MIFFS Receives "Founders Award"
from MSU Product Center
November 5, 2007: Michigan Food & Farming Systems – MIFFS has been a “go-to” organization for making change in food systems in the state and hatching new ideas and partnerships. Over the past six years, one of those ideas has taken flight and is now recognizing MIFFS for contributing to its success.
The Michigan State University Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources just celebrated its five-year anniversary and presented Michigan Food & Farming Systems – MIFFS with a special “Founders Award” on November 1.
“We hope that this award conveys the deep appreciation we have for MIFFS’ support and efforts over our first five years of work assisting Michigan’s entrepreneurs in agriculture, food and natural resources,” said Chris Peterson, director of the MSU Product Center.
In 2001, MIFFS received a planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help develop a Food Innovation Center to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors.
MIFFS led the Partnership for Product Agriculture Implementation Team to establish the Ag Innovation Center which became the MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) in the spring of 2003. The Center was created through a USDA grant and with funds from the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and Michigan State University Extension.
The Product Center now helps producers develop and commercialize high value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture and natural resource sectors through technical expertise, research, outreach, and educational services.
Eight organizations, including MIFFS, received this award for playing a role in the Product Center’s founding and success. These organizations included
- Michigan Farm Bureau
- Michigan Department of Agriculture
- Michigan Food and Farming Systems
- United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, Michigan Office
- MSU Project GREEEN
- MSU Extension
- Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station (MAES)
- MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
These “Founders Awards” will never be given out again.
“Through the vision and wisdom of Tom Guthrie, we are proud to play a part in this innovative program to help Michigan farmers be successful,” said Elaine Brown, MIFFS Executive Director. MIFFS maintains a strong partnership with the Product Center and will continue growing that relationship in the future.
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Founded in 1998, MIFFS is a statewide membership organization (501c3) whose purpose is to promote diverse efforts that foster and sustain food and farming systems that improve economic, ecological and social well-being. MIFFS has been effective at establishing successful partnerships among producers, markets and institutions that have created more profitable, environmentally friendly food systems in Michigan.
The organization’s vision is based on the premise that agricultural productivity, environmental stewardship and profitability reinforce each other for the benefit of Michigan’s rural and urban communities. To learn more, please visit www.miffs.org or call (517) 432-0712.