The Michigan Farm to Institution Network seeks nominations to fill open seats on the 2023 Advisory Committee. Guide farm to institution work, strengthen the culture of local food procurement, and build your network by serving in this role!
The Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) helps people across the farm to institution supply chain learn, connect, and collaborate. It supports local and regional food supply chains and institutions that are responsible food buyers and community members. The values of diversity, equity, integrity, local food, environmental sustainability, and business viability serve as guides for its work that supports moving more local foods to all types of institutions and through all market channels. See more about our priorities and descriptions of values in The Michigan Farm to Institution Network’s Framework for 2022 and Beyond.
MFIN launched in 2014 to support one of the goals of the 2010 Michigan Good Food Charter. Since then, MFIN has changed the culture of local food procurement in Michigan by:
- Raising awareness about Michigan agriculture and the benefits of local food sourcing,
- Creating a community of practice that values local sourcing, and
- Educating stakeholders about how to communicate and collaborate with diverse sectors involved in farm to institution programs and activities. (Findings from the case study, The Michigan Farm to Institution Network Past, Present, and Future.)
With our new framework, we are supporting a 25% local food purchasing goal for institutions by 2025.
A management team of staff members from the Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and MSU Extension coordinate MFIN’s activities and move its work forward. Staff members from the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provide leadership and partnership on various activities as well.
Since its launch, MFIN has relied on an advisory committee of farm to institution practitioners to use their experiences in the field to guide and inform its work. By serving in this role, MFIN advisory committee members say they have benefited by increasing their knowledge of farm to institution, engaging more deeply in related activities, and growing their networks. (See the 2022 MFIN Team here.)
Request for Nominations
For the 2023 calendar year, MFIN seeks nominations for Michigan-based advisory committee members to represent the following sectors:
Institutional food programs
- Senior facility (care, living, or other facilities that offer some form of food service)
- Student representative – college/university and 18 years of age or older
- Contracted food service management – higher education
- Contracted food service management – hospitals/healthcare
Local and regional supply chains
- Farm businesses of different scales and types (urban, small-, medium-, or large-scale) with experience or interest in institutional sales through any market channel
- Food processor, preferably business that minimally-processes Michigan-grown or raised foods appropriate for institutional food service operations
- Produce distributor that sources and sells produce from Michigan farms to Michigan institutions
This one-year commitment, with potential for extension in future years, includes the following responsibilities:
- Participating in (4) quarterly 2-hour advisory committee meetings that are typically held virtually unless schedules and conditions allow for in-person meetings (which have also been accompanied by site visits hosted by members);
- Contributing expertise, thinking, and networks to MFIN’s current and future work; and,
- Providing support to MFIN’s efforts and activities, which may include but is not limited to:
- Attending, speaking at and/or hosting events beyond advisory committee meetings, such as Cultivate Michigan Marketplaces, tours, and virtual or in-person network meetings;
- Partnering on or writing letters of support for grant proposals and assisting with other fundraising efforts;
- Leveraging resources, including networks, expertise, etc.; and,
- Serving as a champion and ambassador of MFIN and promoting the network’s activities, goals, and accomplishments through your network.
MFIN coordinators seek to offset costs for advisory committee members to travel and/or participate in in-person meetings and activities as much as possible, but this role is unpaid. Previous experience with farm to institution is not required to participate in the MFIN Advisory Committee.
- Please complete this electronic nomination form to nominate yourself or someone else, by 5 pm on Friday, February 3, 2023.
- If you nominate someone else for this role, the MFIN team will follow up directly with the person nominated as soon as possible to confirm their interest and gather any additional information for the review process, if needed.
- Completed nomination forms will be reviewed by a panel of MFIN management team and 2022 advisory committee members.
- Decisions of the review panel will be shared by email before February 28, 2023, and before the first MFIN Advisory Committee Meeting of the year is held. For those who are invited to join the Advisory Committee, an invitation letter will be provided by email as well.
Please contact Colleen Matts, MFIN Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Not ready to commit to serving as an Advisory Committee member? Join MFIN to participate as much or as little as you are able. MFIN membership is free and open to all who wish to participate.
Learn more about MFIN’s work over the years at mifarmtoinstitution.org and through the following resources:
- Michigan Farm to Institution Network by the Numbers (2014-2020)
- The Michigan Farm to Institution Network Past Present and Future
- The Michigan Farm to Institution Network’s Framework for 2022 and Beyond