Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Re: 20 years and out!


Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement. I am so grateful for the work that you have done and things you have accomplished. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your work in changing school meals in Michigan.

I want to express my deepest gratitude for your dedication to this important cause. Your legacy will continue to inspire and guide us for years to come. On behalf of the school meals community, I wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling retirement.


Dan Gorman
Food Service Director
Montague Area Public Schools


We need to be successful in nutrition because our students can't be successful without it


On Tue, Feb 28, 2023 at 9:39 AM Diane Conners <> wrote:
Greetings all,

For anyone who knows me, this is just to let you know I am retiring from Groundwork Center today, after nearly 20 years with this fine organization and working on local food systems. My new email is

Some other news: For the last year, I've been writing a book for Groundwork with profiles of more than 55 people who are making local food systems happen. From farms to food pantries, schools, health care providers, and more, they share tips and lessons learned along the way over the last 22 years. Most of the profiles are from northwest lower Michigan, where we started our work. But we've included a heartfelt nod to to everyone doing this great work across the state and you'll find some profiles from Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids as well. We started our work 22 years ago (when we were called the Michigan Land Use Institute) with research for a 20-page report called The New Entrepreneurial Agriculture, which urged a focus on building local food economies in Michigan. It is extraordinary all that has happened since. My deepest respect to you all.

The book will be released in June, including a release party here in Traverse City scheduled for June 15. I'll be there, and would love to see any of you. Please follow Groundwork's newsletter and social media for updates (F Groundwork Center T @grndwk).

Who to contact in the future:
Many of you have worked with me on 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms, and we have stellar staff continuing this work:
Learn more about them and our other staff here.

Thanks for all that you do. This is an exciting time, and there are so many more people across the state doing this work who I wish I could meet. But…off into spring I go.


Diane Conners  |  Senior Policy Specialist
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

P   231-499-3937

T   @grndwk

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

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.

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