Blog Archive

Monday, February 24, 2020

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a Food Systems Specialist

Happy Monday morning,

Please forward this opportunity to those who may be interested.




Colleen Matts

(she, her, hers)

Farm to Institution Specialist

Coordinator, Michigan Farm to Institution Network

Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

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



From: "Weiss, Andrea" <aweiss@MSU.EDU>
Reply-To: "Weiss, Andrea" <>
Date: Monday, February 17, 2020 at 8:54 AM
Subject: MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a Food Systems Specialist


Greetings! We're seeking a full-time Food Systems Specialist to join our team at the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.


The full position description is below and available on the MSU Careers website by searching for posting #636431. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2020.


Please share with your networks. Thank you!



Food Systems Specialist - Posting #636431



Position Summary

The Center for Regional Food Systems within the Department of Community Sustainability is seeking a full-time Specialist - Outreach to support capacity-building among and facilitate technical assistance to Michigan local food councils, Michigan food and health organizations, and countrywide grantees in the federal Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP).

The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, or GusNIP, supports programs that provide nutrition incentives – including produce prescription programs and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program incentives – to help families bring home more nutritious fruits and vegetables. The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition will lead a newly-established Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Information Center. Core partners in the project include Fair Food Network, National Grocers Association, National Farmers Market Coalition, and the Michigan Farmers Market Association. CRFS will be a consultant to the project. 

One half of this position will lead efforts with statewide food and health networks and associations and work with current Michigan Local Food Council Network coordinators to support councils, seeking to build organizations' capacity to execute their individual and collective priorities. This includes assisting local food councils in building their capacity to serve as a critical piece of the Michigan Good Food infrastructure by communicating across communities statewide, setting and advancing policy priorities in the development of a post-2020 Michigan Good Food Charter, and playing an active role in a statewide food policy voice once developed.

The other half of this position will be devoted to coordinating the Center's involvement in providing local food sourcing and food system equity technical assistance, network facilitation, and educational resources development to grantees of the federal GusNIP program.  GusNIP grantee assistance will center on the topics of local food sourcing and food system equity, with the goal of maximizing the efficiency and impact of GusNIP projects. Types of assistance include one-on-one grantee assistance, webinars, best practice bulletins, and other resource materials.  The candidate will provide a portion of this technical assistance and will coordinate technical assistance provision by other CRFS staff.

This position is an opportunity for a collaborative, network-oriented, resourceful candidate to join teams supporting local and statewide food and health groups in Michigan and GusNIP grantees across the U.S.

Position expectations

  1. Plan content for and facilitate capacity-building among local food councils and statewide food and health network/associations in areas such as racial equity, membership, fund development, and policy advocacy through in-person or virtual training, peer-to peer learning, technical assistance, and webinars. Assist councils in building capacity to serve as a critical piece of the Michigan Good Food infrastructure and participate in a statewide food policy voice.
  2. Contribute to relationship-building among and across statewide food and health networks/associations and local food councils, including via site visits across these groups.
  3. Assist in making and administering mini-grants to local food councils using a participatory grantmaking process.
  4. Lead or contribute to development of outreach and scholarly publications on networks and learnings; distribute information of interest to networks via calendar, e-newsletter, website, and directory of councils and statewide food and health networks/associations.
  5. Contribute to reporting and reimbursement requests on current funding and developing grant proposals to support new/continued work.
  6. Coordinate and be primary contact for the Center's role as a technical assistance and content provider to GusNIP grantees through one-on-one grantee consultations, webinars, and best-practice informational resources such as bulletins, resource guides, and videos. Some content and technical assistance will be provided by the candidate selected and some by other CRFS staff.
  7. Coordinate the community of practice on local and regional sourcing for GusNIP grantees and project partners.
  8. Co-coordinate the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion community of practice for GusNIP grantees and project partners.
  9. Participate in and represent CRFS in recurring calls and semi-annual convenings of GusNIP NTAE content providers, core partners, and grantees.

Expected of all CRFS academic specialists

  1. Engage with relevant networks led by CRFS and/or partners and appropriate professional organizations;
  2. Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; write grant reports; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
  3. Actively participate in CRFS staff and strategic meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications as relevant to this work;
  4. Represent projects and CRFS in a professional manner in all forms of engagement and communication; and
  5. Help to foster, facilitate, and maintain the CRFS culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.


  1. Bachelor's degree required; Master's degree or comparable experience preferred.  Prefer background in community food systems, food policy, planning, community development, or a related field.
  2. Minimum of three years' experience working with local food councils, and/or local/regional food sourcing and procurement in retail or institutional settings.
  3. Demonstrated experience using an equity lens in food systems educational programming and working with multicultural and diverse populations.
  4. Demonstrated project leadership, management, and grant-writing experience.
  5. Proven ability to effectively and diplomatically engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups such as project grantees, nonprofit, academic, and governmental organizations, and funders. Experience in network-building and group facilitation.
  6. Demonstrated resourcefulness and ability to problem-solve and think critically. Proven to self-direct and balance multiple projects simultaneously and to easily shift between working independently and as part of a team.
  7. Demonstrated strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communication tactics.
  8. Fluency in Spanish highly desired.
  9. High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite; online search, file-sharing, and collaboration platforms; electronic survey software; and phone/web conferencing systems.
  10. Available to occasionally travel throughout the state and, less frequently, within the US, including overnight. Possession of a valid, current state driver's license required.

Required Application Materials

  1. CV
  2. Cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position
  3. Names and contact information of three references

Special Instructions

If you have questions about the position or search process, you may contact: Rich Pirog,

Please do not send application materials directly to Rich Pirog.

Center for Regional Food Systems

The mission of the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University is to work to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

MSU Affirmative Action Statement

The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status. Michigan State University is a pioneer Land Grant institution based in East Lansing, Michigan that provides regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research, excellence in teaching, an emphasis on international engagement, and a strong extension program that partners with diverse stakeholders to bring science-based responses to social and environmental challenges.





Andrea Weiss

Communications Director

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems 

Natural Resources Building

480 Wilson Road, Room 309

East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 432-0283 

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Facebook and Twitter 



Friday, February 14, 2020

2020 Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-Grant Deadline Approaching!

A friendly reminder - The deadline to apply for the 2020 Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-Grant is 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 24, 2020 - please be sure to apply!

The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program is now accepting applications for the 2020 grant year. With funding from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Michigan State University Extension will award approximately 15 grants for schools or early care and education sites that are planning or implementing school garden programming. Grant awards will range from $500 - $1,500. In addition to funding, grantees will receive technical assistance, training and connection to a network of peers. The grant year is from March 30, 2020 – March 29, 2021.


The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program offers planning and implementation grants to schools or early care and education sites located in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The application must be submitted by an employee of the school or ECE site affiliated with the garden.


Note: For schools located in Detroit, we are partnering with local organizations which currently provide support to school gardens, including the Detroit Public School Community District's Office of Nutrition and Keep Growing Detroit to avoid duplicative efforts and maximize resources available to schools. We encourage schools to connect with these organizations (links below) and consider the resources offered before applying for this grant. We hope this grant will offer opportunities to complement these resources and contribute to sustainability of the network of resources available in the City.


Planning grants help schools and early care and education sites that are in the beginning phases of creating a school garden. Planning grantees will create a school garden action plan and form a school garden team by the end of the grant period.


Implementation grants help schools and early care and education sites that are ready to establish a school garden or will expand their school garden program. Expansion can include expanding the physical garden, curriculum implemented, students reached or other program additions. Having a school garden team is a prerequisite to apply for an implementation grant. Implementation grantees will create a school garden sustainability plan to maintain the garden and activities beyond the grant period.  


Please visit the Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant page for more details regarding the grant program, eligibility, and requirements.


Applications are due on Monday, February 24 at 5pm.


Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Early Bird Registration - National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Registration is open for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, April 21-23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Join more than 800 food systems leaders from across the country at the conference, hosted by the National Farm to School Network. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development and networking opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide.


Early Bird discounts end February 28. You can register at



​Lindsay Mensch (she/her/hers)

Outreach and Communications Specialist

Michigan State University

Center for Regional Food Systems

Department of Community Sustainability

Natural Resources Building

480 Wilson Road

East Lansing, MI 48824


phone: 517-432-0264

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

SAVE THE DATE: Michigan Good Food Summit on November 16

The 2020 Michigan Good Food Summit will bring together over 500 people to celebrate achievements and launch a renewed effort to advance a good food system in Michigan that promotes equity, sustainability, and thriving economies.
Since 2010, people across the state and country have gathered at the Michigan Good Food Summit to network, share, reflect, and learn about good food work happening in Michigan.

The 2020 summit is a unique event for youth, individuals, businesses, and organizations to collaborate and set the stage for the next 10 years of good food systems in Michigan!
Scholarships, sliding-scale registration, and
transportation from select regions will be made available.

For sponsor and exhibitor information, please contact
More details coming soon!
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Please note that if you unsubscribe from this mailing, you will be removed from the listserv(s).

Monday, February 10, 2020

Accepting Applications: Market Coordinator @ Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital



Hello All,


Henry’s Market on Main is looking for a Market Coordinator for the 2020 season that runs June 3rd to November 18th.  The position is a great fit for those looking to work with hospital and institutional food systems in their career.   You will get experience with hands on management of a produce market, using SNAP and other payment methods, volunteer management, and record keeping.


Please submit your resume and cover letter to by March 16th. The position pays $13 per hour.


Trevor Johnson

Resident Farmer

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

6777 West Maple Road

West Bloomfield, MI 48322

(O) 248-325-2060


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Monday, February 3, 2020

Improving School Cafeterias, Preventing Food Waste, and Job Opportunities

February 2020
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

This month, we are sharing news and resources to invigorate your farm to school efforts. Learn what programs are doing to reinvent the school cafeteria, support Native American communities, and reduce food waste.

We hope you will join us in celebrating local food this month by hosting a Michigan Cherry Slurp event. What better way to spend Valentine's Day?
FoodCorps Pilots School Cafeteria Improvement Program in Michigan
Michigan is one of 15 states with a school participating in a FoodCorps pilot program called “Reimagining School Cafeterias.” Findings from the first year will help expand the project to 50 schools across the U.S. during the 2020-21 school year with additional activities to help students learn about healthy food choices.

Michigan Farmers Market Association Awarded USDA Grant
The Michigan Farmer's Market Association (MIFMA) was awarded a USDA grant to help more people know about and are encouraged to shop at farmers markets. Early care and education settings and schools can shop at farmers markets to purchase local products and support local farmers.

More Schools are Using Scratch Cooking - Because Kids Like It
Schools are hiring more staff to cook from scratch, and kids and staff are responding favorably. “It saves us money, and when you cook things from scratch, you control the components,” said executive chef Isaiah Ruffin. “Most importantly for the kids, it’s delicious.”

Michigan Cherry Slurp
February 14 or anytime in February!

Celebrate Michigan cherries during National Cherry Month by taking part in the Michigan Cherry Slurp! Check out the Event Organizing Toolkit for steps and tips to help you organize a fun and successful event. 

Vermont’s Farm to School Conference
April 8
Brattleboro, VT

Hear from regional farm to school experts from the Northeast and harness inspiration for your school’s farm to school programming. The agenda will include a keynote speech by Joseph Kiefer, Food Justice Educational Consultant, as well as three breakout sessions and a locally-sourced lunch.

California Farm to School and School Garden Conference
March 26-27
San Diego, CA

This conference will focus on empathy and coalition building, with an emphasis on establishing "complete" farm to school programs that coordinate student voice and the three core elements of farm to school. 

Questions can be sent to Nick Anicich, Farm to School Program Lead with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Afterschool Meals in Michigan Matter
With almost one in six Michigan children use school nutrition programs to avoid hunger, the importance of afterschool programs cannot be understated. This report, published by the Center for Civil Justice, takes a closer look at Michigan-specific data and provides suggestions for improving our state’s afterschool meal coverage.

What You Can Do To Help Prevent Wasted Food in Schools and ECE Programs
Integrate ideas for your school or ECE setting from nutrition professionals, teachers, parents, students, and administrators to reduce, recover, and recycle food to reduce food waste.

Seventh Edition of the Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System
The annotated bibliography from the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems offers a foundation for learning and communicating about structural racism in the U.S. food system. This updated edition includes 250 publications and 29 videos that explore structural racism across the national system and in specific food system sectors.

Reaching Native American and Rural Kindergarteners with Nutrition Info
Young children living on American Indian reservations, and children living in rural areas adjacent to them, often have limited access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, as well as to nutrition education. This article, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, explores the Veggies for Kids Program and its results.

Southeast MI School Garden Mini-Grants Available
Deadline: February 24

If your school or early care and education site is in Oakland, Wayne or Macomb county, this opportunity is for you! The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program is now accepting applications for the 2020 grant year. Approximately 15 grants will be awarded for schools or ECE sites that are planning or implementing school garden programming.

Equity Consultant, National Farm to School Network
Deadline: February 12

National Farm to School Network is seeking an Equity Consultant to support initiatives aimed at advancing equity at the organizational and programmatic levels. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For more information, email Jenileigh Harris.
FoodCorps Service Member Application Now Open
Deadline: March 13

Applications are now open for the next class of FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. Service members connect kids to healthy food in school, from the classroom to the garden to the cafeteria.

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.

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