Welcome to our first round of the Mini Seed-Grants administered by the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network. Funds for this program have been provided by our partners at the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities via Networks Northwest and the Regional Prosperity Initiative.
These mini grants (maximum $2,000 from FFN and we will try to find someone to match for a total of $4,000) are designed Continue reading
Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network (FFN) Business Meeting
March 16, 2016, 10:30-noon
In Attendance: Amanda Kik, Bill Palladino, Brian Bourdages, Brian Matchett, Carol Danly, Hannah Fernando, Heather Ratliff, Kris Thomas, Mark Coe, Meghan McDermott, Mollie Thomas, Rick Gleason, Rod Robinson, Sarah Eichberger, Sharron May (remote), Steve Nance (remote),Tricia Phelps
⦁ Consider printing FFN business cards and postcards with meeting/action team/website info for use by active members.
⦁ Provide Sarah with contact information for farmers who have done farm to school successfully.
⦁ Suggest to Rick venues for 150 people that can showcase local food.
1. April 20, 2016 (study session) – Topic will be economic development with an agricultural focus. There will be brief presentations of three reports on the state of northwest Michigan agriculture and a panel discussion follows. Panelists and presenters include representatives from Networks Northwest, Lakes to Land Initiative, SBDC, plus others (to be determined).
2. May 18, 2016 (business meeting)
3. June 15, 2016 – If you enjoyed the post-summit happy hour, you’ll love our end-of-the season celebration at the Grand Traverse Foodshed Alliance, 1st floor of the Cherry Capital Foods building. It will be a grand opening, of sorts, for the Foodshed Alliance! Details will be forthcoming. Continue reading
The State of Agriculture in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties–2015 Prepared by: Local Food Alliance of Northern Michigan
Increased attention given by people in our community to the food they eat and where it is grown is reinvigorating our region’s agriculture, countering trends in data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture which show declines in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties over the past 30 years. Statewide, agriculture is one of the top three growth sectors. A Michigan State University study estimated that the annual economic impact of agriculture has grown from $60 billion in 2006 to over $100 billion in 2015. Michigan has the highest diversity of agricultural products of any state except California; 81% of these products are grown in the 10-county Northwest Michigan region. The potential impact that agriculture can play in our community in the future— including on jobs, economic growth, and health—is exciting.
Products sold by Emmet County farmers directly to individuals increased from 3% of total market value to 18% between 2002 and 2012, the highest in Northwest Michigan. Families can buy more local produce directly at a farm, through Community Supported Agriculture, at a Farmers Market, or through home delivery. Our community has active Farmers Markets in Continue reading
Friday was a big day for Bill Koucky. In the morning, he was one of five success-story speakers at the February 26, 2016 Farm Route to Prosperity Summit. In the afternoon, Bill was surprised to receive the NW MI Food and Farming Network Chapman Award, “Given each year to the person that shows unerring dedication, enduring fortitude, and embodies the exceptional pioneering spirit that is remaking American agriculture right here in Northwest Michigan.”
Here’s Bill’s story told in his own words earlier in the day:
“Good morning, my name is William Koucky and I am the owner of Grand Traverse Culinary Oils (GTCO) and Flours. About ten years ago I started growing canola for fuel production. I sold an old collector car that I had just restored and bought a tractor and combine. My kids were thrilled with the trade! I planted 20 acres and struggled to produce several tons of canola. I didn’t have a truck so I augered the canola from the combine through the sunroof of my VW station wagon. Continue reading
The Food and Farming Network held its January business meeting at the GT Foodshed Alliance/TLD offices on Wednesday January 20th, 2016. Minutes from the meeting and a full video as recorded from our ZOOM video conferencing system can be found below. Continue reading
The Food and Farming Network held one of its bi-monthly study sessions on Wednesday December 16th, 2015. It took place at Cherry Capital Foods‘ in their large conference room. A video of the entire proceedings is available below.
FFN Co-chair Bill Palladino penned a summary of the study session for the Traverse City Record-Eagle which appeared in their Agriculture Forum on December 26th, 2015. The text of that article and a link to the Record-Eagle is included below this video.
Here are timings for sections of the panel discussion. You may view this on YouTube to directly to access linked shortcuts to these sections.
00:00 – Welcome and Introduction by Heather Ratliff
02:10 – Intro by moderator Wendy Wieland
08:00 – Dave Barrons presentation
24:00 – Jim Nugent presentation
31:30 – Josh Wunsch comments
41:30 – Pepper Bromelmeier soil erosion demonstration
48:00 – Paul May comments
52:00 – Panel and Audience Q&A
1:18:30 – Closing comments
Nov 18, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Grand Traverse Foodshed Alliance, 1610 Barlow, Traverse City
INTRODUCTIONS: Brian Bourdages, Mark Coe, Stephanie Cumper, Carol Danly, Sarah Eichberger, Sharron May, Steve Nance, Bill Palladino, Tricia Phelps, Heather Ratliff, Amber Ressl, Scott Smith, Mikaela Taylor, Kris Thomas, Wendy Weiland
SURVEY RESULTS: Total responses to the member survey was 228 with the majority (more than 100) from consumers, 29 from farmers, and the remainder from others in the food system. Overall, members find the 20% by 2020 goals to be Continue reading
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded farmers and ranchers that the next general enrollment period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) begins today, Dec. 1, 2015, and ends on Feb. 26, 2016. December 2015 also marks Continue reading
On January 29th at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, join more than two hundred health practitioners, employers, hospital and school food service directors, educators, farmers, and others interested in connecting the dots between health care, wellness, and locally grown food. Enjoy the early bird registration rate of just $35 now through December 15th!
If you’re reading this blog, you probably already have an understanding of some of the
interconnections, barriers, and opportunities faced by local food producers. MSU grad
student Cassi Meitl didn’t understand any of these things when she was tasked with assessing the farm and food system in Benzie and Manistee counties during her 2014 summer internship with planning consultants Beckett & Raeder. But upon completion of the Lakes to Land Farm and Food System Assessment, Continue reading