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E-M:/ Going Local & Organic in Grand Rapids

To:       Enviromich, MSAN, MIFFS and MOFFA News Group lists
From:   Carol Osborne, Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance
Creating a Local Organic Food System
Friday, March 14   7 to 9 pm
2003 Annual Meeting of the Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance
Oakhill Church, 1930 Leonard St, Grand Rapids
(west off I-96 at Leonard St exit, about 1 mile, on south side)
MOFFA is pleased to present Barry Bursak, a consultant with Sustain in Chicago and one of the coordinators of Chicago's Local Organic Initiative.  LOI is a project created to support the growth of a regional food system serving the Chicago area. 
As part of a vision to make Chicago the "Greenest City in America", activists and community leaders created a plan to make Chicago "The Land of Organic Opportunity."   Jim Hightower recently wrote about the LOI, praising it as a "comprehensive regional organic food system that will involve and enrich the whole Chicago area, from farmers to community gardeners, chefs to the homeless, entrepreneurs to school kitchens."  The Hightower Lowdown, November 2002. 
This initiative is soup to nuts--training farmers to transition to organic, fostering urban gardening on vacant lots & rooftops, making investments in trucking, warehouses & other infrastructure for year-round food supplies, creating farmers' markets, developing buying clubs, financing organic food processing, encouraging school and other public education about the benefits of locally grown organics.  Barry will explain the LOI vision, where they are at, and opportunities for shared learning, marketing and mutual support.
Join us for a potluck dinner at 7 pm; beverages will be provided.  MOFFA's business meeting will take place during dinner.  The evening program begins at 7:45 pm.  Please call to reserve a seat; space is limited.  A $3 donation is requested.  For more information, contact Grey Larison, MOFFA, at 616-361-7117 (evenings and weekends only).