July 16-22, 2017: Local Foods Week

WHEREAS, Michigan's food and agricultural industry produces more than 300 agricultural commodities, creates almost 1 million jobs, and contributes $101.2 billion to the state's economy each year; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan has about 10 million acres of farmland and the state is home to 52,194 farms. Michigan producers are trusted providers of the finest agricultural products, leading the nation in the production of several specialty crops; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan has a vibrant local foods system, and buying locally supports local families, builds communities, preserves open space, and is an investment in our state’s farming future; and,

WHEREAS, buying locally develops stronger regional and local food systems and increases the number of local food opportunities for consumers and businesses throughout the Great Lakes State; and,

WHEREAS, the number of farmers markets in Michigan has grown from around 90 in 2001 to more than 300 today, and throughout the summer and fall, and at some markets, year-round, Michigan residents can visit hundreds of farmers markets, farm stands and orchards, choosing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables; and,

WHEREAS, many schools, hospitals and other institutions in Michigan have committed to buying local foods, with more than half of Michigan school food service directors reporting local food purchases and more than 100 of Michigan’s 150 hospitals participating in the Healthy Food Hospitals Initiative; and,

WHEREAS, locally grown fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak of freshness, nutritional value and flavor, and a shorter time from the farm to your table means less nutrients are lost from fresh food; and,

WHEREAS, thanks to the increased use of hoophouses for extended growing seasons, preservation methods like canning, dehydrating and freezing, and improved storage methods, many local fruits, vegetables and herbs are available year-round;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim July 16-22, 2017 as Local Foods Week in Michigan.