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Is Your Farm FSMA Compliant?

Economy, Event, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The goal of this legislation is prevent contamination of food produced in the United States before foodborne illness outbreaks occur. The Produce Safety Rule of FSMA has huge implications for many growers across the state. This year, compliance of the full rule will be enforced for farms grossing $500K or more. Smaller farms have until 2019 or 2020 to comply with rule, depending on their income.

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It’s CSA sign-up season!

Economy, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Spring

The return of the longer days, bouts of sunshine, and the pop of crocus and snowdrops have signaled that spring is here. If you’re like me, you’re dreaming of your garden and the tastes of fresh, local produce. To ensure that you have consistent access to these flavors, and the upcoming seasonal bounty, consider signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

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Funding for Local Food and Farms

Economy, Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved

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.

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Calling all CSA Farmers!

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson

The Michigan Statewide CSA Working Group announces the release of the first Michigan CSA Farm Survey. Data from this survey serves as a critical underpinning toward developing broad strategies to support Michigan’s CSA farmers and their communities.

If you are currently a CSA farmer, or have had a CSA operation in the past, please consider taking this survey. Individual responses will be kept confidential. Aggregated data and analysis will be used to inform local and state agencies how to proactively address the needs of Michigan’s CSA farms and farmers.

Survey Link: http://bit.ly/MICSASurvey

Questions: MiCSAsurvey@gmail.com

The Michigan Statewide CSA Working Group includes:

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Become a Local Food Enthusiast

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Tricia Phelps

Did you know that your dollar is multiplied more than three times when you spend it at a local store, than by purchasing at a national chain? Plus, locally grown and produced food packs more of a nutritional punch and it travels fewer miles to your plate, making it better for you and for the planet. We’re just scratching the surface here when it comes to the true value of local food in our community. The benefits range from economics and social connection, to improving health and the environment.

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Food Systems and Agricultural Job Opportunities in Michigan

Economy, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Get Involved

Development Director, Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology, Bellaire

Crosshatch is seeking a full time development professional with strong skills and living experience in donor development, grant writing, capital campaigns and corporate sponsorships. Crosshatch is based in the 10 county region of Northwest Lower Michigan and is seeking folks who  live in (or are willing to relocate to) this region, who are able to travel regularly, and who are able to work primarily from home.

NSAC Policy Intern, Washington D.C.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is currently seeking a Policy Intern for the summer term beginning in mid-May 2018 and lasting until mid-August 2018. This position is paid, full-time, and is located at NSAC’s Washington, D.C. office on Capitol Hill.

NSAC is the leading advocacy organization for federal policy that supports sustainable agriculture and food systems. NSAC’s collaborative work environment offers a unique career opportunity to advance federal sustainable agriculture policy as part of a dedicated and effective team. The Policy Intern will have the opportunity to work on a range of issues and campaigns, including local and regional food systems, working lands conservation, beginning and minority farmer issues, sustainable agriculture research, crop insurance reform and much more. The summer policy intern will have the opportunity to directly engage in NSAC’s 2018 Farm Bill campaign.

NSAC Grassroots Intern, Washington D.C.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is currently seeking a Grassroots Intern for late spring through summer 2018, beginning in late March / early April 2018 and ending in mid-August 2018. This 5-month position is paid, full time, and located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill.

Director of Development, Eastern Market Corporation, Detroit

Eastern Market Corporation, a non-profit organization, is seeking applications for the position of Development Specialist. This individual will work in a full-time capacity at the organization’s headquarters, reporting to Eastern Market’s Director of Development.

FoodCorps Service Member, Petoskey (Area)

Join FoodCorps and spend year building healthier futures for kids. For this challenging and necessary service, you’ll receive a stipend, health insurance, training and mentorship.Get paid to do hands-on social justice work, such as teach gardening and cooking classes, promote healthy options in the school cafeteria, and help schools be healthier.

Farm Manager, Ziibimijwang Farm, Carp Lake, MI

Ziibimijwang (ZEE-BEE mige-waang) Inc. is committed to restoring and strengthening mino-bimaadiziwin (Anishinaabe- the Good Life) of the Odawa Community through a foundation of indigenous food systems and cultural activities. We are a Tribally owned non-profit located in the “Tip of the Mitt” only 10 miles south of Mackinaw City, Michigan. We are proud to grow high quality, nutritionally dense vegetables using sustainable farming practices that will follow Organic standards that care for the soil, groundwater, and adjacent natural areas.

Farm Manager, Magnolia Farms Lansing, MI

Magnolia Farms is a .8 acre urban farm on Lansing’s Eastside.  We grow a variety of vegetables and herbs using organic/sustainable methods.  We are currently looking for a farm manager to take over day-to-day farm operations. Ideally, we are looking for someone to manage the farm business in exchange for farm revenues. Exact arrangement is open to negotiation.   

Key Person, Stone Coop Farm, Brighton, MI

Stone Coop Farm is transitioning to non-profit status in 2018. We will continue to focus our business model on a profitable working farm and will expand our classes and events. We are looking for someone who wants to be a key part of our team and stay with us for more than one season. We grow all year so this position is full time, full year. You will be working closely with me, Joannée DeBruhl, Stone Coop’s owner, so I have outlined my commitment to you and your commitments to me and the farm. Stone Coop has 2 other key staff positions, so interviews will involve all three of us. Primary job duties are managing our wholesale accounts and running our Saturday on-farm market each week all year long.

Farm Coordinator, Lansing Roots Farm, Mason, MI

The Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) maintains Lansing Roots, a twelve-acre parcel in Mason, Michigan for small scale entrepreneurial and subsistence growers.  The GLFB Farm Coordinator will be responsible for coordination and oversight of all physical operations at the 10-acre Lansing Roots Farm site for the 2018 growing season. This position will be primarily farm-based, with limited office time. Candidates should have necessary farm and mechanical skills to operate and maintain basic systems, including irrigation, plumbing, tractors, and implements.

Operations Assistant, Fair Food Network, Ann Arbor MI

Fair Food Network is hiring an Operations Assistant to be based in our Ann Arbor office. This is a great position for someone looking to launch their non-profit career!

Dwelling Place Garden Coordinator, Grand Rapids, MI

This is a full-time, year round position working directly with residents to create and maintain community gardens located on properties owned and/or managed by Dwelling Place.

Executive Director, Michigan Farmers Market Association, East Lansing, MI

The Board shall, at its discretion, employ an Executive Director to manage the business affairs of the Corporation. The Executive Director shall be an officer of the Corporation, and an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board. The Executive Director shall report to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and shall have general and active management of the activities of the Corporation. The Executive Director shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board of Directors are carried into effect. The Executive Director shall execute all authorized conveyances, contracts or other obligations in the name of the Corporation except where required by law to be otherwise signed and except where the signing is expressly delegated by the Directors to some other person. The Executive Director shall attend all meetings of the Board and attend committee meetings as necessary.

Farm Intern, Granor Farm, Three Oaks, MI

Granor Farm, located in Three Oaks, MI, is a 27-acre farm growing a wide variety of organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, and grains. Granor Farm is seeking 2-4 interns to join the farm approximately May-October, but we are willing to adjust the length of stay for the right candidate.

Interns work approx. 50-60 hours per week, and will participate in all aspects of organic vegetable production, from seed to market. This includes weeding, watering, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, post-harvest handling, customer service, working farmer’s markets and farmstand, greenhouse and hoop house management, general farm chores, and care of hens and ducks. Weekend work is required and there will be farm chores every day of the week.

Farm Intern, Presque Isle Farm, Posen, MI

Presque Isle Farm is a small certified organic vegetable farm in Posen, MI. We grow a wide variety of vegetables with about 1.5 acres of field production and three 30’x96’ high tunnels. We market our produce to restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and farmers markets. Our main crops of focus are lettuce, spinach, microgreens, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, beets, carrots, and kale. We are looking for hardworking candidates that are interested and passionate about learning organic vegetable farming practices.

Job​ ​Description:

Presque Isle Farm is seeking 1-2 interns to join the farm approximately April-November, but we are willing to adjust the length of stay for the right candidate. Interns work approx. 20-40 hours per week, and will participate in all aspects of organic vegetable production, from seed to market. This includes weeding, watering, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, post-harvest handling, customer service, working farmer’s markets and farmstand, greenhouse and hoop house management, and other general farm chores. The main goal of this internship is to offer the opportunity for interns to gain a season’s worth of experience on an organic farm.

Did we miss some? Let us know if your business is hiring! Send to emma@localdifference.org

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Say Hey to the Yooper, eh?

Alex Palzewicz, Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved

Excuse me if my writing feels a bit exhausted, walking fifteen miles uphill in two feet of snow, just to get wi-fi for this post has drained me.

Gottcha! It’s hard not to joke, but I am happy to report that I am actually warm in my home, with indoor plumbing and all. Although, we do have a generator because when the power goes out it is often for days, and my closest ‘neighbors’ (besides a plethora of deer camps) are over two miles away.

Greetings, my name is Alexandria Palzewicz, and I am beyond excited to be the new UP Local Food Coordinator! Besides a recent two-year excursion in Seattle, I have lived in the UP my whole life.

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Shaping our Agricultural Landscape: The Farm Bill

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson

Every five years Congress votes on a massive piece of legislation that dramatically influences the landscape and nutrition of our nation:The Farm Bill. This piece of legislation determines what we eat and how it is grown and has huge impacts on public and environmental health. The current (2014) Farm Bill only accounts for 4% of total federal spending and includes 12 titles addressing broad topic areas.

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Transitioning Farmland to the Next Generation of Farmers : Land Access Educational Summit #1

Economy, Event, Kelly Wilson

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.

Participant Registration

Sponsorship Registration