2018 Michigan Good Food Summit
Amplifying Voices for Equity

October 22, 2018
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing, MI
Presented by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

Registration for this event will be open by July 1, 2018. Please check back here to register.

Call for Abstracts: Guidelines and Instructions

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking breakout session proposals for the 2018 Michigan Good Food Summit. This year’s Summit will focus on amplifying under-represented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter’s vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people.

The major purposes of this event are to:

  • Celebrate the successes in moving toward a Michigan-based food system rooted in Good Food – food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable – as envisioned in the Michigan Good Food Charter;
  • Share tools and resources that local groups can use to enhance progress toward a robust, equitable and healthy food system in their own communities;
  • Network and learn from stories of success and opportunity taking place in Michigan to enable greater engagement in the good food movement; and
  • Identify resources and strategies to enhance equity in Michigan’s food system and ensure that all residents have access to good food.
Due Date for Abstracts: Monday, April 30, 2018
Notification Date: Presenters will be notified of the decision on their submission via e-mail by Friday, May 25, 2018.
Submit Abstracts online:   

(A PDF of the online form can be viewed here.)

Topic Areas:

Abstracts should relate to the theme of this year’s conference, Amplifying Voices for Equity. Consider these guidelines when preparing your abstract.

  1. Who are the typically under-represented groups and individuals across the food system? How can we promote equity throughout the food system?
  2. What strategies, policies and programs have helped advance progress towards the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter and its overarching vision of equity, sustainability, and a thriving economy? (For more details on the Charter and its six goals for 2020, please see
  3. What resources, programs, partnerships and good food infrastructure are still needed to meet the Charter goals by 2020?

Under this theme, topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Dismantling racism in the food system
  • Food access, food insecurity and hunger
  • Food and agricultural labor
  • Food and faith
  • Food justice
  • Food policy and planning
  • Food safety
  • Fundraising
  • Environmental justice (in the food system)
  • Good food entrepreneurship
  • Health equity (in the food system)
  • Minorities in agriculture
  • Racial equity (in the food system)
  • Supply chain logistics
  • Supporting new and beginning farmers
  • Tracking and evaluation
  • Urban agriculture
  • Women in agriculture
  • Youth engagement


Typical audiences at the Summit include non-profit professionals, community advocates, educators, students, public health professionals, food retailers, food processors and food service professionals. In your submission, consider the Planning Committee’s goal to further engage with groups such as food and agricultural laborers, food justice advocates and organizers, local government officials, and community groups and residents. On your submission form, please note your target audience(s).

Abstract Format Submission Requirements:

  • Submissions must be completed online at For questions or concerns with submission, please email Diane Drago at
  • All presenters must be listed. You may have up to three presenters in the skill-sharing and panel breakout sessions.
  • If you wish, documents supporting your submission, such as a program fact sheet or brochure, may be submitted by email to
  • A PDF of the online form can be viewed here.

Breakout Format Options:

All breakout sessions will be 75 minutes long. Three types of breakout formats are available, as listed below. While the Program Committee reserves the right to make the final decision into which format an abstract submission will be assigned, all submissions should indicate a preferred format. The three formats are:

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks will be diverse and lively! This session will engage a wide range of individual presenters and is a great opportunity to share emerging insights and best practices, tell stories of failures and learnings, or present a big idea as a concise message (think TED Talk Style!).

  • Each lightning talk should only have one presenter.
  • Each presenter will have five minutes to present and 15 minutes will be provided at the end of the session for audience questions to all presenters.

Skill-sharing Workshops

Skill-sharing workshops will be interactive sessions that guide participants in developing a broad range of knowledge or skills. These workshops emphasize audience participation and experiential learning rather than speaker presentations. The topics should tie into the Summit theme, Amplifying Voices for Equity, as well as one or more of the goals and priorities of the Michigan Good Food Charter. These sessions can focus on a wide range of skill-sharing topics including, but not limited to, policy formation, creative expression, local advocacy, outreach, cooking skills, leadership, networking or fundraising.

  • Sessions of up to three presenters are allowed.
  • The session must be interactive and the number of attendees will be limited.
  • In your abstract, presenters should include a brief description of how they will engage the audience.
  • Panelists will be asked to identify a target audience on the online abstract submission form.


Panels are a more traditional format bringing together multiple speakers around a single theme. We encourage inclusion of speakers from different organizations. Panelists are also encouraged to include elements of audience engagement in their presentations.

  • Sessions of up to three presenters will provide an opportunity to present on a unified topic with more depth.
  • Sessions will consist of 35-40 minutes for presentations and 35-40 minutes for audience questions and discussion.
  • Panelists will be asked to identify a target audience on the online abstract submission form. 

Breakout Session Guidelines:

  • Abstracts will be considered for breakout sessions only, not keynote sessions.
  • The Planning Committee reserves the right to make the final decision into which format an abstract submission will be assigned. Presenters of accepted abstracts will be notified of their breakout session format – lightning talk, skill-sharing workshop or panel.
  • Workshop presenters may be asked to provide their session twice.
  • The Planning Committee reserves the right to regroup or combine sessions if abstract sessions are similar. In these cases, presenters will be asked to participate in a conference call with other presenters prior to the Summit. A presenter also reserves the right to withdraw their abstract if he/she does not wish to be part of a new group.
  • Presenters using slides will be required to submit their presentations (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.) for posting on the Summit website in PDF format.
  • Note:  Those selected for the Lightning Talks will be required to use PowerPoint format if using slides and to submit their final PowerPoints slides at least two weeks prior to the Summit.
  • Presenters will be provided with Summit registration instructions. Breakout session speakers will be offered a reduced registration price of $25. (The full registration price is $50 for organizational affiliates.) If the registration price is a hardship, please contact Diane Drago for information on registration scholarships.


  • For questions on submission procedure, please contact Diane Drago at
  • For questions on the content of your abstract, please contact Rachel Kelly at

For questions on registration and sponsor/exhibitor information, contact Diane Drago at or (734) 747-2746.

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