Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Robert Pierce 

Other Leading Industries
Executive director

Neighborhood Food Solutions | Madison 

A longtime resident of South Madison, Robert Pierce has been growing and selling organic produce from his Half the 40-Acres Farm since the mid-1980s. Pierce has become a leading advocate for organic, sustainable and locally grown food, spearheading several farming initiatives in the Madison area. He has run the South Madison Farmers’ Market since 2001.

In 2008, Pierce launched the Program for Entrepreneurial Agricultural Training, which works with low-income and at-risk youth, and in 2015 he established the Farming After Incarceration Release Initiative, which gives formerly incarcerated individuals a chance to participate in urban agriculture. Both programs – managed by Pierce under the umbrella of a nonprofit group called Neighborhood Food Solutions – are focused on educating community members about the economic, social, health and environmental impacts of food.   

Education: Madison College  

Two business leaders you would like to have dinner with: “George Washington Carver. I would learn a lot of farming and soil information. Stevie Wonder. I feel like we would have a real spiritual connection.”  

Hobby/passion: “Fishing, listening to different genres of music, wood working, cooking.” 

Book recommendation: “‘Farming While Being Black’ by Leah Penniman. It would give everybody a good understanding of the hardships of the Black community doing what they have done for centuries.” 


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