Tag Archives: marquette food co-op

Research and outreach come Together at the Farm

Thank you to our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension and AgBioResearch faculty and staff and our partners for a successful event at the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) in Chatham. Over 200 people from across the state and the Midwest attended the U.P. Food Conference: Together at the Farm program.

Together at the Farm showcased our research and outreach efforts through interaction with attendees at both of the farm sites. During the morning and the afternoon sessions, a diverse pool of presenters offered over 20 workshop opportunities such as ruminant grazing systems, composting for soil quality, sustaining a school garden program, year-round herb production in greenhouses, small farm tools and implements and understanding policy to support local food systems. Presenters included MSU faculty, but the event also capitalized on local expertise and guest speakers. The evening included a keynote speaker and dinner, followed by a barn dance.

For attending, participants could receive credit in Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Phase I, Master Citizen Planner and State Continuing Education Clock Hours.

We would like to thank all of our partners that made Together at the Farm possible: the U.P. Food Exchange, the Marquette Food Co-Op, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and MAEAP. Thank you to all of our event sponsors for making the program possible. Interested in finding out more about the event and our sponsors? Visit upfoodexchange.com. We hope that you’ll be able to join us next year.

Comments Off on Research and outreach come Together at the Farm

Filed under Agriculture, Agriculture and Agribusiness, Field Days, Gardening, Horticulture, Partnerships, Uncategorized

UP food summits put spotlight on local food movement

The local food movement is a force moving across the country. Here in our own state, Michigan State University Extension has been a big part of that movement.

Three local food summits recently took place in each region of the Upper Peninsula. “Together at the Table: Recipes for a Sustainable Local Food System” took place Nov. 5 in Houghton (western), Nov. 6 in Marquette (central) and Nov. 7 in Sault Ste. Marie (eastern). This was the third summit for the eastern U.P. and the first in central and western U.P.

The U.P. Food Exchange put on the summits. The exchange, a collaborative partnership between MSU Extension and the Marquette Food Co-op, connects local food activity within each of the U.P.’s three regions and coordinates local food efforts between the regions. It was created in November 2012 with funds from a Regional Food Systems Grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

MSU Extension educator Michelle Walk co-leads the U.P. Food Exchange initiative with Natasha Lantz of the Marquette Food Co-op.

Each of the three U.P. regions has its own steering committee to coordinate activities specific to each region, and each committee had input into the overall format of the summits. Committee members identified local speakers for the panel portions and local topics for the table discussions.

Keynote speaker at all three summits was Ken Meter, president of Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis and food system analyst.

“The summits are a culmination of some of the work we are doing across the U.P. in local foods,” said Michelle. “We were able to work with Ken Meter on the economic impact study under the Regional Food Systems Grant we received from MDARD last fall.”

The summits included 75 participants in Houghton, 135 in Marquette and 71 in Sault Ste. Marie.

“All three summits had participation from farmers, schools, health departments, chambers, restaurants, agencies (such as conservation districts and the USDA), elected officials of local, state and federal offices, interested consumers, retail outlets, tribes and many more stakeholders,” said Michelle, who presented at the summits.

The summits promoted ways to expand the local food market – through selling at farmers markets, expanding the customer base to include local institutions such as schools and hospitals, and extending the growing season with hoop houses. Strengthening the local food system strengthens the local economy.

The media took notice of the summits’ importance. Local news covered all three events.

Watch this video from ABC10 about the Houghton summit: http://abc10U.P..com/u-p-food-exchange-meetings-week/

 Watch this video from Fox TV6 about the Marquette summit:

http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=968231#.UpyGU7Uo7KI (Search for “food summit.” Then choose “Supporting Local Foods.”)

Watch this video from 9&10 News about the Sault Ste. Marie summit: http://www.9and10news.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9503989

Below is just one of the many local news articles that covered the events:

Sault Ste. Marie location in the Soo Evening News: http://www.sooeveningnews.com/article/20131108/NEWS/131109418/0/SEARCH

Thanks for your leadership, Michelle!

Comments Off on UP food summits put spotlight on local food movement

Filed under Food

GMI educator receives NACDEP service award

Michelle Walk, Michigan State University Extension Greening Michigan Institute educator, received the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) State Distinguished Extension Community Development Service Award at the NACDEP Conference in Park City, Utah, May 21.

 In her role, Michelle focuses primarily on business development related to tourism and community food systems. She also serves as an innovation counselor with the MSU Product Center Food–Ag–Bio and as an affiliate with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.

 Michelle works with organizations and communities across the Upper Peninsula and regularly partners with educators in other program areas, particularly agriculture and health and nutrition. Michelle has developed strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the region as well as with statewide associations and state agencies.

 Michelle provides leadership and coordination for the Eastern Upper Peninsula Food Hub project, which develops and implements strategies to support the viability and sustainability of eastern U.P. agriculture and food production. Through the project, she has partnered with the Marquette Food Co-op to conduct an Upper Peninsula Agriculture Assessment and develop plans for improving access to processing, aggregation and distribution across the U.P.

 In 2007, Michelle provided leadership to the development of the plan for the North Huron Scenic Pathway, a non-motorized pathway that will be nearly 80 miles in length once complete.

 Michelle served as part of a team that in 2009 published an economic opportunity study for the U.P. and Wisconsin border counties. She continues to be active on the tourism strategy group and assists in the planning of a U.P. Tourism Summit. She’s also part of a team of MSU faculty and Extension staff that will work with the Michigan Travel Commission to update their strategic plan.

 Michelle serves on numerous boards and commissions. She has received many awards including in 2011, the Community and Natural Resource Development Association’s (CNRDA’s) Raymond D. Vlasin Award that pays the highest tribute to Extension professionals who have consistently exhibited continuing leadership and excellence in Extension program planning, delivery and evaluation.

 Congratulations, Michelle!

Michelle Walk, MSU Extension educator, receives NACDEP State Distinguished Extension Community Development Service Award

Michelle Walk, MSU Extension educator, receives National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) State Distinguished Extension Community Development Service Award at the NACDEP Conference in Park City, Utah, May 21, 2012.

Comments Off on GMI educator receives NACDEP service award

Filed under Awards