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Five reasons you should attend the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Gathering

MFIN Gathering Invitation

By Abby Harper, Community Food Systems Educator, MSU Extension

October 24, 2019 
Has MFIN been a catalyst in your work? Join us at the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Gathering to help shape its future!

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) is hosting an opportunity to celebrate, network, and inform the future direction of MFIN and Cultivate Michigan at the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Gathering on November 20, 2019 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in Lansing, MI. If the Michigan Farm to Institution Network has supported you in your local food sourcing or farm to institution efforts, the daylong MFIN Gathering is for you! Need more convincing? Read on for the top five reasons to join us on November 20, 2019.

Top five reasons to attend the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Gathering

  1. Be part of the celebration! Not just a meeting, this gathering will be a celebration of those who have helped grow farm to institution efforts throughout the state – including you! We will celebrate how far we have come and honor the winners of our 2019 Cultivate Michigan Awards. These awards honor member institutions who reach milestones in their local sourcing work toward the 20% by 2020 goal. Last year, Sparrow Health System, Friendship Centers of Emmet County, Beaumont Health System Troy, and Grand Haven Area Public Schools received awards for reaching Cultivate Michigan Milestones. Who will be the 2020 winners? Come find out!
  2. Find inspiration and motivation for growing your farm to institution efforts. The day will be filled with stories from network members that will leave you feeling encouraged, inspired, and ready to take your next step in farm to institution efforts. Learn about strategies that promote inclusion and innovation, innovative partnerships, and even hear about failures and challenges that have yielded surprising results!
  3. Connect with partners in your region that can help accelerate your farm to institution work. Throughout the day, you will have opportunities to meet and connect with producers, food service professionals, and supporting organizations that can help take your farm to institution network efforts to the next level. Regional networking time over lunch will give space to foster local relationships and start new innovative partnerships.
  4. Enjoy local food. As in everything we do, food will be the focus of the day. Therefore, we will be sourcing as much as we can from Michigan sources for a soup and salad bar for lunch and a fun snack. Come enjoy the fruits - and vegetables! - of local labor and get inspiration for your own menu.
  5. Contribute to the vision for 2020 Michigan farm to institution efforts and beyond. Michigan farm to institution efforts were guided by the Michigan Good Food Charter goal that Michigan institutions will source 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020. With 2020 fast approaching, it is time to start visioning what comes next, and we want you to be a part of that! By coming to the gathering, you will have a voice in the planning process, help the network move in an exciting and forward thinking direction, and contribute to holding Michigan’s place as a leader in farm to institution work.

If you have been a part of growing farm to institution in Michigan, we want to hear your voice at the Michigan Farm to Institution Network Gathering! Learn more about the Gathering on our website, including lodging options, and register to attend. Scholarships are available.