As northern Michigan farmers work to build a sustainable, local-food economy, they need funding and other support to get started, expand current operation, build year-round growing capacity or establish new business models. USDA Rural Development, MSU Extension, Taste the Local Difference and the Food and Farming Network have teamed up with local sponsors and organizations to make it easier for farmers, growers and producers to find the help they need. The Funding Local Farms & Foods workshops will point local growers toward government agencies, non-profits and private lenders who can offer funding and other resources.
The National Farm to School Network is hosting the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. Individuals and organizations that are working to improve our food system, strengthen community health, empower youth, build racial equity and increase opportunities for farmers and producers are encouraged to attend.
Scholarship applications are being accepted now through Monday, February 12 at 8pm ET. All interested attendees are invited to apply for scholarships to reduce the cost of participating in the conference. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of farm to cafeteria constituents, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college/hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22).
The scholarship application is available at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.
This October, the Michigan Good Food Summit will amplify underrepresented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter’s vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people. Whether you’re a food consumer, grower or buyer; line cook, server or chef; advocate, educator or policymaker – join us in East Lansing to connect with others advancing good food and equity in Michigan!
Registration for this event will be open by July 1, 2018.
For questions on registration and sponsor/exhibitor information, contact Diane Drago at email@example.com or (734) 747-2746.
More information: www.canr.msu.edu/michiganfood/summits/
What happens when you put 75+ women farmers from around the country together for four days to tour farms and talk shop, you ask? Magic. Pure magic.
Travel is in my future for 2018. My food and wine-seeking radar is taking me to a destination that I have only dreamed about: South America. When planning a trip in the spring, I always try to make it a warm get away and going to South America at the end of March is like our September, so it should be warm and sunny. I am taking 14 hardy souls who have also never been to South America. I have actually never been south of the Equator and we will be traveling to almost the South Pole!
Restaurant Week is back in Ann Arbor, January 14 – 19, 2018. This semi-annual event celebrates the incredible Ann Arbor dining scene and allows patrons to experience the wide range of dining options across the city. New this year, Ann Arbor Restaurant Week has partnered with Taste the Local Difference and area farmers to bring Michigan produce to the table in January. Search for the Taste the Local Difference logo to identify restaurants that are making an extra effort to source locally.
For the most up to date list of participating restaurants, menus and more visit
Kelly Wilson, is a farmer, registered dietitian, and TLD’s SE Michigan Local Food Coordinator. In 2018, she is looking forward to running her first ultramarathon and hiking in Big Bend National Park.
Farm to Fork Alcona will be hosting the Alcona Regional Farm Conference – Growing for Profit in Northeast Michigan Saturday, February 10th. Local farmers will be able to take advantage of two breakout sessions, one addressing critical info for business development such as how to measure the financial success of their farm; how to write a business plan and obtain credit; how to work more productively with state agencies; how to become MAEAP certified; how to raise livestock for sale; and how to sell produce beyond farmers markets. Come hear success stories from Leeseberg Farms, Cook Family Farm, Standen Acres, Presque Isle Farm, and the Wandering Winds Farm.
Join the Southwest Land Access Partners for this educational summit on
February 2, 2018
Kalamazoo Valley College,
Culinary Allied Health Building
9:30 AM- 3:30 PM
As we know, access to land for farming and conservation purposes is vitally important as more and more farmland will change hands in the coming years. Bringing together beginning and retiring farmers in a way that allows for education and networking is one way to bridge the gap to farmland preservation.
The goal of this educational summit is to help landowners understand succession planning as it pertains to land protection and transfer; and to assist beginning farmers in understanding how to acquire land. Cost for this workshop is $20 (Lunch on your own—Havirmill Café available)
Our team, Southwest Land Access Partners, is a group of educators, non-profit organizations and government agencies. This group is an extension of the Good Food Kalamazoo working group focused on farmland use and access in the greater Kalamazoo area.
On October 26, 2017, Thunder Bay Winery hosted a family-style dinner at their wine bar located in the historic Center Building in Alpena. Kevin Peterson, the current chef at As You Wish Gourmet Eatery and of the up and coming Red Brick Tap & Barrel Restaurant (that will be open for business in Alpena in 2018), prepared several courses and sourced 88% of this Certified Local Food Event (CLFE) from area farmers and producers from the Alpena Farmers Market including Wolf Creek Acres, Presque Isle Farm, and Alpena General Store. This was hopefully Alpena’s first of many Certified Local Food Events to come.