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Food & Farming Network

The Food & Farming Network works to preserve agriculture as a viable economic practice in the region by protecting farmland, enhancing the affordability of farms, and supporting agricultural infrastructure in the region.

Our overarching goal: to increase the resilience and double the value of the region's food and agricultural system by 2019.


Click to visit the Food and Farming Network
website for more information, news and features.


Click to visit the Ag and Food System Sector Alliance
of Northwest Michigan.




The 2013 Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Summit

featured updates and success stories on a variety of topics. See a variety of videos featuring speakers who participated in the summit. More


The Northwest MI Food and Farm 20/20 Fund

offers farm businesses a continuum of financing tools and products offered by regional lenders through a one-stop application process. Financing options and resource support are tailored to the business stage and scale. See more


How to Use
Double Up Food Bucks

This video provides guidance to using Double Up Food Bucks at participating Farmers Markets. Find a participating market in NW Michigan here, or click here for markets elsewhere in Michigan.


Wholesale Success

A workshop for fruit and vegetable growers was presented to help farmers achieve success in the wholesale marketplace. Video segments from each of the presenters at the workshop are available online. See more.


Grand Traverse Regional Market Takes Another Step Forward

By: Rob Sirrine

The results of the Grand Traverse Regional Market (GTRM) Feasibility Study are in. Six months ago, with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the GTRM advisory board and Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation hired Market Ventures Inc., a national consultant firm that specializes in Public Markets, to complete a feasibility analysis for creating a “food hub” at Building 58 at the Grand Traverse Commons. MORE.


Farm Succession Planning

A Farm Transition Workshop in Leelanau County focused on strategies for passing the farm on to the next generation. Video segments from each of the presenters at the workshop are available online. See more.

Food Corps members Kirsten Gerbatsch and Daniel Marbury work with students in Suttons Bay, Michigan to prepare and taste roasted beets and parsnips during lunch.  

Grand Vision Food & Farming Network Sets New Goals at Summit:

The Grand Vision Food and Farming Network set some new goals at its annual summit in Traverse City. Watch the video to find out more about one of those goals and how it's related to the Michigan Good Food Charter.


Youth Engagement in Food & Agriculture

The Grand Vision Food and Farming Network Summit in Traverse City included breakout sessions for the Network's different work groups. The Youth Engagement group talked about several things that are key to getting young people involved with the local food and agriculture system. Watch the video to find out more.


Food & Farming Network Looks at Branding

The Grand Vision Food and Farming Network Summit in Traverse City included breakout sessions for the Network's work groups. The branding work group discussed developing a regional brand. Watch the video to find out more.


Capital for Entrepreneurs
in Food & Farming

The Grand Vision Food and Farming Network Summit in Traverse City included breakout sessions for the Network's different work groups. The investment group discussed capital needs and alternatives for food and farming entrepreneurs. Watch the video to find out more.


Ag & Food Sector Alliance Talks About Local Foods:

The importance of local foods provided the focus for the December meeting of the Agriculture and Food System Sector Alliance of Northwest Michigan. Alliance members say having access to that kind of information is important to the region's Ag and Food System.


Selling Local Food Helps Grocer be Successful:

Tim Metcalfe from Metcalfe Markets in Wisconsin came to Traverse City, Michigan to talk with the Agriculture & Food System Sector Alliance about the importance of using local food. Watch the video to find out what Metcalfe thinks are some of the keys to being successful while selling local foods.


Meat Market Owner Promotes Local Foods:

Bartlett Durand owns Black Earth Meats in Wisconsin and works to promote local foods. He talked about his business and the importance of local foods at a meeting of the Agriculture & Food System Sector Alliance in Traverse City, Michigan. Watch the video to hear what Durand has to say about local foods.


Student Video:

The Double Up Food Bucks program was featured in a student video shown at The Grand Vision Your Action event in Traverse City. The program helps make produce at local farmers markets more affordable for struggling families. The video was produced for The Grand Vision Food and Farming Network by Bridget Bernhard of West Senior High School and Josie Blake of Central High School in Traverse City.


Northern Michigan's local-food movement needs infrastructure to turn an idea into an industry

The local-food movement in northern Michigan no longer is simply a neat idea. It is fast becoming recognized as an economic necessity. 

Goal: 20 Percent Local Food by 2020

The Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network set an ambitious goal on February 17 of increasing the amount of food purchased locally in our region to 20 percent by 2020.

Local food is no small potatoes: near $5 Billion

American farmers say they're selling $4.8 billion a year in fruits and vegetables in their local markets. Read more...

Chamber Takes Strong Stance on Local Food!

Tuesday’s Chamber-sponsored Economic Outlook Breakfast brought some unexpected good news for the local agricultural economy that didn’t show up in the annual fiscal report, but instead showed up on people’s plates! Read more...


Fresh Produce for Schools

Based on feedback from schools and other stakeholders, the USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) are conducting a pilot program to bring more fresh produce into schools. Schools in Michigan and Florida will participate in the pilot. Read more here...


Hesterman: Now's the Time for Fresh, Local, Fair Food

Author says conscious consumers must become engaged citizens

Read about it here...


The New Agtivists: FoodCorps foot soldiers

One of the FoodCorps Service Members featured here is our own region's Daniel Marbury.



National Food Expert, Author to Speak in TC 

Hesterman to highlight acclaimed new book and offer ‘recipe for change’ on October 6, 6 pm at the State Theatre.


Spend 10 Local Dollars

If we all spend just $10 a week on local farm foods, our regional economy will grow by nearly $5 million a year! Join in the fun and make the pledge here.

8 of the Best American Small Towns for Foodies

And Traverse City is one of them...

Wanted: Grassroots Push for Improved Farm Bill 

D.C.’s cuts could challenge growth of local food projects Read more here...

Double Up Food Bucks Begins!

Struggling families are now able to double their spending power at local farmers markets thanks to the Double Up Food Bucks program, which will double up to

$20 spent by SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Bridge Card users at farmers markets for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, allowing for up to $40 worth of locally grown food during each market visit. For more information, a list of participating markets, and simple instruction on how the program works, click here.

 Building the regional food system

By Robert Sirrine
August 6, 2011 Traverse City Record-Eagle - reprinted with permission
Since its inception in 2009, the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network (FFN) has worked to increase the resilience and double the value of the region’s agrifood system by 2019. With several working groups, the FFN has made significant progress toward this goal over the last two years. Read More...


Northern Michigan Ready to Double Up Food Bucks

Bridge Card users can stretch their farmers market shopping dollars

Traverse City’s Sara Hardy Farmers Market joins the Double Up Food Bucks program on Aug. 13.

By Glenn Puit, Great Lakes Bulletin News Serviced, August 1, 2011


Farm Network ‘Doubles Up Food Bucks’


Traverse City — The Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network has launched a $75,000 fundraising campaign to help financially struggling families purchase fresh, healthy food and, at the same time, support the region’s local farm economy. Read more...



U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow working for Michigan’s Food and Farming Interests
Local meetings focus on the next farm bill

June 7, 2011

TRAVERSE CITY—Building on a successful Farm Bill hearing last week at Michigan State University, the nation’s first Land Grant Institution, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and her staff attended several meetings in the Grand Traverse Region to hear from farming and nutrition interests on ways to improve the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which is re-authorized every five years, covers support for agriculture and livestock, but also energy, forestry, nutrition, conservation, trade, research, farm credit, and rural development. Thus the Farm Bill has the potential to affect every citizen in the U.S.  Read More...



To be a part of the Food & Farming Network check out the Google Group, or contact Jim Sluyter his email and phone number are listed below. For a list of dates and times for Food & Farming Network monthly meetings and future events, please see the Calendar.

Contact the Food & Farming Network Convener
Jim Sluyter, Michigan Land Use Institute, (231) 941-6584 ext. 15



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