Good Food Life: Terry McLean
Terry McLean is an MSU Extension Community Food Systems educator and FoodCorps MI Host site supervisor in Flint, Mich.
What is your role in food systems work?
TM: I have engagement in MSU Extension MI Fresh and Understanding Community Food Systems educational initiatives and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems’ Good Food Charter and MI Farm to Institution network. I also am coordinating the statewide FoodCorps MI team of site supervisors, fellow and service members and have involvement in the edible flint local food systems network and other Flint based food initiatives including MIFF’s Women in Agriculture network and the Flint Food Hub group.
How do the organizations you represent work towards the goals of the Good Food Charter?
TM:These organizations support food producers, entrepreneurs, institutions and organizations that are working toward sourcing, growing or developing an increasing amount of local food. Our work also has many youth focused initiatives that are teaching kids what healthy food is, where it comes from and how to access it.
What do you find most exciting or inspiring about what you’re doing?
TM: Working with pioneers in local food systems work creates daily change in Michigan, which I find exciting. I am also inspired by MSU’s support for local food systems work and the incredible service that FoodCorps service members perform in community based organizations across the state to give kids an enduring relationship with healthy food.
What opportunities do you see for moving towards the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter and where do you see those leading in the next five to ten years?
TM: I see a demand for more local food products in the coming years that will be sourced through Michigan retail, wholesale and institutional markets. It is my hope that local farmers, who are able to make a living producing Michigan good food, will supply these food products.
What is one thing you’ve learned through your experience with working towards the goals of the Good Food Charter that you’d like to share with others?
TM: Each one of us can help drive the demand for and help increase access to locally produced food by seeking it out – at restaurants and retail locations, farmer’s markets, and on school and institutional cafeteria lines.