What is Taste the Local Difference
Taste the Local Difference is a community partnership connecting a diverse cross-section of the food system in northwest Michigan. With representation from farmers, producers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, schools, insititutions, the for profit sector, nonprofits, and government agencies.
By the year 2020, 20% of northwest Michigan’s food will be supplied by local growers and food entrepreneurs. This goal is shared by dozens of partners in the region, and has become the single unifying target driving all of the Institute’s actions in our food and farming program. When we achieve this goal, northwest Michigan will be the first in the country to do so, and the economic results will fundamentally change the conversation about the power of buying local.
Selling More Local Food:
In 2013 TLD changed its strategy to focus on consumer buying behavior. “How can we get consumer to first differentiate, and then purchase, locally grown food in the marketplace?” This question became the over-riding driver for the new Taste the Local Difference marketing campaign.
Bill Palladino directs all activities at TLD. He’s senior policy specialist with the Michigan Land Use Institute. His diverse background includes a decade of work in public broadcasting including a long stint a sound engineer for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio show. Since 1990 he’s focused his attention on nonprofit management. His consulting firm Krios Consulting has taken him around the globe working with nonprofits, NGOs, and Fortune 500 corporations on innovation, change management, and strategy. He’s also served as economic development director for ten counties in northern Michigan, and as regional director of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Centers. His passion for agriculture started at his alma mater, North Dakota State University in Fargo, and continued after starting his own small farm in northern Michigan.
Today, Bill brings a broad set of skills to the local foods movement in northern Michigan through his work with TLD.
Tricia Phelps is a driven leader and manager with experience in both the agriculture and business sides of the TLD business. She is deeply involved in the Agricultural community of Northwest Michigan through her personal and business commitments. Tricia also understands the demands of business and marketing through her three years of work with The Minervini Group, developers of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the largest mixed-use historic redevelopment project in the state.
Her skills in writing, communications, problem solving and database management give her the perfect foundation to support TLD’s growing farm and business community. She manages the entire TLD operation in Northwest Michigan, from building and maintaining all the relationships that make this work possible, to playing a major role in planning the strategy for TLD’s future.
Tricia is a fixture in the burgeoning food and farming community in the region. She serves on the board of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC), the advisory board of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market in Traverse City, MI, and is an active member on the council of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network. She hails from the city of Cary, IL and is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor of arts from The Residential College of Arts & Humanities, with a Minor in Environmental Studies. She is an avid photographer whose photographs can be found throughout this website.