Tera Johnson Receives Chancellor’s Wisconsin Idea Award (University of Wisconsin Extension)

Madison, WI – Tera Johnson, founder of the Food Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship, was honored Sept. 21 with the 2017 Wisconsin Idea Award from UW Colleges and UW-Extension.

The annual Chancellor’s Awards recognize partners, supporters and employees for their outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Wisconsin.

Chancellor Cathy Sandeen praised Johnson for assisting young food companies and value-added farm enterprises to raise the money they need to grow by offering specialized financial consulting.

“Known around the state and country as a serial entrepreneur, Tera’s dedication has accelerated the creation and growth of more successful food and value-added farm enterprises that make money — and a difference,” Sandeen said. “Tera is now working to launch Edible-Alpha, a digital learning food business consultant community whose members include individuals from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Food and Beverage Association, entrepreneurs, lenders and investors. Her Edible-Alpha podcast series is approaching 8,000 downloads as its listener base continues to grow.”

The Wisconsin Idea Award honors an individual, organization, group, project or program outside UW Colleges or UW-Extension that has made significant contributions to society, the economy, the environment or the quality of life at the local, state, national or international level through involvement with UW Colleges or UW-Extension.

“The Wisconsin Idea really is what inspires me every day to make a positive impact throughout the state,” Johnson said.

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About UW Colleges and UW-Extension

UW Colleges is an institution of the UW System comprised of 13 freshman-sophomore campuses and UW Colleges Online that offer an associate degree in arts and science and a single Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree, and prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for baccalaureate and professional programs. UW-Extension serves Wisconsin families, businesses and communities statewide through offices in all 72 Wisconsin counties and three tribal nations, continuing education services through all 26 UW System campuses, the UW Flexible Option partnership with UW System campuses, the statewide broadcasting networks of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, and entrepreneurship and economic development activities by county throughout the state.

About UW-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship

The UW-Extension’s Division for Business & Entrepreneurship helps entrepreneurs, businesses and economic development professionals across Wisconsin to achieve their goals by offering technical assistance and leveraging data. The division’s consultants and tools empower individuals to reach the next level in their careers and businesses. It follows a collaborative model, working with local organizations/other institutions and working together across all program areas to best serve clients. Program units include the Wisconsin Small Business Development Network, the Center for Technology Commercialization, the Food Finance Institute, the Center for Business Intelligence and Business Dynamics Research Consortium.

About the Food Finance Institute

The Food Finance Institute leverages and supports a collaborative network of professionals focused on the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector. Through supporting this collaborative network with training, resources, tools and mentorship, FFI fulfills its mission of making sophisticated financial technical assistance available to every growing food, beverage and value-added agriculture enterprise. In a three-year period, more than 50 food and farm enterprises have improved their financial performance and raised the money they need to grow.

Food Finance Institute founder Tera Johnson hands over leadership to Sarah Larson

MADISON – Tera Johnson, who founded the Food Finance Institute (FFI) in 2014 to make sophisticated financial technical assistance available for every growing food, value-added agriculture and food systems enterprise, is leaving her position. Sarah Larson, FFI’s program manager, will take over as interim director starting Sept. 1.