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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

How do you connect to your community?

Farm tours aimed at primarily adult audiences are the sort of project eligible for funding support through MFB’s 2024 Connecting Communities initiative.
Date Posted: April 12, 2023

Unveiled at the 2023 Voice of Agriculture Conference, Michigan Farm Bureau’s new Connecting Communities initiative encourages county Farm Bureaus to meet consumers where they are, finding opportunities to build local relationships. 

At that conference, keynote speaker Tim Hammerich, founder of The Future of Agriculture podcast, reminded us that — for decades — consumers have held five foundational values regarding food purchasing decisions: price, safety, taste, consistency, and convenience. 

Today, though, seven more modern values have risen to the top: climate impact, waste reduction, nutrition and health, connection to an authentic source, social and fun, hunger and poverty, and social impact. 

How does your county Farm Bureau connect to these values? Maybe you have held a tire recycling event, helped provide workshops for members wanting to direct market products to consumers, hosted a farm tour for local leaders, or offered workshops about MAEAP or conservation programs. 

Farmers have ample opportunities to connect with consumer values, but sharing how agriculture embraces those values isn’t always easy. 

Use the 2024 Connecting Communities resources to meet consumers where they are! 

In early June, watch for idea and resource bundles that can assist your efforts. The state P&E committee and staff will launch templates and tool kits to assist county Farm Bureaus in reaching consumer audiences through the 2024 grants. 

Activities can include additions or enhancement to current P&E activities geared toward consumer audiences. Programs targeting regular Farm Bureau members will not be funded. Each county Farm Bureau is eligible for up to $1,000 toward activities in two categories:

  • Connect & Celebrate — Celebrate Michigan agriculture by connecting with consumers for fun, social events. Invite consumers to the farm or meet them where they are to highlight modern agriculture. Ideas include: Dinner on the Farm Date Night; Farmers Market educational event; Project RED-ish event for adults… Help kits from MFB include interactive display supplies, handouts and giveaway promo trinkets. Potential audiences include farmers market shoppers, local festival attendees and/or community service organizations.

  • Explore & Learn — Help others explore the opportunity agriculture offers as a career and as principal businesses in our communities. Connect at career fairs, grocery stores, service organization presentations and other community group connections. Ideas include: Farm tours for pre-career/career aged audiences; local economic-importance-of-agriculture campaigns; meet-a-farmer posts on social media or in person… Careers kits from MFB include presentation templates and giveaway promo trinkets. Potential audiences include school career events, county employment fairs, grocery store customers, and/or business and industry tours.

Eligible grant applications may take various forms, including individual apps from single county Farm Bureaus or groups of county Farm Bureaus collaborating on larger projects.

More resources:

Amelia Miller headshot

Amelia Miller

Promotion & Education Programs Specialist
517-679-5688 [email protected]