Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Register Today: Farm Commons Spring 2022 Legal Workshop

Hi Folks,

On the farm, you are no stranger to dealing with challenges and adapting to circumstances. Droughts, hurricanes, pests – you plan for it. And, with the disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – from market shutdowns to supply chain shortages - you have done the incredibly hard work of showing up every day, again and again with determination and resilience.


Here at Farm Commons, our team of farm law educators is dedicated to empowering and supporting you every day by providing you with the tools to build legal resilience.



This Spring, join us for Discovering Resilience, a five-week highly interactive and farmer-focused workshop that is framed around the 10 best legal practices you need to take to build legal resilience on your farm or ranch. You will walk away from this workshop ready to implement your own legal action plan, as well as have continued support from farmer peers in a virtual commons space where referrals, strategies, questions, ideas, and more are shared!



In Discovering Resilience, you will get access to:

  • Video instruction on key legal concepts
  • Interactive, meaningful activities
  • Effective communication tools
  • Engaging weekly live meetings facilitated by legal educators
  • A virtual commons space for farmer-to-farmer sharing


Each session will meet once a week for a 2-hour live meeting led by Farm Commons' staff focused on legal resiliency practice, peer engagement, and questions.

Interested? Know someone who is? Invite them to join us! The workshop begins on February 15, 2022, and limited spots are available so be sure to sign up today!

We can't wait to meet you.


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.

Friday, January 14, 2022

FW: Re-Opening Job Search - FoodCorps MI Program Manager

Apologies for cross-posting!


Colleen Matts

(she, her, hers)

Director, Farm to Institution Programs

Coordinator, Michigan Farm to Institution Network

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems | 517.432.0310 | |


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems team members are working remotely. Our response time may be a bit slower than normal due to family and community responsibilities. 



From: Addell Anderson <addell.anderson@FOODCORPS.ORG>
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 3:17 PM
Subject: Re-Opening Job Search - FoodCorps MI Program Manager



FoodCorps Michigan is seeking to fill the position of MI Program Manager. Please forward this position description to any interested person. The job is based in Detroit, MI.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Handle a set of multi-stakeholder partnerships across a defined geography
    • Partnership development and management, including a district landscape assessment, goal-setting process, contract collaboration, data tracking, and supervising invoice and partnership fee collection
    • Develop and implement multi-year partnership plans that have annual goals and clear strategies for FoodCorps to support through direct service and expanded program offerings. Track and share progress with community partners and to FoodCorps' External Affairs team throughout the year
  • Develop positive relationships with community partners and ensure active participation as a community partner
    • Participate in community events and be a regular presence in local affairs related to food education, school meals, and food system work
    • Participate in school nutrition and educator committees, councils, and networks where FoodCorps resources or expertise can be of benefit
    • Build or sustain relationships with key associations, agencies, and partner groups
  • Mentor FoodCorps Program Coordinator who is directly responsible for coordinating the FoodCorps service program
    • Ensure program quality and fidelity across service site partnerships
    • Supervise program performance, management, and monitoring. In partnership with the Program Coordinator, manage data collection and AmeriCorps compliance
  • Support Fundraising, Marketing and Communications, and Policy functions in local, regional, and national fundraising and impact story sharing
    • Collect and share stories, highlights, and features with key internal and external partners
    • Serve as FoodCorps spokesperson for local media opportunities
    • In partnership with the National Policy Team, support relationship building with congressional offices
    • Identify and support the cultivation of regional corporate, individual, and foundation supporters
    • Act as a support and local advisor for donor and legislator site visits and relationship building events
    • Support the review of funding proposals and grant reports
    • Distribute advocacy tools and resources to support the activation of FoodCorps' local network of partners and alumni in partnership with Alumni, Marketing, and Policy teams

Skills of the Ideal Candidate:

  • Demonstrated dedication to addressing race, class, gender, place, and other social justice barriers
  • Demonstrated ability working in non-profit management in a related field, ideally in a school/education setting
  • Experience working with diverse and historically disenfranchised communities, in an educational setting is highly desirable
  • Some knowledge of Michigan networks for farm to school, child health, health equity, food security, and other related fields
  • Strong internal drive and ability to lead and deliver on multiple projects independently
  • Entrepreneurial, with a creative drive to solve problems and identify and fill gaps
  • Learning oriented, with a desire to seek and use feedback to shape your work
  • Effective written and verbal communicator, comfortable communicating through phone, email, and video chat functions and speaking in front of large and small groups
  • Experience working with school and school district administrators and school personnel

How to Apply:

To be considered, submit your résumé, cover letter, and salary requirements through our hiring site at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Because we prioritize the health of communities and kids, FoodCorps has decided to require COVID-19 vaccination for staff and service members, to the extent permitted by applicable federal, state, and local law. After much discussion and consultation, we came to this decision and recognize that some people and partners might have to make tough decisions because of it. More information about this requirement and the exemption process to apply for a legally-required exception to the vaccination requirement will be provided during onboarding, should you receive a job offer from FoodCorps.


FoodCorps pays salaries that are competitive with nonprofits of our budget size and geographic location and offers generous vacation and medical benefits, 401(k) matching, professional development funds, and a sabbatical policy. This position is a manager-level role with a salary range beginning at $55,000-$62,000


People of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. FoodCorps is committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities. FoodCorps is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. FoodCorps provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees as required by law.


Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations at any point in the employment process. 


Kind regards,






Addell "Dale" Austin Anderson | FoodCorps

Central-South Regional Director



Cell: 313-409-6684

Friday, January 7, 2022

Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) opportunity

All letters must be received no later than 8:00 AM on Thursday, January 27, 2022, to be considered.  


The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) intends to apply for a funding opportunity through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  This opportunity will be approximately $6,600,000 and is through the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) (authorized and funded under Section 1001(b)(4) of the American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2).  MDE is interested in partnering with 2-3 regional or statewide organizations to assist in achieving the purposes of the grant: 

·        Strengthen the local and regional food system 

·        Support local and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers through building and expanding economic opportunities 

·        Establish, strengthen, and broaden partnerships with producers and the food distribution community, local food networks, and non-profits by distributing fresh and nutritious foods in rural, remote, or underserved communities 


The expectation of this 2-year program is for recipients to spend the majority of awarded funds on food purchases. This opportunity will allow for entities to procure local, domestic foods that are unique to their geographic area and meet the needs of the populations. Organizations can also request direct and indirect costs associated with developing and administering the program. Funds may also be used to cover the activities associated with program development, administration, food storage, and food distribution.  


MDE is requesting that organizations interested in partnering on this opportunity submit a 1–2-page Letter of Grant Interest on organization letterhead.  All letters must be received no later than 8:00 AM on Thursday, January 27, 2022, to be considered.  


In your letter, please include the following: 

  1. Contact person and appropriate details (name, title, full address, email, phone number).  This is the person that will assist MDE with the grant writing process.  Please note, due to internal MDE deadlines, the grant writing process  must be complete by March 10, 2022. 
  2. A brief, high-level explanation of project(s) your organization would implement to reach regional or statewide areas, how each project will help to meet the purposes of the grant noted above, and how your project(s) might be sustainable beyond the grant funding.  Letters should include the steps the partner will take to target local and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers. MDE is specifically interested in ideas that promote sustainable changes in food systems. 
  3. Potential grant amount needed to meet the project(s) proposed by your organization.  The intent of this partnership request is to solicit potential partners that will use a significant portion of the funds available to achieve the project goals.  As a result, it is unlikely that partnerships with a scope less than $1,000,000.00 will be included. 


Please note, if your organization is chosen to partner on this grant opportunity, further details and a more detailed budget will be requested during the grant writing process.  Providing high-level details now will assist MDE in the selection of grant partners.  More detailed project and partner listing, budget details, etc. will be done as a grant writing team. Partnering organizations will be required to attend planning sessions.   


Partners chosen will be notified by Monday, January 31, 2022. 


Email Letters of Grant Interest to 

All letters must be received no later than 8:00 AM on Thursday, January 27, 2022, to be considered.  





Wendy K. Crowley

Farm to Program Consultant

Child Nutrition Programs

Michigan Department of Education




Thursday, January 6, 2022

Fw: (F2ECE FIG:2020-2022 All Participants) GroMore Good Garden Grants

Forwarding a garden grant opportunity

GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant
In 2022, 150 programs will receive $500 to start or expand a youth garden or greenspace. Programs have the opportunity to apply for additional funding through the Plus, Pride, and Equity specialty award categories.

Meagan K. Shedd, PhD
Assistant Professor, Farm to Early Care and K-12 Education
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
Department of Community Sustainability | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
480 Wilson Rd, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
517.432.4525 | |


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Grant expands farm to early care and education efforts in Michigan

Child's hand picks blueberries
A second Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant will further expand farm to ECE efforts in Michigan  
An additional $90,900 grant will grow connections between early care and education providers and food producers in Michigan. 
Meagan Shedd,
The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) announced that the Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant (FIG) will continue for a second year, November 1, 2021 through October 31, 2022. This grant from the ASPHN was awarded to the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) to strengthen collaborations and increase awareness of, capacity for, and equitable access to farm to ECE.

“One of the most important lessons learned in the first year of FIG was that the pandemic is still a challenge in our state,” says Meagan Shedd, the FIG team co-lead for Michigan. Shedd is an assistant professor who leads farm to early care and K-12 education work at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. "Our year 2 activities will focus on ‘meeting providers and farmers and food producers where they are’ and working more actively to reduce barriers to participating in farm to ECE programs.”

MSU CRFS coordinates the Michigan Farm to Early Care and Education Network, a group of statewide partners who collaborate to improve access to healthy food, increase nutritional awareness and health outcomes, and support ECE providers as they work to improve children’s learning environments.

Michigan was one of ten states and the District of Columbia that received an additional $90,900 each and technical assistance to strengthen their state-level farm to ECE initiatives for an additional one-year project period. ASPHN administers this grant in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Farm to School Network. The continuing Year Two FIG teams include: Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington.

The Year One FIG Evaluation Report describes the impact of the FIG's first year and the potential promise for opportunities in its second year. Year One positively impacted over 1,200 ECE sites, 1,900 ECE providers, and 219,000 children. The funding and technical assistance also helped teams increase awareness and implementation of farm to ECE; prioritize equity in their FIG work; and sustain that impact with policy, systems, and environment changes. This work will continue in year two with teams continuing to prioritize equity across all farm to ECE activities, expand farm to ECE implementation and awareness across their states, and strengthen their sustainable farm to ECE systems.

Interest in the farm to ECE strategy has grown in recent years thanks to its innovative and effective approach. Year One FIG mini grants and awards could only award 25 percent of the interested ECEs. ASPHN hopes to build on this interest by networking local farmers and food producers with ECEs such as family childcare sites, preschools, childcare centers and Head Starts, thereby helping to stimulate local economies and increasing children’s access to healthy foods.

For more information about farm to ECE in Michigan, please contact Meagan Shedd at

For more information about FIG, please contact Emia Oppenheim at or 814-255-2829, extension 714.
The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) unites the knowledge of diverse food systems stakeholders with that of MSU faculty and staff to advance regionally-rooted food systems through applied research, education, and outreach. Our work fosters a thriving economy, equity, and sustainability for Michigan, the nation, and the planet by increasing understanding of and engagement with systems that produce food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable. Learn more at

Founded in 1952, the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) is a non-profit membership organization that strengthens nutrition policy, programs and environments for all people through the development of public health nutrition leaders and the collective action of members nationwide. ASPHN’s membership is composed of more than 700 nutrition professionals located throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. ASPHN's vision is healthy eating and active living for everyone. You can find ASPHN on the web at and on Facebook at

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems appreciates the technical assistance, training, and financial support provided to us by the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN). FIG is supported by the CDC of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of cooperative agreement number NU38OT000279-04. This specific project, along with many other projects, is funded through this cooperative agreement that totals $3,245,000. One hundred percent of FIG is funded by DNPAO/ National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) /CDC/HHS. The contents of this release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, DNPAO/NCCDPHP/CDC/HHS, or the United States. 
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