Although people everywhere are experiencing the effects of the pandemic differently, there is one part of our lives where everyone is affected: our food. From empty shelves at the grocery store to stories of dairy farmers forced to dump their milk, concerns over our food supply chain are on everyone’s minds. What is really causing these issues? What is the impact on farmers and suppliers? What, if anything, can we do about it while the pandemic continues?

Join fellow UW alumni and friends online for a livestream and Q & A with a panel of UW experts, who will discuss food supply issues from production to distribution. The talks will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Gregory DeCroix is the Grainger Professor in Supply Chain Management at the Wisconsin School of Business. His research focuses on managing supply with a specific focus on areas such as managing supply chain disruption risk, utilizing information in supply chain management, and the impact of decentralized decision-making on supply chain efficiency. His research has appeared in numerous publications, including Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, IIE Transactions, Naval Research Logistics, & European Journal of Operational Research.

DeCroix will discuss supply chain management amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Miller ’83, MS’93 is a researcher and the associate director of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW–Madison’s sustainable agriculture research center. She works with small-scale farmers, their organizations, and communities to redesign food systems that are fairer and more sustainable. Miller serves on the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food Transportation, participates in the USDA working group on Agriculture of the Middle, works with the Agroecology Research-Action Collective, and serves on the board of the Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability.

Miller will discuss small-scale supply chains, including issues affecting independent farmers, and how losses on the local level may accelerate problems in the larger food system.

Jeff Sindelar associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and Extension Meat Specialist. As the driving force behind the Wisconsin Master Meat Crafter Training Program, a first-of-its-kind meat processing certification program offered at UW–Madison, he’s a nationally renowned expert in meat science and food safety. Sindelar supports more than 300-state inspected processors and locker shops across Wisconsin, as well as larger federally inspected companies. In 2016, he was featured in the National Provisioner as one of the 25 future icons of the meat industry.

Sindelar will discuss the meat supply chain, including issues affecting meat processing plants.

Heather White is an associate professor of dairy science and the faculty director of the UW Dairy Innovation Hub. She works with researchers to provide high-impact, research-based solutions to the Wisconsin dairy industry. She’s received the American Dairy Science Foundation Scholar Award (2019) and the Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award (2017) for research and teaching contributions.

White will discuss issues facing the dairy industry, including milk dumping. She will also discuss recent industry innovations.

A recording of this livestream will be available on after the event.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association®.