MIFMA and Partners Represent Farmers Markets at the Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development Meeting

On May 10, 2017, Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) staff attended a Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development meeting which focused on farmers markets and Farm to School efforts.Left to Right: Justin Fast – Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan, Colleen Matts – MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, Michelle Gagliardi – MIFMA, Amanda Shreve – MIFMA

Speakers included Amanda Shreve, MIFMA’s Program Director, who provided an overview of farmers market activities throughout Michigan, and Michelle Gagliardi, MIFMA’s Special Projects Associate, who presented on the economic contribution of farmers markets. Justin Fast, representing Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan talked about their policy priorities as it relates to farmers markets, specifically funding to support electronic benefit transfers (EBT) equipment. Colleen Mats, representing MSU Center for Regional Food Systems talked broadly about Farm to School initiatives and the support the Michigan Farm to School Network provides to both farmers, buyers and school food service directors. Also at the table was Mark Kastner, owner of Hillcrest Farms. Mark shared about his experience in the Hoophouses for Health program and with Farm to School sales.

In February of this year, MIFMA Executive Director, Dru Montri was elected to serve as Chair of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Left to Right: Jamie Clover Adams, Director of MDARD – Dru Montri, Commission Chair and Executive Director of MIFMA – Brian Pridgeon, Commissioner – and sitting across the table, Mark Kastner, Owner of Hillcrest Farms.