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The 18th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference
"Growing Back Stronger"

Session Descriptions
Saturday, March 19, 2022


Brian Buehler

Last Day of the Event! Join us today for live events and musical performance.

Welcome to the 18th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference. This conference offers beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. Thanks for joining us today!


Farm Bill 101: All Aboard!

Sarah Hackney, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Jesse Womack , National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

With the 2023 Farm Bill on its way, join us for a presentation and Q&A about what the farm bill is, how it affects Michigan farmers, and how YOU can be involved in improving federal policy for farmers. Hear from the team at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition about what’s happening in DC, why Michigan matters, and how you can help shape the upcoming farm bill for the better. The Q&A will include space to share your experience with current federal programs (crop insurance, conservation programs, credit, etc) and your ideas for what’s needed.


Tapping the Market Potential of 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farm

Nathan Medina

Policy Specialist on 10 Cents a Meal, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

Learn about the market potential from 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms, a statewide program which provides $5 million for eligible schools, early childhood centers, residential youth programs, and after-school programs to purchase Michigan-grown produce. That’s a potentially $10 million market because of match funding. There are opportunities for farmers of every scale, food hubs, and others in local supply chains. If you’ve been interested in this market, there is no better time to engage. Learn about the program and resources for success, plus hear from a small grower and food hub with extensive experience tapping into this market.


Storytelling Session:

Shara Trierweiler

Agape Farm

Shara started Agape Farms with a passion to provide gourmet-level food to local restaurants and individual consumers. The sustainable practices and love-infused hard work creates a pure, healthy taste to everything the farm produces. From rare shallots, you cannot find anywhere else in Michigan, to juicy tender Berkshire pork raised on organic goat milk and roasted soy nuts. Discover over 28 varieties of mushrooms (varied by season), and enjoy live, organic microgreens. All of our garlic, shallots, and herbs are grown on our mushroom compost. The taste is like nothing you have experienced before. And you can feel great about our organic, sustainable practices.


Designing Restorative Models: Michigan Black Farmer Land Funds

Mama Erin Preston-Johnson Bevel Esq., Keesa V. Johnson,

Alita Kelly and Payge Lindow

Did you know that Michigan currently has three Black Farmer Land Funds?!? Join some of the founders of Michigan’s first Black and BIPOC Farmer Land Funds who are innovating how communities can equitably address food sovereignty and land security. Learn how they are designing systems for growers of color through a restorative economic framework.


Celebrating Excellence in our Midst: Farming Awards Offering

Jim Marshall

MIFFS Board Member

For nearly 20 years the Michigan Family Farms Conference has recognized and honored innovative and instrumental agricultural producers, innovators and educators in our midst. These awardees have catalyzed change, embodied tenacious dedication to earth and community friendly agriculture and selflessly shared their time, treasure and talent with all of us and the communities they serve. Through their love, dedication and passion to creating a more just, equitable and accessible agricultural community we have all energized, inspired and challenged. They bring out the best in all of us and for this we are grateful, inspired and energized.


Musical Performance

Amber Hassan


Amber Hasan has been writing for as long as she can remember. She sees writing as sacred, a vehicle for feeling spiritually whole and fulfilling her life purpose. In addition to being a writer, she is a wife, mother, actor, hip-hop artist, herbalist, urban farmer and community organizer. Amber owns a natural product line, Mama’s Healing Hands, that was originally started to address hair loss and skin rashes suffered by Flint residents due to the Flint Water Crisis. She is co-founder of The Sister Tour artist collective, a grass roots organization created to offer resources and safe spaces for women artist and entrepreneurs. In July of 2019, along with Latoya Ruby Frazier, The Sister Tour and Moses West, they passed out over 20,000 gallons of water in her hometown of Flint, Michigan using Moses West’s “Atmospheric Water Generator.” Amber’s work focuses on bringing light to dark places and situations while also helping others to find and use their voices as a tool of empowerment.

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