Tag Archives: michigan farmers market association

CANR announces new staffing

Ron Hendrick, Dean of the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, recently announced two new members of the college’s leadership. We are fortunate to have Dru Montri joining us as our new director of governmental affairs and stakeholder relations, and Quentin Tyler as our new associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Headshot of Dr. Dru Montri.Dr. Montri is coming to us from the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) where she has provided overall leadership to MIFMA through long-term strategic planning to achieve its mission. At MIFMA, she managed staff members and volunteers, developed and maintained sound financial practices, oversaw membership recruitment and retention, promoted Michigan farmers and farmers markets, and directed special events. You might remember Dr. Montri from her attendance at our Fall Extension Conference in Detroit – she received a Michigan State University Extension Key Partner Award on behalf of the Michigan Farmers Market Association. Her appointment will be effective Jan. 8, 2018.

Headshot of Quentin TylerDr. Tyler currently serves as assistant dean and director of diversity at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. In that role, he has provided leadership in strengthening workplace diversity, recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, and building cultural competency, as well as monitoring assessment and reporting activities. He will begin in March 2018.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Montri and Dr. Tyler on campus with us in the new year.

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5 things to know to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and I thought it would be a chance to highlight some great programs MSU Extension offers as well as some helpful resources that you can use with your families. Here are five things to know to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month.

  1. MSU Extension’s Michigan Fresh campaign helps people explore the state’s bounty of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The cross-institute team of Agriculture and Agribusiness, Heath and Nutrition and Greening Michigan staff provide fact sheets with recipes, gardening tips and preservation techniques for over 80 Michigan-grown foods available for free online at MSU Extension offices and in over 20 farmers markets across the state. The Michigan Fresh team also has a series of newspaper articles available at this link on Sharepoint for customization and distribution to local media outlets by MSU Extension offices.


  1. Be sure to follow Michigan Fresh on Facebook, Instagram and check out over 1,800 recipes on our Michigan Fresh Pinterest Thanks to Health and Nutrition Institute team member Ellen Darnall, we have a new series of recipe videos. Check them out online at the MI Health Matters Facebook page. Recipes include Michigan asparagus guacamole, Michigan blueberry muffins, Michigan berry yogurt parfait, Michigan maple syrup balsamic vinaigrette, Michigan broccoli salad, and more! If you would like more information about Michigan Fresh or would like to join the team, please contact Kendra Wills.


  1. Where is your local farmers market? Planning on traveling around Michigan and want to find one during your trip? The Michigan Farmers Market Association has a comprehensive list and map of all of the markets in Michigan. Find your local farmers market and bring fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables into your kitchen.


  1. Interested in planning your own vegetable garden? MSU Extension has a webpage dedicated to providing resources on when and where to plant. It also covers building garden soil, managing pests, planning your garden and harvesting vegetables. The site also contains growing tip sheets A to Z, from asparagus to turnips.
  1. Hoping to find ways to add more vegetables and fruits into your eating habits? In her article, “June Is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month,” Zelda Felix-Mottley helps us take an inventory of our eating habits and gives us tips on increasing our fruit and vegetable consumption.

I hope this information let you know a bit more about our wide range of resources that help our communities and can also help you. Have a happy fruits and veggies month!

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Michigan Fresh has even more to offer

In a March 27 Spotlight, I mentioned how our Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh program educates on fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals as well as food safety, food storage, food preservation and gardening. In addition to this long list of important subjects, the Michigan Fresh work team is also busy on many other projects.

Extension educator Eileen Haraminac took over the coordination of the Michigan Fresh team upon Kathe Hale’s retirement.

Extension educator Joyce McGarry is busy heading up new fact sheet development. The team consists of Mary Dunckel, Michelle Jarvie, Ronald E. Kinnunen, Amanda Knox, Laurie Messing, Jeannie Nichols, Jeannine Schweihofer and Rob Weber. Team members arecompiling information on meats: pork, lamb, poultry, beef and fish. In the future, they will compile information for fact sheets on dairy products. Michigan Fresh fact sheets have been available at many of the farmers markets throughout the state as well as online. The fact sheets are also available in Arabic and Spanish. Find them on the Michigan Fresh website: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/mi_fresh

Other future fact sheets will focus on Michigan chestnuts (Erin Lizotte, Extension educator in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute) and growing hops (Greening Michigan Institute Extension educator Rob Sirrine).

Extension program instructor Stephanie Bruno heads up the team that’s developing recipe cards. The team consists of Jennifer Berkey, Becky Henne and Connie Kurple. These new recipe cards will be distributed at several farmers markets to encourage consumers to purchase Michigan-grown food to use as simple ingredients.

 Kristine Hahn and Eileen Haraminac as well as Sean Corp and other MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications staff are collaborating with the Eastern Market Corporation to promote a new product ‒ Michigan Fresh Frozen fruits and vegetables. The group is working on recipe cards to be distributed at Detroit Eastern Market and through the Peaches & Greens mobile produce trucks. The cards will promote both the Michigan Fresh program and the new Eastern Market Corporation Michigan Fresh Frozen products.

Eileen said, “We want to encourage people to choose nutrient-packed frozen fruits and vegetables when fresh are unavailable. Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing are processed at their peak ripeness ‒ time when, as a general rule, they are most nutrient packed.

Extension associate program leader Becky Henne heads up the social media team. Team members are busy working to build a smartphone app and to develop additional videos. They hope to have the app ready to roll out for the 2015 season. This group is working with Dr. Dru Montri, executive director of Michigan Farmers Market Association; Colleen Matts, farm to institution outreach specialist with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems; and Dr. Norm Lownds, curator of the 4-H Children’s Garden. Additional team members from both the Health and Nutrition Institute and the Greening Michigan Institute include Julie Darnton, Joanne Davidhizar, Dawn Earnesty, Kristine Hahn, Sheilah Hebert, Maggie Kantola and Kendra Wills.

Dr. Cheryl Peters, Maggie Kantola and Kendra Wills have been working with the Michigan Fresh team to develop a common evaluation tool for Michigan Fresh cooking demonstrations offered at the Detroit Eastern Market and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. These cooking demonstrations benefit the promotion of the Michigan Fresh fact sheets and videos. The free, public demonstrations are designed to inspire people to purchase and consume more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. The evaluation tool will gather information from cooking demonstration observers. Recipes used in the cooking demonstrations come from the Michigan Fresh fact sheets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With coordination from Extension educator Terry McLean, MSU Extension will staff a kiosk at the Flint Farmers Market this spring.

Michigan Fresh is a great collaboration not only between our own institutes but between local organizations and farmers markets as well.

If you are interested in promoting the Michigan Fresh campaign materials at your community farmers market, please contact Eileen Haraminac (haramin2@anr.msu.edu) for more information.

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Filed under Food