'Cultivate Michigan' partnership expands sourcing opportunities for locally-grown potatoes

on October 28, 2016 at 9:20 AM, updated October 28, 2016 at 9:40 AM

On this week's Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes, Mike Wenkel, general manager of the Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc., says a new partnership is helping Michigan families find locally-grown potatoes at the grocery store.

"As interest grows in locally-sourced produce, we have a special opportunity to market our Michigan-grown potatoes, but it all starts with making sure people know where to buy those locally-grown potatoes. That's why Michigan's potato growers are partnering with Cultivate Michigan, a program developed to encourage local sourcing of Michigan produce," says Wenkel. "It's all about helping families and businesses across the state buy their potatoes locally, and reap the nutritional benefits of potatoes grown right here in Michigan."
Through Cultivate Michigan, businesses like food service providers, and institutions that include schools and hospitals have access to more information on how to source Michigan-grown produce. Every year, Cultivate Michigan selects four new seasonal foods to feature – with potatoes features on the 2016 list.  The program promotes these foods in a variety of ways to food buyers while providing them with tours of farms, and processing, production and distribution facilities.
In addition, food service buyers interested in using more Michigan products at their institutions can sign up directly though Cultivate Michigan to buy locally.
"For Michigan's potato growers, the program has provided a way to tell our story to businesses statewide," Wenkel says.  "It's helping to link up Michigan potato growers with institutions that are able to buy a large number of potatoes, while ensuring that they were grown in Michigan."
Learn about Cultivate Michigan by visiting cultivatemichigan.org, and for more information on Michigan-grown potatoes, go to mipotato.com.
You can hear this week's report here.

The Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes is brought to you by the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan. It airs weekly on News/Talk 760 WJR and features voices from Michigan's growing agriculture sector.