Classroom to Consumer Tour See where hands-on education, industry partnership and STEM education intersect at Careerline Tech Center and FFA Chapter. Get a behind-the-carcass tour of Byron Center Meats and learn how harvesting facilities translate their animal welfare and food safety practices to consumers. Watch what’s growing, cooking and creating at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and tour the greenhouse, incubator kitchen and demonstration kitchen.
Periodic Table Tour: Ethyl, Methane and CO2 Follow corn from farm to fuel pump at Carbon Green BioEnergy as we explore the making of ethanol and marketing of byproducts. Experience consumer outreach on overdrive at Swiss Lane Dairy while touring the farm, direct marketing business and agritourism hotspot. Cap off the evening with the sights, smells and tastes of a Grand Rapids brewery tour at Founders Brewery or Grand Rapids Brewing Company. Dress for the weather as a portion of this tour will be outside.
Michele Payn, CSP, connects the people and science of food and farming as principal of Cause Matters Corp. She is known for being a community catalyst, a passionate advocate for global agriculture - and antagonizing people into action. Michele has worked with farmers in more than 25 countries, raised over $5 million in sponsorships for the National FFA Foundation and founded the weekly online Twitter conversations, AgChat and Food Chat. She is the author of two books, No More Food Fights! and Food Truths from Farm to Table, an Amazon #1 best seller. Michele's degrees are in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University. She has earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation, awarded to less than 10% of professional speakers globally. She resides with her daughter on a small farm in central Indiana, where they enjoy Registered Holsteins, MSU Spartans, sports, and arguing about science while cooking. Michele connects conversations between the food and farm communities at www.causematters.com and socially through @mpaynspeaker.
At 22, Natalina Sents' creativity, community, and passion for agriculture snowballed into a year-long, 50 state road trip. A week after graduating from Iowa State University, she set out to honor farmers through blogs and photography. Although the “Why I Farm Roadtrip” is complete, her adventure sharing the heartfelt stories of agriculture is just beginning.