baking-related items (mixes and dough), reporting a value of $226 million."

"Food shipments out of Wisconsin have increased by 71.7 percent since 1997, according to the Midwest Food Processors Association. In 2010, that meant the state saw $35 billion in receipts."

"'It’s amazing what comes out of this state,' says Nick George, president of the processors association. 'I think the food industry everywhere just doesn’t get the credit it deserves.'"

"Wisconsin, he adds, is second in the nation behind California for total value of processed vegetable crops."

"George says Wisconsin food producers have a strong work ethic working in their favor. Regardless of the constant changes in the industry, the world knows the resourcefulness and resilience of the American Midwesterner."

'The challenges are amazing, but the industry adapts and keeps moving forward,' says George."

Thanks Nick and Corporate Report Wisconsin and to DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel for a great look at Wisconsin agriculture and regional business opportunities.

What jumps out at me is that specialty foods, such as soups and sauces, are ahead of dairy in total exports from Wisconsin. Amazing. Food processing facilities like the wonderful Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen can grow this story in many good directions. As we say in Wisconsin... Forward!

Food For the World. Corporate Report Wisconsin. May 2012. By Jen Bradley. Photo and quotes - credit Corporate Report Wisconsin. Thank you CRW.

Midwest Food Processors Association

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

New Friend - UW Extension Chancellor Ray Cross

Senator Dale Schultz visited Iowa County today and some of us gathered for lunch at the Buzz Inn Cafe in Barneveld to talk about opportunities in our region.

I made a great new connection during this lunch with the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and UW Extension Dr. Ray Cross.

It was flat-out energizing to talk about regional food systems with Chancellor Cross. He has previously managed many of the issues we're dealing with in Iowa County and Wisconsin right now. Chancellor Cross understands the job creating opportunities in regional food systems are big and yet to be tapped wisely.

Dr. Ray has practical, hands-on experience with something Wisconsin needs. What fun to share stories today.

Great to meet you Chancellor Cross!

Dr. Ray Cross bio

Wisconsin Senator Dale Schultz. Thanks for a great visit Dale and friends!

The Buzz Inn Cafe, in beautiful Barneveld, WI

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sector67 and House of Brews - Thanks everyone for a good visit as part of Entrepreneur Weekend, Madison 2012

What great fun at Sector67 in Madison last night!

I had a chance to make a presentation about food entrepreneurship with my new friend Page Buchanan, founder of of Madison's House of Brews.

Young friends and those helping young people - check out this cool offer from Sector67:

Sector67: Application. Free 2012 summer internships/memberships - 18 or younger.

"Sector67 is happy to offer 2012 summer makerships to area youth (opportunity available to anyone 18 or younger)! A makership is a 4 month opportunity to use Sector67 with a free membership and $100 for project materials as well as a mentor to help you complete your project. We’ll be taking applications through June 18th, but early submission is encouraged so we’re able to find sponsors and mentors for projects"

Thank you Sector67 for creating opportunities for young and old. Forward!

Sector67 in Madison.Thanks for the invitation, Chris and friends!

House of Brews. "Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire". David Rains Wallace.

Madison Startup Weekend 2012

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen