With the snow beginning to fly, it’s the perfect time to attend farm and business conferences to prepare for 2019. These six meetings and conferences are great ways to network with fellow farmers and get excited for the next growing season.
Where are the young people? It’s a question I have been asked a lot this past year as Upper Peninsula Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference.
To get answers, I turned to an organization called 40 Below in Marquette County. The group was created in 2010 as a way for professionals under the age of 40 to come together through networking and professional development opportunities. The group hosts fun events, puts on conferences and encourages young adults to volunteer in the community.
Every other year, in late September, the northwestern Piedmont region of Italy transforms into the town square for the global Slow Food movement’s gathering, Terra Madre. In the bustling city of Turin, thousands gather to share their passion for good, clean, and fair food—slow food.
What do you think of when you hear the word “co-op”? Most people will likely envision a small health food store or perhaps their local credit union. However, these are just part of a myriad number of businesses that follow a cooperative structure.
Attention beginning farmers, farm employees and those contemplating a future in sustainable farming! The application period for the 2019 Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) at Michigan State University is now open.
When you bring a bunch of farmers together over pizza and beer, there’s a certain magic that happens. On September 9th, after traveling from thirteen different states, nineteen farmers from incredibly diverse backgrounds descended on Washington, DC, for the first session of the 2018-19 National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI). This educational opportunity is an annual leadership training program that offers three sessions in different parts of the country. In November, we’ll meet up again in northern California and March in Washington state. The mission of BFI is “to empower people to educate our youth, neighbors, media and policymakers of the social, economic and cooperative contributions of family agriculture.”
The National Farmers Union (NFU) was founded over 110 years ago and advocates for grassroots policy change that supports the welfare of family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and consumers. NFU writes, “We promote sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel and work with our 200,000 member families nationwide to support smart farm policies, educate the public and develop the next generation of farm leaders.” To achieve this mission, the nationwide organization coordinates legislative fly-ins in the spring and fall every year as critical issues come before Congress for a vote.
Join Us at These Upcoming Local Food Events! We’re out and about this month at a variety of community events. Join us in celebration of local food and learn about valuable aspects of healthy, sustainable food system.
September 19th (6:30-8:30 PM): Local Food Enthusiast Party at Blom Meadworks (Ann Arbor)
Local Food Enthusiasts are the champions of local food systems. They shop the farmers markets, participate in CSA programs, drink local, and patron establishments that source locally produced goods. They make local food a priority and leverage their purchasing power to keep the local food economy humming.
To celebrate these Local Food Enthusiasts, and the harvest season, we’re hanging out with our friends at Bløm Meadworks for local appetizers and a tour of their production facility. Local Food Enthusiasts will receive a discount on any mead flight. For more details, check out the Facebook Event here.
September 30th (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM): Make Food Not Waste (Detroit)
Did you know nearly 40% of the food produced in the US ends up in landfills? Make Food Not Waste seeks to change this. During this free, day-long event at the Eastern Market, you’ll watch chefs compete to see who can make a tastier meal from leftovers. You’ll learn what to do with food that your picky eaters won’t touch, how to repurpose leftovers into delicious meals, how to put together as easy menu plan, and how to compost unused food. Come enjoy a high-quality meal, prepared by top-tier local chefs, and see how much money your family can save by making easy changes at home!
More information at: https://makefoodnotwaste.com/
September 30th (1:00-5:00 PM): Meet, Greet and Eat Meat (Ferndale)
Farm Field Table has developed a strong community of farm, chef, and local food partners since they opened their doors two years ago. To celebrate these partnerships, and the community of family, friends, and neighbors who have supported them, Farm Field Table is throwing their first-ever farmer + chef meet and greet. This family-friendly event will feature food tastings from some of metro Detroit’s finest chefs, introductions to local farmers, craft beer tastings, a mangalista pig “petting zoo” and educational seminars. Tours of the new production facility will also be available throughout the event.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-greet-and-eat-meat-tickets-48888824791?aff=ehomecard
Kelly Wilson, RDN, is TLD’s Southeast Michigan Local Food Coordinator. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a hot, muggy summer morning and you’re at the farm getting ready for farmers market. You head to your cooler, open the door, and, instead of being met with an icy blast, you find yourself standing in a warm room. How long has the cooler been down? Is the produce you harvested yesterday ruined? Can you safely sell it at market today?
On behalf of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University, I’m writing to invite you to sponsor, exhibit or advertise at the 2018 Michigan Good Food Summit on October 22, 2018. This year’s Summit will take place on October 22nd at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University.