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September 2nd, 2021
Food Producers - Education - Opportunities -Grant Opportunities - Culture - Recipes
Food Producers
8 Ways to Ace Farm-to-Consumer Sales
The COVID-19 pandemic both accelerated demand for locally grown food and pushed people to e-commerce in droves. These dual forces have created a huge opportunity for farmers and ranchers to sell directly to consumers, chefs, schools and other customers online. The UP Food Exchange is a great resource for UP famers to sell wholesale in addition to selling directly to consumers and eliminates the headache of multiple platforms. Check out the article for more ideas on how to increase sales! 

FSMA Produce Safety Inspections: Expectations and Resources

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) produce safety inspectors are out across the state for the third year of on-farm Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) inspections. While inspections are mandatory there is no cost to the grower for inspection and no required licensing or certification. MDARD’s Produce Safety Grower Tool will walk you through some simple questions to help determine how the PSR may apply to your farm and gives you the opportunity to seek out additional resources on produce safety if desired. You can expect an inspection to be whole-farm — produce safety inspectors will observe growing fields or greenhouses, harvest operations, packing operations, holding locations, records, and any equipment, buildings, water, people, or animals that may otherwise impact produce safety. The focus is on observing your farm in action, not on paperwork. Check out the Produce Safety Program Inspector Coverage Map to find your regional MDARD contact for any questions or concerns. There are also six Conservation District Produce Safety Technicians available throughout the state to offer free, confidential technical assistance from a non-regulatory body. For additional information and videos about what to expect during an inspection and more, visit www.Michigan.gov/ProduceSafety.
Education
The Marquette Food Co-op, Lakeshore Depot, and the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market all participate in Double Up Food Bucks!
Voices of Sustainable Agriculture: Speaker Series

Part I: Friday, September 10, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Part II: Friday, October 22, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

In this special virtual speaker series, farmers and other participants will learn from farmers, researchers, and educators about healthy soil and water, successful farming practices, seed sovereignty, resilience, and more. There will be an opportunity for Q&A at each event. Registration is free and required to participate.

Michigan Beekeeping Webinar: September 13, 2021
7 p.m. | Online
Please join Michigan State University's Apiculture Team for our 2021 Michigan Beekeeping Webinar Series! Dr. Zachary Huang will present on “Beehaviors by Zach": Have you seen “washing board behavior”? Can you sing to the bees and make all the bees stop what they are doing? If not, come hear Zachary Huang talk about Beehaviors. To learn more about the workshop or register here


Michigan Cottage Food Law: September 21, 2021
6 - 8 p.m. | Zoom Webinar
Learn how to prepare and sell foods to the public under Michigan’s Cottage Food Law. This two-hour workshop combines education about the Michigan Cottage Food Law and the food safety aspects of preparing and selling cottage foods safely and successfully. Michigan Cottage Food Law allows residents to manufacture foods in home kitchens and storing those products at home. To l
earn more about the webinar or register here

National Institutes of Health Workshop: September 21-23, 2021
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop - Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Food Environment, and Nutrition Health Disparities: State of the Science – will run from 12:30-5:30 p.m. EDT, September 21-23, 2021 . Goals of the conference include reviewing the state of the science and identifying research gaps and opportunities related to food insecurity and the neighborhood food environment; and suggesting innovative research strategies that will inform policy and practice to address and prevent diet-related health disparities and promote health equity. Abstracts are due July 9 and applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 26. See attached flyer for more information. Registration deadline is September 7Learn more about the workshop, submit an abstract or register here. 

VIRTUAL - The Power of Food Forum: September 21-23, 2021
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future will host the first-ever national gathering for food policy councils on September 20-22, 2021, in a virtual format. The Power of Food: Cultivating Equitable Policy through Collective Action has moved online with a lower ($75) registration fee.  This national forum is dedicated to supporting food policy councils and similar groups advocating for policies that create equitable and sustainable food systems at the local, regional, state, tribal, and national levels. Learn more about the event and register on the Forum website. You can also join the mailing list to receive updates about the forum.
Opportunities
Produce Safety Alliance: Northwest Extension Associate
Application Deadline: September 13, 2021
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA), based in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, is a collaborative project with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) to provide educational outreach assistance to fresh produce growers and packers, including grower cooperatives, to increase their understanding of the critical role they play in public health by implementing food safety practices on the farm and in packinghouses. For more information about the position and apply.

Partridge Creek Farms: Communication & External Relations Manager
Application Deadline: September 13, 2021
This position is responsible for leading external communications efforts that will increase brand exposure and stakeholder relationships. You will oversee all electronic platforms including social media, newsletters, customer relations management tools, and website. Additionally, you will lead coordination for small to medium sized events. The hours of this position are flexible and can be done from home or Partridge Creek Farm office but attendance to Partridge Creek Farm events and programming is required to capture and share our story successfully. Currently this position is part time, but with success and a meaningful impact -- increased volunteers, donors, and programming—will lead to increased responsibility and role. To learn more and apply.
Grant Opportunities
Grant Received!
UPFE is pleased to announce that they are a primary partner on a team that was awarded a $194,421 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The grant will explore the feasibility of an aggregation, distribution and light food processing facility in the Upper Peninsula that would support local food and charitable food systems. The grant, which is led by The Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health, also includes Feeding America West Michigan, MSU Extension, and the Central Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region (CUPPAD) as primary partners. Read the full statement prepared by NMU here

USDA Grant Opportunities Other Grant Opportunities
Culture
Part 1: Farming in Upper Michigan: Less large farms and dairy regulations
By Nick Friend, Anchor & Multimedia Journalist TV6 and Fox UP
In part one of a two-part series, Nick looks at the number of U.P. farms and regulations, that some say, are hurting dairy farmers. You can read or watch Part 1 here.

Part 2: Farming in Upper Michigan: Where does food produced in the U.P. go?
By Nick Friend
In the final part of a two-part series, Nick looks at where food produced by U.P. farms goes and some concerns about a potential trucker shortage. You can read or watch Part 2 here.

Keep 2021 Farm Economy Optimism in Perspective
Brent Gloy, David Widmar, Agricultural Economic Insights; Farm News Media.
It’s the time of year where we get questions about where the farm economy might be headed. Right now, many are enjoying new optimism fueled by high commodity prices and demand — a stark contrast from a year or two ago. So, just how good are things? Read the article here

Trends in Food Packing
By Parker Jones, MSU Extension 
Global food supply chains are still being challenged by the impacts of the pandemic, which Michigan State University Extension’s Product Center innovation counselors continue to help food businesses overcome. Packaging shortages in plastic cups, lids and takeout containers are just a few examples, according to an article appearing in Business Insider by Mary Meisenzahl. Read the article here
Recipes
This recipe is great for utilizing in-season produce. Feel free to share with your audience, crediting the Marquette Food Co-op, to help promote your product!
Gazpacho (serves 4)
recipe from Almudena Aguierre

Ingredients:
Gazpacho
  • 2 lbs tomatoes (any variety) or 28 oz canned tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 poblano or green bell pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • ½ C olive oil
  • ¼ C red wine or sherry vinegar
  • Salt
Picadillo
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 poblano or green pepper
  • ½ onion
 
Process the ingredients for the gazpacho in the blender until pureed. For the picadillo, or garnish, cut all the other ingredients in small pieces and put them into bowls Serve it cold with the garnish in bowls so everyone can out as much as they want on the gazpacho.

More to read...

Check out the U.P. Food Exchange's website here.
Check out the UPFE Online Marketplace for institutional purchasers here
Check out Michigan's Conservation Districts website here
Check out the Western U.P. Food System Council's website here.
Check out the Michigan's On-Farm Produce Safety website here
Check out the Taste the Local Difference newsletter here.
Check out the MSU UP Research & Extension Center monthly newsletter here.
Check out Marquette Food Co-op's newsletter here.



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This is a peer-to-peer listserv open to posts about to all things about growing and sharing food in our region. More information about it can be found here. 

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