Extension staff member receives leadership award

February 20, 2014 | |

Wendy Wieland

Michigan State University Extension program instructor and MSU Product Center innovation counselor Wendy Wieland received the Food and Farming Network Chapman Award for leadership in building a robust community food system in northwestern Michigan. She received the award Jan. 31 at the sixth annual Food and Farming Summit in Traverse City.

The Chapman Award is named after John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed. The inscription on the award reads “The 2014 Chapman award â€’Given each year to the person that shows unerring dedication, enduring fortitude, and embodies the exceptional pioneering spirit that is remaking American agriculture right here in Northwest Michigan.” 

“Wendy fits that bill precisely,” said Bill Palladino, senior policy specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute who organized the summit along with Extension educator Rob Sirrine, chair of the Food and Farming Network that sponsors the award.

Helen Leithauser, business training coordinator at North Central Michigan College, nominated Wendy.  

Wendy served as co-chair of this year’s Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, which coincided with the Food and Farming Summitt. The conference had a record attendance of more than 1,000 individuals. It originated as an MSU Extension‒led grazing conference and has grown in both scope and size ever since. Now, a collective of MSU Extension staff and community partners conducts the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. It receives sponsorship support from Extension, the MSU Product Center, the C.S. Mott Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at MSU, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and a whole host of other regional and statewide sponsors.


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