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michigan young farmer coalition

Posted: January 11 2010

this is an exciting coalition:
Greetings MYCF! This is an exciting time and there's a lot going on, so here's our first newsletter to present all of the information to you in a concise package. Coming out the the retreat, there's been a whirlwind of activity and there's a lot more on the horizon. Read on to find out more, and happy new year!
Important Dates
Saturday, January 9th @ 5PM: MYFC Skype Governance/Organizational Conference Call
Saturday, January 16th @ 1PM: MYFC Skype MOFFA Conference Call
Now - January 21st: Open Comment/Input period for vision statement, guiding principles, goals & MOFFA sessions content.
Sunday, January 31st: Complete vision statement, guiding principles & goals.
MOFFA Conference
The annual MOFFA (Michigan Food and Farm Alliance) conference takes place in East Lansing at the Kellogg Center on March 5th and 6th. This year's themes are seeds, soil, and health with a special youth track. There will be keynote speakers, educational sessions and an organic luncheon and a "Taste of Michigan" event. Jeffery Smith, from the Institute of Responsible Technology and J.R. Lawn from Fedco Seeds are among the speakers already scheduled.
The MYFC has been asked to prepare and present four 45-minute sessions, a total of 180 minutes. We need your input about the following:
~ A speaker,
~ An inter-generational panel (what topics, who to be on the panel, etc.)
~ Creative land solutions
Please send an email to [email protected] or post on the Google group with your ideas. To register for the conference and for more information, click the header link.
National Young Farmer Coalition
The National Young Farmer Coalition is up and running! Severine from The Greenhorns and Ben Shute from Hearty Roots Community Farm, both in NY's Hudson River Valley are at the helm. Here's how they describe what NYFC is about:
"The National Young Farmer Coalition is an emerging membership-based advocacy group for young and beginning farmers hat will formally launch in 2010. The Coalition represents the interests, vision and practical insight of its farmer members. The Coalition is being developed by young farmers for young farmers with an eye to the upcoming Farm Bill.
The NYFC works closely with The Greenhorns, a non-profit working to produce media, new media, and events for young farmers. Unlike The Greenhorns, NYFC focuses on the structural obstacles facing young producers and ag sector entrepreneurs."
For more information and to be kept up to speed, visit:
The National Young Farmer Coalition

Farm Placement Evalution Form
Did you work at a farm or garden this past season or seasons past? If so, please consider filling out our Farm/Placement Evaluation Form. We are building a database of evaluations, which will help us match young farmers with just the right farm for their learning and experiential needs. If you've worked a few pieces of land, please complete a form for each! Please pass the link along to other young farmers you know...
The retreat in December was a great success! With just over 50 people in attendance, we came out of the weekend with significant, positive results. There were small group breakout sessions, open space conversations, and stimulating dialogues over some pretty awesome food (all of which was donated) which culminated in a beautiful consensus building conversation between 25 people which produced something tangible, powerful and real at the end of it. A mission statement.
"Empowering Michigan through viable agricultural stewardship."
It takes a lot to create something like that among 25 people, and as fast as we did. It could have been a result of the thought-distillation process, the energy of the retreat, or our common purpose manifesting itself, I don't know. I do know that the feeling permeating the retreat was that we were already successful in part of the mission statement; we felt empowered already.
We were filled with energy to keep the spirit of the retreat going, and at the end of the weekend when everyone went their separate ways, they did so with a sense of purpose and pride in what we are doing. We can do this, we will do this, and the retreat was our own special fuel that's getting us through this winter. Like a steamy hoophouse on a sunny winter day, things are heating up despite the cold. And like my favorite veggie, kale, it's just getting sweeter as winter continues.
Love, Mikey
As always, your input is very important to us and we encourage you to participate and give feedback. This is your coalition, and your voice is important.
The Michigan Young Farmer Coalition email monkey.