The Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP)
FSEP is an urban-rural collaboration dedicated to the development of regional food systems. Our mission is to catalyze change in the food system of Southeastern Michigan. We work to provide research, education and outreach with urban and rural partnerships, resulting in agricultural development opportunities, healthier and sustainable communities, and stronger local economies.
FSEP is currently
working on creating Farm to School pilot projects at 2 to 3 school districts in
SE MI. The goal of these pilots is to facilitate the development and
implementation of a clear action plan with school officials, food service
directors, contracted food service vendors, distributors, processors,
producers, and help to establish sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships
that result in healthy, locally produced foods delivered to schools and
consumed by students. In each district FSEP is also working with and engaging
related community initiatives and organizations to create greater educational
integration and ownership of the Farm to School initiatives. Upon conclusion
and evaluation of the 2-year pilots FSEP plans to develop apply knowledge and
relationships gain to facilitate further expansion of Farm to School in SE MI.
If you are interested in more information, or how to help, please contact Molly
Robertshaw at [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask].
5. Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo was a hit!
Thursdays at the expo is now knows as organic day! The three day event offered information on production, pest management, marketing, cider contests and even how to bake. Thursday Dec 7 over 180 farmers, educators, agriculture vendors and agriculture consultants attended a day of information on organic certification, pest management in cucrbits and rotation benefits for organic systems. Many new faces attended and the event is so popular we hope to integrate organic sessions throughout the expo next year. So keep your eyes peeled for this annual event, the first week in December each year held at the deVos Center in Grand Rapids, MI.
Events in Michigan and the Midwest
6. Film Series: Food, Farming, Healthy, Education & Native Culture
Wednesdays, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Wealthy Theater, 1130 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Light dinner and snacks available before films and during intermission. Shop at the farmers market in the theater lobby, too!
December 6 – Three films followed by a panel discussion.
Fresh, Healthy Foods on Learning and Behavior" 18 min.
"Creating a School Garden: The Hollywood Elementary Story" 22 min.
"Mixed Greens: Growing Kids Who Grow Gardens" 8 min.
December 20 – Two films.
Grapes" 16 min.
"Covering New Ground: Wisconsin's Sustainable Agriculture" 60 min.
Michigan Senate Hearing on NAIS
December 7, Farnam Building, Rm. 110 at 8:00 a.m., Lansing. A Michigan Senate hearing about the proposed National Animal Identification System. Let your voice be heard! We need people to attend and voice opposition. You should also contact the following state senators with phone calls, emails and letters:
8. Want to Find your Start in Sustainable Farming? Join us!
January – March 2007
We are seeking current, beginning and would be farmers and prospective farm interns for our CRAFT* Sustainable Farmer Training Program
Class Times: Thursdays at 6PM – 9pm January – March 2007 - Starts January 4
Location: GR Community Media Ctr on Wealthy St. in Grand Rapids (near Fuller)
Cost: $7-10/class or $80 - $110 for entire series (cost based on ability to pay) – Includes binder and dinner each evening! Please ask about scholarships.
Content: Covers basic concepts of sustainable agriculture from soil to marketing, planting to harvest, animal care to business plans.
Contact: Tom Cary at WMEAC at 616-451-3051 or emailing [log in to unmask]" title="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask] Go to http://www.sustainableag-wm.org/craft/farming-course.htm to see this past winter’s course content.
*CRAFT = Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training
Classes will also be shown live on cable channel 24 in the Grand Rapids Metro region from 6-9pm each Thursday.
WE ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION INTERNS TO HELP FILM THIS COURSE AND AREA FARM ACTIVITIES.
Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems Program
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
1007 Lake Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
(616) 451-3051/-3054 (fax)
Farm It Forward
January 5-6 and February 2-3, Kellogg Biological Station. Keeping the "Family Farm" in business, especially across the generations, can be a real challenge. It can be an enormous challenge for you and your farm to meet. If you are hoping to pass the farm to the next generation or are hoping that someday you will have the opportunity to take over the farm from your parents, then we have the program for you. Communication can be a huge barrier for multi-generational farm families so you may find that some outside assistance with the process can be of value. Families that have a next generation looking to become part of the farm business are encouraged to take part in this program series. Set up as 2, two-day sessions, this program will give participants the opportunity to work through the process of planning a farm business transition. Discover how to address major issues that can lead to failure in a multiple generation farm business. For registration form go to: http://www.msu.edu/user/steind/farm%20it%20forward.html
For more information or to register contact Dennis Stein at [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask] or call 989-672-3870 or fax 989-673-8248 on the web at http://www.msu.edu/user/steind
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824
If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html