Dear MIFFS Supporter,


As many of you already know, Elaine Brown, Executive Director of MIFFS since 2005, was given a great opportunity to work with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). We are very pleased that MDARD recognized the leadership and organizational skills that Elaine has practiced so diligently at MIFFS and that Elaine was able to make this career-enhancing move.


The MIFFS Council is now conducting a search for a new Executive Director.  Below is a position announcement.  A more detailed job description is available at This website is also referenced in the attached announcement.


Please circulate the announcement to colleagues and others who might be interested in the position or know someone who might be interested.  The Council’s goal is to complete its search and have the new MIFFS Executive Director in place by early May.


Thank you for your support.


Joe Colyn, President

MIFFS Council/Search Committee Chair
Originz LLC
33 Lynwood Drive
Battle Creek, MI 49014
Phone: 269-441-7280
E-mail: [log in to unmask]



Position Announcement: Executive Director
Michigan Food & Farming Systems


Founded in 1998, Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) is a statewide membership based organization (501 (c)(3) whose purpose is to improve Michigan's triple bottom line: our economy, our environment & the social wellbeing of our communities through Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives. MIFFS has a history of fostering and managing effective collaborations that create and support more sustainable food and agriculture systems for producers and consumers in Michigan. An underlying assumption of our work is that agricultural productivity, environmental stewardship, and profitability reinforce each other for the benefit of Michigan's rural and urban communities.


MIFFS principal priority is to help small and medium-sized farms operate profitably, produce healthy food for all people and protect the environment for future generations.  MIFFS has become a recognized leader and resource to establish and develop more sustainable food and farming for Michigan, nurturing successful partnerships that result in healthy people and communities.  It has done this by addressing the issues farmers face, attracting resources, and developing partnerships among individuals and organizations.  MIFFS uses a holistic or systems approach, enabling it to network effectively across the spectrum of farms, food, farm organizations, policy makers, educators, and communities.  MIFFS currently manages a $700,000 annual budget for its programs and operations.


The Executive Directorship is a full-time position.  For a full description of the position and its responsibilities, please visit  


Ideal candidates for this position will:

  • Provide visionary leadership to grow the organizational membership and support and grow programmatic funding.
  • Have a passion for and competency in collaborative partnering, relationship building with all relevant stakeholder groups, including industry, government, educational institutions, NGO's, consumers, and funding partners.
  • Be an effective manager of a dedicated support team that is comprised of a diverse professional staff, contractors and a volunteer Council (Board of Directors)
  • Be able to leverage MIFFS strengths and industry position for maximum effectiveness in influencing and creating change.
  • Understand the relationship of local efforts to effectively influence change in the Michigan food system.
  • Be an excellent communicator dedicated to active listening, transparency, and accountability for and within the organization.
  • Be comfortable with a flexible and dynamic work schedule that includes some overnight travel.


The executive director must be based in Michigan. The current headquarters is in East Lansing.  MIFFS will consider proposals for an alternative basing location from exceptionally well-qualified candidates.

To apply, email your résumé and cover letter to MIFFS Search Committee Chair, Joe Colyn, [log in to unmask], or mail to MIFFS Search Committee Chair, Joe Colyn, Originz LLC, 33 Lynwood Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49014-7911. E-mail applications are preferred.


Application deadline is January 30, 2012.  Position start date is early May 2012.



Emily (Buckham) Beutel
Communications Manager


Michigan Food & Farming Systems - MIFFS
Bringing Farmers and Communities Together

172 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Ph: (517) 432-0712
Fx: (517) 353-7961

Vicki Morrone
Outreach Specialist for Organic Production
303 Natural Resources
East Lansing MI 48824
517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)
517-353-3832 fax

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