The 18th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference

March 16-19, 2022

After taking a year off, we are excited to gather again (virtually) for the Michigan Family Farms Conference on March 16-19! This year’s conference, Growing Back Stronger, will be presented over multiple days streaming live from

The Michigan Family Farms Conference is an opportunity for historically underserved, underrepresented, beginning and aspiring farmers to share, network, learn from and celebrate rural and urban food producers with diverse production methods, cultures, and backgrounds. Topics this year focus on climate resilience, disaster preparedness, regenerative sustainability and anti-racist land access as we contend with the myriad challenges that face our communities’ access to healthy food systems.

We invite you to check back in here as the planning committee finalizes plans for workshops, storytelling, breakout discussions, and more! In the meantime, there are several ways to get involved:

  • Do you know folks who deserve recognition as Farmer of the Year, Food System Leader, or Courageous Catalyst? If so, submit an award nomination here

  • Check out sponsor and vendor opportunities here

  • Register for the conference here

  • Inscripción en español aquí

Conference presentations will be available online here after completion of the event.

Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan

Thursday, February 24, 2022, 7:00 PM EST

Speaker: Barbara J. Barton

Book Cover, B. Barton

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 858 8082 7724
Passcode: 172471

Experience the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live here. Learn the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. Barton discusses historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people with a common goal of restoring and protecting Manoomin across the landscape.

A healthy stand of wild rice

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers working with Native American tribes to increase wild rice in Michigan

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers researchers are working with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and other Native American tribes to help improve wild rice productivity in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center is supporting two six-year USACE Detroit District Planning Assistance to States studies to combine traditional knowledge and modern research to increase the production of wild rice, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read full article

seeding wild rice in a canoe

WKAR FM: Indigenous communities push to name wild rice as Michigan’s official native grain

200 years ago, wild rice grew in almost every waterway in Michigan. Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes have been hand harvesting it for more than a thousand years. Now, it’s mostly gone. But there are efforts from tribes to restore rice beds and bring more recognition to the grain statewide. Read More | Listen