Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

Colleen Matts

Colleen works throughout Michigan to cultivate local food purchasing programs at institutions like schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals by linking farm to institution partners, developing and sharing resources, and providing technical assistance and policy support. She is the Michigan state lead for the National Farm to School Network and co-lead of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and its local food purchasing campaign, Cultivate Michigan. Colleen has an MS in Agriculture, Food, and Environment with a specialization in community development from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and joined the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, now CRFS, in 2007.

Our Work


  • Understanding How Michigan Institutions Define Local Food

    Brief/Fact Sheet

    The Michigan Farm to Institution Network informally surveyed Michigan institutions to better understand what they consider “local” as it relates to food procurement.

  • Michigan Farm to School: Calumet Center and Sharkar Farms


    The Calumet Center, a juvenile center in Highland Park, Michigan, is partnering with Sharkar Farms through Hoophouses for Health.

  • Cultivate Michigan: What It Is and How to Help Institutions Sign Up


    Intended for partners of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network who can be allies and ambassadors for Cultivate Michigan around the state, this webinar covers how Cultivate Michigan works and how to help institutions in your area sign up.

  • How to Join Cultivate Michigan


    If you’re a food service director or buyer at a Michigan institution, check out this webinar to learn about the Cultivate Michigan campaign and how your institution can sign up to track purchases and reach for the MI Good Food Charter goal

  • MI Farm to School Grant Program: The First Three Years


    The MI Farm to School Grant Program is 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

  • A Cultivate Michigan Local Food Distribution Tour


    Offered in conjunction with the Michigan Green Healthcare Conference, this Cultivate Michigan tour highlights a local food distribution facility. Cherry Capital Foods provides only Michigan foods to Michigan customers, including institutions.

  • Garden to Cafeteria: A Step-by-Step Guide


    This Garden to Cafeteria Guide provides an approach for school garden educators and stakeholders, both experienced and newcomer, to successfully source products from school gardens for use in the cafeteria or food program.

  • Blueberries Tour 2014: A Cultivate Michigan Video


    In this Cultivate Michigan tour Barbara Norman’s Farm and True Blue Farms Processing Plant describe how their farms operate with a special kind of local connection that Cultivate Michigan strives to make more common.

  • An Annotated Bibliography of Farm to Institution Research in Michigan


    Farm to Institution work in Michigan centers on efforts to increase the amount of local foods purchased and used in food service programs at schools, early childhood programs, hospitals, colleges, and other institutions.

  • Michigan Farm to School Fact Sheet

    Brief/Fact Sheet

    This document provides information on CRFS' Farm to School work, related resources, and contacts throughout the state.