i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Increasing Capacity in the Institutional Use of Michigan Specialty

Mariel Borgman
Community Food Systems Educator
Michigan State University, Greening Michigan Institute

Kaitlin Wojciak
Extension Educator
Michigan State University, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Garrett Ziegler

Community Food Systems Educator

Michigan State University

Team Co-PI Mariel Borgman said:

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

Michigan institutions, specifically K-12 schools, will utilize more local fruits and vegetables.

How will you measure that change?

Through pre and post surveys we will measure acquisition of new skills in handling and using local produce and through longitudinal analysis, the adoption of or increase in local food purchases. We will also track if they are using recipes and foods featured in the trainings.

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

We will create a space for conversation and community around the online content that will complement our in-person trainings. Also we will create videos that weave training and storytelling to create a compelling and engaging experience.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

Meetings with key informants helped us to refine our strategy for the virtual components.


Our project addresses challenges to using Michigan foods in school food programs, specifically the culinary skill gap required for preparing meals from scratch and the lack of Michigan-specific information on seasonal menu planning. Our objective is to develop and implement an applied learning curriculum through on-site trainings and publicly available multimedia resources to help food service professionals increase knowledge and skills to handle and prepare whole, fresh, seasonal Michigan foods and ultimately increase institutional use of Michigan agricultural products.

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