Dry bean tour will give institutional buyers a behind-the-scenes look at Michigan beans

Institutional stakeholders will get a first-hand glimpse at the Michigan dry bean supply chain.

Michigan dry beans | Photo by Cultivate Michigan

Michigan dry beans | Photo by Cultivate Michigan

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network and its institutional purchasing campaign Cultivate Michigan hold featured food product tours to give buyers a first-hand look at how the food is grown and what happens to it before it arrives at their loading docks. Michigan is the second-largest producer of dry beans in the United States. Dry beans are a healthful, low-cost, versatile addition to institutional menus. They are an especially important component of school meals since federal school nutrition standards now require serving legumes, the family of plants that includes dry beans and peas.

We are extending our celebration of the 2016 International Year of Pulses by one month to culminate in the Cultivate Michigan Dry Bean Tour on January 26, 2016. Cultivate Michigan is partnering with the Michigan Bean Commission and Karen Cichy, a research plant geneticist (dry bean breeder) with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to put on the tour. The morning will consist of presentations from researchers and Michigan dry bean processors and distributors about the latest innovations in Michigan dry bean products for institutional use. After enjoying a lunch made from Michigan beans, the group will depart for an afternoon of tours that include a visit to Zwerk Farms and Star of the West processing facility.

To register for the tour and for more information, visit https://events.anr.msu.edu/DryBeanTour/.

To assist institutions in purchasing and using Michigan Dry Beans in their menus, Cultivate Michigan released the Dry Bean Purchasing Guide last winter. Other product purchasing guides and free promotional materials can be found at: https://www.cultivatemichigan.org/featured-foods.   

Cultivate Michigan is co-coordinated by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the Ecology Center and is supported by Michigan State University Extension.

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