Michigan Foundation for Agriculture honing in on priorities


Michigan Foundation for Agriculture honing in on priorities

The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture is planning for a retool in 2022.

Alex Schnabelrauch tells Brownfield their organization is funded mostly through events that have been difficult to maintain the past two years.

“Just like many other nonprofits and charities, the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture has hit some snags throughout the pandemic,” she says.

Ag literacy represents half of the foundation’s mission which includes bringing mobile FARM science labs to schools for a field trip-like experience. Those were parked last school year, but Schnabelrauch says are getting back to work.

“Especially now with teachers just incredibly fatigued, I think there’s a huge need and want to have some of these enrichment programs as many field trips are on hold right now,” she says.

The foundation wants to narrow in on where they can move the needle on ag education and identify key areas that need funding.

“What is even agricultural literacy and how do we measure it to know if we’re impacting or moving the needle at all?” she asks.  “Tell us more about the teacher shortage, what does that look like, and what opportunities and challenges does that pose for agriculture literacy?” Schnabelrauch says new goals will be launched in 2022 following recommendations a task force within the organization to help pave the way for new ag literacy and ag leadership efforts.