Farm to School programs come in many shapes and sizes unique to the communities that build them. After exploring the resources and existing programs on the left, contact your state Farm to School lead for additional information and assistance specific to Michigan:
Michigan Farm to School Website: www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu
Michigan is no exception to the recent resurgence of interest in local and regional foods and more sustainable food systems. Michigan's agriculture produces a great variety of farm products, and is well positioned to serve the steadily increasing demand for local food. Schools are a critical segment of that growing demand. A 2004 Michigan farm-to-school survey showed that 73% of Michigan school food service directors that responded were interested in purchasing food directly from local producers; this interest increased to 83% (or nearly 300 food service directors) if local food products were available through their current vendors (Izumi et al., 2006). Over 10% (nearly 40) of the food service directors reported that they had already purchased foods from a local farmer.
By design, farm to school programs are mutually-beneficial. By incorporating Michigan products into school meals programs, farm to school can offer benefits like fresher food and increased variety in school meals, hands-on teaching tools, and improved access for school children to fresh, local fruits and vegetables. By engaging local growers and food distribution systems, these programs also support the local economy, help build thriving food systems, and offer farmers an opportunity to diversify markets and manage risk.
Schools and school districts, farmers, food service professionals and providers, and distributors are working together in several areas of the state to overcome the challenges of farm to school and improve the distribution of local products and availability of seasonal produce for school meals programs. State government agencies, agricultural commodity groups, and community organizations such as the Michigan Land Use Institute and the Food System Economic Partnership are supporting their efforts, and state legislators have begun showing interest as well. The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University is developing tools to help support farm to school initiatives and working to link farm to school initiatives throughout the state in order to improve communication, build policy support, share resources, and learn from each other.
|Farm to School Programs profiled on this site
| Number of Schools Involved||17 |
| Number of Districts Involved||5 |
| Farm to School programs in this state (estimated)*||6 |
* estimated by the National Farm to School program, Center for Food & Justice, Occidental College. All other statistics based on information posted on this site.