Blog Archive

Friday, May 10, 2019

Request for Proposals: 2019 Farms, Food and Health Conference in Traverse City, MI

**Please forward to your local food, farming, food access & public health networks, apologies for any cross-posting**

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is seeking submissions to present at the third Farms, Food & Health Conference September 26-29, 2019 in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. 

This unique conference brings together health practitioners, employers, teachers, farmers, poverty reduction advocates, human resource professionals, foodservice directors and others interested in connecting the dots between healthcare, wellness and locally grown food.

Locate the full request for proposal at and attached as a PDF.  The submission form can be accessed here.

Conference Themes Include:  

  • Food Access Novel approaches to increase access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables in schools, hospitals, health departments, food banks/pantries, worksites and more;

  • Good Food Policy Examples of relevant organizational, local, state and national policies;

  • Local Food on Menus Local food sourcing and menuing;

  • Local Food/Nutrition Programs and Behavioral Health Ways to connect physical and mental health using food, policy, access or education.

Submissions are due on JUNE 3, 2019

Please share this widely within your networks as we are seeking innovative programs and initiatives from across the Midwest.  

Co-hosts include for this event include Munson Healthcare, Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District.

Please contact paula(at) with any questions regarding the RFP process. 

Meghan McDermott | Food & Farming Program Director

T   @grndwk

 148 E Front St, Suite 301  |  Traverse City, MI 49684

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is a Traverse City based non-profit. Our work is member-funded and community-driven. Protect what you love. Become a member of Groundwork today.

Supporting Partner for National Farm to School Network
Service Site Supervisor for FoodCorps. Read more about our program on the FoodCorps Northern Michigan Blog!
Healthful Food for All Task Force Leader for Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network
Groundwork Center Fellowship Program Founder
Join us at & Farm to School Northwest Michigan &
MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Small changes can help your farm to school program make big gains—where will you start?

May 2019
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

Early care and education and K-12 schools plant the seeds for best practices in farm to school, enabling others to learn what works and think about where they can start to implement small changes in their own programs.
Early Care and Education Site Connects Farm to School with Family-Style Dining
Family-style dining was a goal at Little Ones Early Childhood Program in Atlanta, Georgia, but Administrator Wande Okunoren-Meadows was concerned about the extra work it might create for classroom teachers. During a 3-week internship, Master’s nutrition student Camira Willaims-Liggins scaffolded the process for children and staff alike, creating a model for sites nationwide

Chicago High School Students Attend a “Farm High School”
A unique magnet school in Chicago is enabling high school students to attend an agriculture-focused high school in the middle of their city. With a goal of providing an opportunity to pursue agricultural careers beyond the farm, students are part of a school that aims to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Girl Scout Earns Top Award with Smart Farm Project
Smart Farm earned Natalie McCaffery the top Girl Scout Gold Award. The project teaches middle school students about sustainable agriculture, demonstrating how the agricultural world can change based on technology.

NAAEE 48th Annual Conference
October 16-19
Lexington, KY

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) hosts their annual event with a theme of the three pillars of sustainability of social equity, shared prosperity, and environmental integrity.

Life Lab’s 2019 School Garden Workshops
July - October
Santa Cruz, CA

Professional trainers will present a variety of garden/outdoor learning workshops throughout 2019 to help educators learn more about improving their classroom gardens.

Identifying Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farm to School Interventions
Farm to school is one strategy to improve dietary behaviors among school-age children. To optimize implementation however, tools are needed to assess readiness and capacity within the community. This study explains the various factors to be identified and how they were prioritized in an effort to inform how farm to school could be implemented across diverse settings.

Case Study: Lessons from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Farm to Head Start Program
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy offers three case studies indicating different approaches to implement and sustain Farm to Head Start as part of farm to early care and efforts to introduce young children to locally grown foods and increasing their knowledge of the origin of food. 

New Resource: Farm to School & Big Ideas
Vermont FEED offers a new resource to provide examples for educators to link farm to school with standards and curriculum. Curricular examples are included for each grade level and provide examples for engaging in farming, nutrition, and sustainability. This resource includes essential questions linked with learning goals and assessments. 

About Michigan Farm to School

Farm to School centers around efforts to serve local foods in school and early care and education settings. We share ideas, tools and resources to support a range of efforts, from school garden programming to farmer visits and field trips.

You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the MIFARMTOSCHOOL listserv. Please note that if you unsubscribe from this mailing, you will be removed from the list.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

There’s still time to participate - workforce assessment of Michigan food system

What will it take to grow Michigan's local and regional
food system workforce?
Please take the 15-20 minute survey.
We are studying workforce needs where food is grown, processed, distributed, sold, and consumed in Michigan markets - as well as the organizations that support this system.

We need to connect with employers, workers, educators, training providers, and other stakeholders in Michigan’s local and regional food system.

We are studying:
  • the types and wage ranges of existing and future jobs
  • employer demand for these jobs
  • what skills, education, and training is needed to perform these jobs

The survey and interviews are happening now through midnight, May 17. Se ofrece la encuesta en Español.

Here are 5 ways to help:
  1. Share your data and information
  2. Take the survey
  3. Let others know to contact us
  4. Send ideas for who to contact or data to include
  5. Volunteer to participate in an interview

If you can do any of the above, or are curious to learn more, please visit:

If you have already taken or shared the survey, thank you very much!
Share the study on social media!

How can Michigan grow its local and regional food #workforce? A workforce assessment is underway to find out. Please participate and spread the word.

People are vital to Michigan’s food system. Please help us understand how Michigan’s local and regional food system workforce is working and what it needs to grow.

Visit our media kit for social media images and more suggested posts.
CALL 517-353-3535
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