MFIN welcomes national speaker for Great Lakes Expo

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network welcomes national speaker, Nessa Richman, for Farm to Institution session at Great Lakes Expo

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo is one of the largest farmer focused educational events in the Midwest. Every year thousands of farmers from across Michigan and surrounding states decend upon Grand Rapids during the first week in December (5 - 7, 2017) for an opportunity to learn the latest production practices, technical information and to network with colleagues and industry professionals.

As part of a long-standing partnership, the Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) has been organizing a conference session on Farm to Institution for farmers in attendance. This year MFIN is proud to welcome a guest speaker for the session, Nessa Richman from Farm to Institution New England (FINE). Ms. Richman is the Director of Research and Evaluation at FINE and will be presenting on findings from several recent studies done on the Farm to Institution supply chain in New England. FINE, like MFIN, is a network of partners, practictioners, farmers, food buyers and advocates that are working to increase the supply and demand for local products in institutions.

This session will provide a great opportunity for farmers interested in selling to institutions to learn about great work happening in other areas of the country. One of the key components of the session will look at results from a producer survey that was conducted by FINE in 2015/16. The survey findings were released in a report titled, "Producer Perspectives: The New England Farm to Institution Market". The report presents in-depth findings and makes specific, data-driven recommendations for farmers, producer service providers, government officials, funders and institutions. This will be a great opportunity for producers in the Great Lakes Region to learn from these findings and identify ways to access or increase sales to local institutions. Registration for Great Lakes Expo is still available online or in person on the day of attendance.

The Michigan Farm to Institution Newtork is coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems with support from Michigan State University Extension.

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