Good Food means food that is:

Healthy - It provides nourishment and enables people to thrive

Green - It was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable

Fair - No one along the production line was exploited for its creation

Affordable - All people have access to it

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Governor proposes $1 million for food hubs


Michigan’s need and opportunity to build stronger community and commercial connections between food producers and consumers is attracting important attention from the state capitol.
            Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder presented his fiscal 2013-2014 budget recommendations. They include support for regional food hubs and other investments in the farm sector’s capacity to meet growing demand for healthy, green, fair, affordable food.
            State lawmakers will have the final say in budget process. But here are highlights from the Governor’s recommendation for Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Urban Agriculture Meets MI Right to Farm Act


Urban agriculture is one of those things that virtually everyone recognizes as a powerful way to strengthen Michigan.
Urban agriculture brings healthy food to neighborhoods without quality grocery stores. It brings neighbors together, which strengthens investments that families and businesses make in a community’s future. Urban agriculture also brings opportunities to young people who can get started farming at relatively low cost on vacant lots.
To move forward, however, Michigan’s city governments need to be comfortable with agriculture in their densely populated areas. One of the first challenges they’re facing is a state law called the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which supersedes any local say in the matter of how a farm operates.

Pure Michigan promotion opening to agriculture


Les Timmer’s southeast Michigan carrot farm on Muck Road near Imlay City is about as pure Michigan as you can get.
But like most of Michigan’s agricultural products, Timmer’s carrots sit side by side in grocery stores with carrots from California and elsewhere. It’s not easy for Timmer’s Michigan carrots to stand out in that global commodity crowd.
That could change, however, because the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is now making the state’s highly successful Pure Michigan logo available for free to farmers and other businesses.

State leaders take interest in food hubs


Communities across Michigan are in varying stages of developing regional food hubs for business incubation, local food distribution, and more. Now the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is taking notice of this powerful undercurrent in one of the state’s largest industries.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eastern U.P. Gets Its Food Summit On!


Farmers, grocers, teachers, restaurateurs and local government leaders from the Eastern Upper Peninsula huddled together Nov. 10 in Sault Ste. Marie to talk local food economy. 

They celebrated the fact that Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties have a long and bountiful agricultural history, and that many new farms are growing in that self-determined land between the Mackinac Bridge and the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge to Canada.

Putting that past and present together for a future of good food and profitable farming in their rural communities was the topic for the day. They were not the least bit fazed the region's short growing season or sparse population. The sentiment throughout the day was one of: “We're a small community, and we know how to work together.”

Detroit Forms Food and Ag Business Support Network


It was clear at a meeting of Detroit-area food and farm entrepreneurs earlier this month that city and state leaders are beginning to invest in the food and agriculture sector’s potential to grow badly needed jobs and businesses.

Nearly 70 people filled the midtown church meeting hall Nov. 3 to launch the Detroit Ag and Food Business Cluster Network. Among dozens of new and old Detroit food names — such as Aunt Mid’s Produce (est. 1948) and McClure’s Pickles (est. 2007) — sat a full slate of city and state agencies intent on leveraging the job-generating power of Michigan food.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Entrepreneurs, food business innovation go together


It’s widely understood in economic development circles that if you want new entrepreneurs to start up and grow, a good strategy is to bring them together and let the creativity roll.
            A good example is People’s Pierogi Collective, which grew in one year from a startup hot food cart at Detroit’s Eastern Market to contract talks with local and regional grocers and requests to franchise nationwide.