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      Sixth annual Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network Summit comes to Traverse City

      Members of our agricultural community gathered in Traverse City Friday for the sixth annual Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network Summit.

      The summit welcomes farmers, government agencies, chefs, educators, and many different businesses from a ten county area in northwest Michigan.

      The summit included presentations and small group discussions on local food and farming needs, investment, and youth involvement. It also featured a showing of the documentary "Fresh" and included discussions on the development of action plans for short and long term projects.

      The overall goal is to have twenty percent of the food in northwest Michigan locally sourced by 2020 - and these summits help identify the latest trends in food, new local providers, and how these counties compare to the rest of the state - and how close we are to reaching that main goal.

      "Oh I think it's great!" said Rob Sirrine, an MSU Extension Educator. "It really energizes people. And for people who aren't necessarily involved on a day to day basis in agriculture/food systems like a lot of us are, it's just a chance to check in and see what's going on, and see what progress is being made in food systems."

      The Food and Farming Network is convened by the Michigan Land Use Institute and chaired by the Michigan State University Extension.

      The summit coincides with the Northwest Michigan Small Farm Conference - which takes place at the Grand Traverse resort Saturday.