Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial farm tour

An entrepreneurial farm tour highlighting successful, value added farm ventures will take place in southeast Michigan August 31 and September 1, 2011.

Famers typically receive less than 12 cents out of every dollar the consumer pays for food, according to the USDA. The other 88 cents is divided among those who add value to the food item along the away. This might include processing or refining, transportation, packaging, wholesaling and retailing. Each step adds something the consumer is willing to pay for. Farm families potentially can expand their income base by identifying niche markets for differentiated products where they can perform some or all of these value adding steps.

A two-day entrepreneurial farm tour in southeast Michigan is planned for August 31-September 1, 2011. This tour will showcase farm families who have successfully explored and seized opportunities to enhance the profitability of their operations. Stops will feature farms with value-added ventures that are excellent examples of how family farmers are finding ways to be more profitable and sustainable while enjoying it as well. The tour will highlight a variety of farm operations and ventures including cheese making, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetables, organics, bakery and flour milling, hoop houses, ag tourism, pastured poultry, natural beef, milking sheep and many more.

A fee of $100 includes the two full days of farm visits, travel by charter bus as well as evening accommodations. Great meals are also included. Group sharing of farm ventures and other presentations will be in the evening. The starting point for this venture is US-127 and M-57 at the
Northwest Park and Ride near Pompeii, Mich. 

Encourage neighbors and friends to attend. Multiple family participants are encouraged. Family discounts and individual scholarships are available. If you are interested, please call the
Gratiot County MSU Extension office at 989-875-5233 for details and to register (space is limited).

Sponsors to help offset the cost are North Central Region SARE and SunOpta Grains and Food Group.

Related resources
Business Opportunities in Specialty Food Products. The Hale Group, Michigan State University Product Center.

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