Survey of local farm needs, interest, and crops for Kalamazoo Valley Community College Food Hub
By Rachel Chadderdon Bair, Director for Sustainable and Innovative Food Systems, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Are you a local farmer in Southwest Michigan? If so, your input is needed to inform food hub and educational program development in that region (Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Allegan, and Barry counties).
Food hubs are by the United States Department of Agriculture definition, centrally located facilities with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally source-identified food products.
Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) is developing a food hub as part of the new Bronson Healthy Living Campus. The food hub aims to support the local food supply chain by aggregating produce from Southwest Michigan farms and distributing it to hospitals, schools, and universities in Kalamazoo County.
More information on the Food Hub is available through the KVCC campus website, here.
As part of the planning and development process, a survey of local farms is being conducted in order to better understand farmer needs, interests, and crops that could be sold through the hub.
There are two sections to this online survey:
- Food Hub planning: Farmers are asked to provide estimates of the percentage of sales that go through different market channels, such as direct market/CSA, wholesale, and to restaurants. (approximately 15 minutes)
- Optional Program Development suggestions: The second section asks for thoughts on other programs the Food Innovation Center could offer. (approximately 10 minutes)