Our Work

CRFS work spans the many people, processes and places involved in regional food systems. Below are two ways to explore that work: by topic, in Areas of Work, and by the units in which some of our activities are organized, Work Groups and Communities of Practice. Work Groups are comprised of MSU faculty and staff, and Communities of Practice include both MSU and non-university stakeholders.

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Farm & Farmer Development

  • Financing Farming in the U.S.

    A national team of community-based lenders and farm business advisors, which CRFS convenes with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

  • Michigan Organic Farming Exchange

    Provides information to farmers and consumers interested in understanding organic production methods and suggests ways to successfully transition conventional production to organic.

  • Michigan’s Emerging Farmers

    Providing training and developing tools to increase new farm success by working to make farming a more prosperous, secure, and sustainable career choice for Michigan’s many beginning and emerging farmers.

  • MSU Student Organic Farm

    A 15-acre, certified organic year-round teaching and production farm providing learning opportunities through courses in organic farming, interdisciplinary experiential educational activities, and research opportunities.

  • Organic Farmer Training Program

    Nine-month intensive training program in year-round organic farming focusing on diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets.

  • Season Extension Outreach

    Sharing of resources, research, and other support for production, marketing, business planning and other parts of year-round farming.

Farm to Institution/School

  • MI Farm to School Grant Program

    An effort to help food program providers overcome challenges and stimulate or sustain local food purchasing programs at K-12 schools and early childhood programs in Michigan.

  • Michigan Farm to Institution Network

    Seeking new approaches to food purchasing, enabling Michigan institutions to make local, good food available to eaters and expand markets for food grown, raised and processed in the state.

  • Michigan Farm to School

    Sharing ideas, tools, and resources to support a range of efforts to serve local foods in school and early childcare and education food programs.

Food System Infrastructure, Planning & Policy

  • Economic Impact Analysis of Local and Regional Food Systems

    Economists and local food system researchers, convened by CRFS and the Union of Concerned Scientists, to assess current - and make recommendations for future - practices in economic analyses of local and regional food systems.

  • Food Innovation Districts

    A planning and economic strategy toolkit to address regional food system infrastructure needs and support the clustering of markets, food business incubators, and facilities for common storage and distribution.

  • Local Governments & Local Food Systems

    An outreach and research program to build capacity for local government engagement in food system development.

  • Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network

    Providing development and leadership expertise for food hub communities of practice in Michigan.

  • Michigan Local Food Council Network

    The Michigan Local Food Council Network brings together food councils to build their individual and collective capacities to work on food and food policy issues, operate effectively, and engage their communities, through peer-to-peer learning.

  • Michigan Meat Network

    A network of livestock producers, meat processors, distributors, and food professional and buyers looking to make business connections, find answers, and build viable markets for local and regional meat in Michigan.

  • National Food Hub Survey

    A national survey of food hubs, conducted in 2013 and 2015, by CRFS in collaboration with the Wallace Center, representing one of the most comprehensive data sets on food hub operations to date.

Michigan Good Food

  • Michigan Good Food

    An initiative of the Michigan Good Food Charter, which aims to promote policy changes that will advance “good food” in Michigan - food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.

  • Michigan Good Food Charter Shared Measurement Project

    Building the case for assessing and communicating statewide food system change through Michigan by better understanding the impact of good food efforts throughout Michigan.

  • Michigan Good Food Fund

    A $30 million public-private partnership loan and grant fund providing financing and business assistance to good food enterprises that benefit underserved communities across Michigan.

Network Development