Community Food Issues: Sustainable Agricultural in Community Development

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $75,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Mike Hamm
Community, Agriculture, Recreation & Resource Stud


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, leadership development, local and regional food systems, sustainability measures, community development

    Proposal abstract:

    This project seeks to train Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) staff and community partners in sustainable agriculture and community development. Twelve Community Food Issues (CFI) teams (two per MSUE administrative region) will enhance their capacity to work with community partners in settings where communities come together and where partnerships are based on recognition of individual talents and community assets. In addition, to foster intellectual cross-disciplinary activity focused on sustainable agriculture in community development, two MSUE Area of Expertise (AoE) teams will jointly develop an educational effort that supports development and engagement around food policy issues in Michigan

    Project objectives from proposal:

    In the short term, we anticipate that participating CFI and AoE team members will become more aware of issues that relate to sustainable agriculture in community development; more knowledgeable about consumer preferences, market niches, and opportunities to build community through food and agriculture; more interested in developing community-based sustainable agriculture efforts; and more skillful in bringing together community members for efforts in this area.

    As intermediate outcomes, we anticipate activities in 12 Michigan communities that include dialog about local issues of sustainable agriculture in community development; proposal development; broadly-based local projects; and evaluation/reflection about local efforts. We anticipate at least one statewide program dealing with sustainable agriculture in community development to be undertaken by cooperating AoE teams. And we anticipate additional funding applications from other sources resulting from this initiative.

    Long term, we believe this project will stimulate increase public and governmental awareness of food issues and policy effects, both within individual communities and on a wider basis. We expect it will engender explicit discussion and implementation and enhancement of local food systems.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.