1. Farmers Markets as Engines of Economic Activity: Power in Numbers- As we approach the end of peak season in Michigan, this webinar will celebrate the many ways farmer's markets contribute to community economic development across the state. Findings from recent research projects will quantify effects from consumer, producer and community perspectives. Additionally, speakers will discuss the importance of and challenges in capturing economic outcomes of farmers' market activities, and share practical tips and tools for improving the efficiency and efficacy of farmers' market data collection. You’ll hear how we’re working to change the culture around data in Michigan and suggestions for those based in other states.
Register now to join us for this upcoming free webinar!
· Rich Pirog, Director, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
· Jeff O’Hara, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service
· Dru Montri, Executive Director, Michigan Farmers Market Association
· Michelle Gagliardi, Special Projects Associate, Michigan Farmers Market Association
· John Mann, Assistant Professor of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University
· Kathryn Colasanti, Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
· Laura Goddeeris, Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
2. Innovative Rural Business Models- This is one of our most popular topics and we've streamlined the webinar and added new examples just for you. This webinar will have ideas for existing businesses, new businesses and local folks looking to start a business. It will also be great for getting local leaders to help them spur new businesses and started creating more economic viability in your town! Wednesday, August 23 at 12 noon Central Time. See you there! Register here.
3. GoodGreens September 28th Meeting Agenda-
a. Christina McInnis, Bon Secour Valley Ingredients (BSVI), will share information about her business’ new division in Foley, Alabama, which will open a 40,000-square-foot plant to dry and process fruits and vegetables. This value-added model will help to reduce dependence on volatile prices for produce, and will reduce food waste by processing produce that doesn’t meet standards for distribution. The main ingredients for initial plant production include: chicory, sweet potatoes, bananas, carrots, sweet corn, bread fruit, butternut squash, kale, and pumpkin.
b. Jennifer Meta Robinson (Indiana University-Anthropology) and James Farmer (Indiana University-School of Public Health-Bloomington) will discuss their recently published book, Selling Local—Why Local Food Movements Matter. Selling Local draws on many years of fieldwork and experience to discuss (1) the broader impacts of local food movements on communities and individuals, (2) new manifestations and improvements, and (3) a systems approach for future research on local food systems.
c. Julie Schilf, Materials Management Branch, USEPA Region 5 will share information about EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food Program, which is designed to make reduction of wasted food easier, informed, and goal-oriented. EPA commenced its food recovery efforts in 2011 with the launch of the Food Recovery Challenge. Since then, EPA has created a library of food recovery tools and resources, which can be found on EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food website. The EPA and USDA also announced the nation’s first Food Loss and Waste Goal (2015) aimed at reducing the amount of food sent to our landfills in half by the year 2030. These efforts can help organizations save money, feed hungry people, and keep food out of landfills.
d. Erin Biehl, Project Manager, and Roni Neff, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, will talk about a new report on urban food system resilience in Baltimore to stimulate thinking and discussion on ways to make organizations and local food systems more resilient.
e. Heather Tarczan, Growing Solutions Farm, will speak about the farm which is a vocational training site for young adults with autism. The site teaches young adult participants transferable employment skills, allows them to get fresh air and exercise and exposes them to urban agriculture. The 1.2 acre produce farm will grow 10,000 lbs of food this year and donate 3,000 lbs to Grace Seeds Ministry, a nonprofit that supplies area soup kitchens with fresh produce. The remainder of the produce is sold to area restaurants, at a weekly farm stand, and given to young adult participants to take home.
1. Diverse Family Farms Important to U.S. Agriculture- Family farms remain an essential feature of agriculture in the United States. Family farms make up 99 percent of America’s 2.1 million farms and 89 percent of agricultural production. Most farms in the United States are small: 90 percent are small family farms that operate nearly half of America’s farmland. However, farms vary widely in size and other characteristics. U.S. farms range from very small retirement and residential farms to businesses with sales in the millions of dollars. Read more...
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