Michigan Young Farmer Coalition

Pilot Organizational Model

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Regional Hubs . . .
Across the state, several regions have emerged as areas where coalition members are living, working, farming, and going to school. Based on discussions from the 2009 Retreat, the listserv and Skype call meetings, we have identified at least six Regional Hubs forming within the MYFC. These include: Oakland/Macomb, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

A Regional Hub is a gathering of individuals who give voice in the larger coalition to the interests and needs of young farmers in their specific region. Hubs also serve as a way to develop localized relationships among members in the region.

Hubs will deal with both local issues and coalition-wide issues, giving input on statewide projects, working on coalition projects being implemented locally and participating in local projects arising from local needs and interests.

Each regional hub will determine the format and methods for meeting and connecting. Each hub will be facilitated by one or more regional liaisons, whose role is to cultivate relationships and collaboration within the Hub and to help represent regions at a statewide level. Those folks who wish to take a liaisons role, would emerge from each hub, based on what the hub decide or need.

Next Steps
We are continuing to run this model as a pilot program during the next year (2011), utilizing this model to facilitate the creation of Hubs and to find out how this model works or could be adjusted to better fit the needs of the Coalition.  We have some ideas for what each Hub could review and discuss (not a rigid agenda, but some points that we focus on and report back to each other).

Please let us know:
a)  If you are interested in moving in this direction
b)  If you would like to serve as a Hub Liaison (organize and facilitate the hub meetings)
c)  If you would like to start a hub representing another region not included in current list.
d)  If you have other feedback!

Interested in becoming a Hub Liaison, but not quite sure how? Check out the burgeoning project, The Roots of Radical Change Exchange: Organizing for a Just Food System in Your Community

Regional Hub Meeting Hosting Guide
Across the state, each hub will attempt to address these issues in their discussion. At the next coalition-wide meeting, we can all report to each other on these items and whatever else we feel is important, give feedback and talk about next steps.
Coalition-Wide Stuff
a) Review, discuss, and generate feedback on the Goals & Guiding Principals Documents;
comments? questions? concerns? adjustments?
b) Review, discuss, and generate feedback on the Critical Mass Farming idea sheet;
comments? questions? concerns? adjustments?

Hub Stuff
Talk with each other about these focus points:
•    What are Young Farmers up to in this region?
•    What assets in your community that support your work?
•    What are the barriers & limitations for members in this region?
•    What learning opportunities could benefit members in this region?
Hub Meeting Evaluation 
 – How did it go? What was the process for the meeting?
 – What did you like about this format for meeting?
 – What would you change for next time?

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