Brines Farm - help needed!

Brines Farm is looking for part to full time help starting now through
the end of October, and then possible continuation part-time help
through winter. Optional housing available. Work hours are flexible
within a 9-5 Mon-Fri window.  Some weekend hours possible for those
with lots of farming experience.  Pay is $8-$10 per hour based on
experience. Please contact Shannon Brines at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or
fill out the internship form at brines.net.  Brines Farm is a
diversified fruit & vegetable permaculture farm on over 80 acres in
northern Webster Township, 12 miles from downtown Ann Arbo

Brines Farm - part or full time help

Brines Farm is looking for part to full time help starting now through
the end of October, and then possible continuation part-time help
through winter. Optional housing available. Work hours are flexible
within a 9-5 Mon-Fri window.  Some weekend hours possible for those
with lots of farming experience.  Pay is $8-$10 per hour based on
experience. Please contact Shannon Brines at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or
fill out the internship form at brines.net.  Brines Farm is a
diversified fruit & vegetable permaculture farm on over 80 acres in
northern Webster Township, 12 miles from downtown Ann Arbor.

Internships for Vibrant Futures - Part II

Last week the UMSFP blog visited Saloni Dagli, who is in Seattle participating in a fellowship with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. This week the UMSFP blog brings us to Boston, Massachusetts, to see what former UMSFP Communications Specialist Hannah Gingerich has been up to since spring.


Gingerich, a senior in Program in the Environment, is interested in how food systems tie into issues of homelessness and hunger. She co-founded a chapter of the national Food Recovery Network here on campus, which recovers perishable unused food from UM dining halls and delivers it to Food Gatherers and other local food banks. The Food Recovery Network has grown in strides since its formation in 2012, recently receiving both a Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund grant to expand its efforts, as well as a Michigan Difference award in recognition of their influence on campus.


Gingerich understands that food issues reach far beyond the university, and has sought to learn from existing sustainable food systems across the globe. This spring she participated in a class on Food, Land and Society with Professors Ivette Perfecto (School of Natural Resources and the Environment) and Catherine Badgley (School of Natural Resources and the Environment; Residential College). This course focused on exploring and comparing food systems in Southeast Michigan and Cuba. They based themselves at the Washtenaw County Food Hub, and began through readings, discussion, and visits to a range of farms and food businesses in Michigan before traveling to Cuba for a two week educational journey. “We visited farms, urban gardens, community centers  and grocery stores,” Gingerich says. “We would spend all day traveling to different gardens and talking to farmers and people and sharing food. It was both exhilarating and exhausting !”


In the end, Gingerich says she learned a lot. “Cuba is really unique… and the revolution is still alive there. It was informative to witness how different the county runs [compared to the United States], and how big of an impact government can have on a country. It was an eye-opening experience.” Perfecto and Badgley offer this course often in the spring, alternating between visits to Cuba and Chiapas.



While continuing to contemplate these experiences, Gingerich is now participating in an internship at Haley House in Boston, Massachusetts. Gingerich became interested in Haley House, a nonprofit that builds community through food, because it offers a model she hasn’t yet seen in Southeast Michigan. At the soup kitchen, she says, “There’s no wall between guests  and volunteers--and some guests are the volunteers. There’s open communication, and everyone sits together. Our work is about being present, and non-judgment, and not ignoring our guests as people. It’s a model that allows for shared humanity for everyone involved.”

This model stems directly from the mission of Haley House, to offer collaborative living and working environments that “BUILD communities and connections across boundaries that divide us,” “MODEL creative alternatives that confirm the intrinsic dignity and worth of each person” and “CHALLENGE the attitudes and structures that perpetuate suffering” (for more, see their website). In addition to running a soup kitchen program, Haley House also operates a Bakery Cafe in nearby Roxbury that focuses on employment and on-the-job-training for those who face significant barriers to employment. Gingerich, like other interns, is embedded in the Haley House community, living on site and spending about 20 hours a week involved with the soup kitchen and Bakery Cafe, and also working to organize weekly dinners with the Community Tables program. This program offers community meals that are financially accessible through a “pay-what-you-like” structure and the generosity of donations and volunteers. “I’m inspired by how Haley House approaches social work,” Gingerich says, “I think the world could use a lot more organizations like this.”

Gingerich is interested in returning to join the Haley House Live-in Community designed for long-term volunteers after graduation, where the fellow UM graduate who told her about Haley House,
Deena Etter, already lives and works. Gingerich is also considering pursuing similar efforts related to food and hunger through the pathways of policy, farming or social work. Until then, Gingerich will return to U of M in the fall, bringing her experiences with the Haley House community and Cuban and Michigan farmers with her.


To learn more about Haley House visit www.haleyhouse.org.

Internships for Vibrant Futures

Learning doesn’t stop at the end of winter semester for students involved in sustainable food! Spring and Summer are prime times for hands-on opportunities working with various aspects of food systems. This summer UMSFP is sharing blog posts on internships and other learning experiences in the realm of sustainable food to help students navigate and become aware of different opportunities that are available to them. Check out the interview below to see what incoming UMSFP Communications Specialist Saloni Dagli has been up to this summer with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.


What’s your name?



What year are you in school?



What are you studying?

Environmental Engineering with a minor in Urban Studies


Are you involved with any other clubs or programs?

UMSFP, Friends of the Campus Farm, Graham Scholars, Bluelab Living Building Challenge Team, Engineering Honors Program


What are you doing this summer?

I’m participating in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington (UW). It’s a three year program that aims to increase diversity (in all senses of the word, from ethnic diversity to disciplinary diversity) in the field of conservation. This summer we’re taking a field course focusing on ecology and social science in the urban, managed, and natural environments. We also get the chance to interact with environmental professionals in a wide variety of fields, which has been incredibly valuable and inspiring so far.


Does your fellowship relate to sustainable food? If so, how?

We examine all our field experiences and communities we meet to see how they relate to food, water, biodiversity, and climate. Sustainable food is part of the experience, but there’s a lot more to it. We’ve learned about sustainable food in some very obvious ways: we’ve met a lot of folks who work at the UW farm (and their program is a great example of what the U of M Campus Farm could grow to be) and we visited a community farm in a mixed income housing neighborhood. We’ve also touched on it in some less obvious ways. We visited the watershed and reservoir that serves the entire city of Seattle, where the amount of water held in the reservoir has a direct impact on what’s available for agricultural irrigation in the area. We also visited the Duwamish river, which has huge cultural and historical significance as a food source for the local Duwamish tribe, but is currently one of the most toxic sites in the country.


Does the fellowship contribute to your ability to act as a change agent for a vibrant planet? If so, how?

I hope so! I think conservation (and all fields) can benefit from diverse perspectives, and this program helps build empathy and understanding, which we all need to make our fields more inclusive.


How does the fellowship tie into your studies and activities on campus?

A lot of what I’m learning here is relevant to environmental engineering, urban planning, and sustainable food, which is where most of my interests and activities lie. I’m also involved with ResStaff, and there’s a huge emphasis there on making our communities more inclusive and learning to be a good ally. That’s really a lifelong learning process, and this program is helping me re-examine social issues through an environmental justice lens.


Would you recommend the fellowship to others interested in sustainability or food?

If you have a lot of varied interests, like me, then this program is perfect because it helps you start to see the connections between the many facets of sustainability. On the other hand, if you have very particular interests, this program might have too broad of a scope for you, and a program with a narrower focus may be of more value. Seattle is an awesome city, the University has a beautiful campus, and Washington has some absolutely breathtaking natural areas, so I can’t imagine anywhere else that I’d rather be this summer.


Do you have any future plans, goals or actions that relate to your fellowship or sustainable food?

That’s a big question. I know my future career will have something to do with conservation and sustainability, and I hope to find something that incorporates all of my interests, but I don’t have a clear vision of what that is right now. I’ve met some really inspiring people who work for NGOs, non-profits, the government, and universities. It’s really broadened my perspective on the range of careers I could pursue with my degree.



To learn more about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program visit their website at www.coenv.washington.edu/conservationscholars.

Position Opening - Sustainable Food Systems - School of Natural Resources and Environment

The School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Michigan (UM) seeks applicants to fill a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level. The position is part of a cluster of hires in the area of sustainable food systems, which brings together a number of faculty from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the School of Public Health, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning within the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and SNRE in a cross-disciplinary teaching and research effort. This group is intended to broaden and deepen the university’s commitment to research and teaching in the area of sustainable food systems. SNRE’s mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth’s resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. The School contributes new scientific knowledge, visionary leadership, and trained professionals toward that end. The faculty of the School is diverse, with natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and designers working collectively in an integrative setting. A professional school set within a major research university, SNRE provides a model of interdisciplinary and applied research and a focal point for research and teaching on sustainability. The School offers a PhD in Natural Resources and Environment, a professional MS degree in six fields of study (conservation ecology; environmental informatics; sustainable systems; environmental policy and planning; behavior, education and communication; and environmental justice); and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (MLA). The student body includes over 350 MS/MLA and 60 doctoral students. SNRE also participates in multiple cross-campus degree programs, including: an undergraduate Program in the Environment degree, which includes a minor in sustainability; and dual degrees with the Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning, Business, Engineering, Law, and Public Health. SNRE also offers several graduate certificate programs. Additional information about the School can be found at www.snre.umich.edu. The position focuses broadly on social science aspects of sustainability in the food system from production to consumption, with either an international or a domestic focus. 

Applicants should demonstrate the potential to conduct high-impact research within the context of sustainable food systems. Areas of interest could include, but are not limited to topics such as alternative food systems, community-supported agriculture, emergency food systems, industrial food systems, sustainability and resilience of agroecosystems; ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes; urban farming; freshwater or seafood aquaculture; environmental considerations associated with urban gardens and local food systems versus regional or international scale food distribution systems; the links between agriculture and food sovereignty or food security; water or nutrient concerns related to agriculture; supply chains; or value chains. Applicants’ substantive training and expertise may be in any field relevant to food systems, including business, economics, sociology, rural sociology, human geography, political ecology, political science, public policy, urban planning, natural resources, sustainability science, agriculture, and related disciplines. In addition to disciplinary depth, we seek candidates with experience, skills, and interest in integrating knowledge from multiple domains. Candidates should consequently possess the broad interests, skills, and temperament to interact effectively and build collaborations with other researchers, within SNRE and elsewhere. 

The successful candidate will be expected to:

1. Develop a nationally recognized research program that attracts external funding and contributes to the interdisciplinary problem-focused mission of SNRE;

2. Teach, mentor and supervise highly motivated doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate students;

3. Collaborate with interdisciplinary faculty within SNRE and across the university; and

4. Contribute through service to the stewardship of SNRE, the University of Michigan, and relevant professions. 

The position is a regular full time, nine-month faculty position and will be filled at the assistant professor (tenure-track) level. A PhD in a relevant discipline or interdisciplinary program is required by the time of hire, and postdoctoral and teaching experience is preferred. Applications, including a cover letter, CV, and concise personal statements describing the candidate’s vision and plans for research and teaching, should be submitted in a single PDF file. Three letters of reference are also required under separate cover. 

To apply, submit application materials via the following web address: http://snre.umich.edu/form/application_sustainable_food_systems.

Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2014. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Campus visits are expected to occur in November and December 2014. The position is expected to begin by September 1, 2015. 

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity employer, and individuals from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Sustainable Food Program | University of Michigan
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