Mission: The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to engage members of the Michigan community in sustainable agriculture. We believe that challenges unique to the Michigan community (e.g., vacant land, poor diet, nutritional illiteracy, and food insecurity) present a unique opportunity for community-supported agriculture. Using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community—while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity—we hope to empower urban communities.
Hosted over 2,500 volunteers on our site, who collectively put in over 20,000 hours (since our incorporation in March of 2012)
Through effective community engagement, the non-profit has transitioned from a majority of our volunteers coming from the general South East Michigan area, to having a majority of volunteers coming from Detroit proper.
Produced over 10,000 lbs of organic produce in Detroit during our first year growing (2013) alone.
I'm still working out our numbers, but a large percent of our produce is being used by individuals living within 1 square mile of our site using a suggested-donation model.
Again, still working on the numbers, but several thousand pounds of our produce goes to local market stands and retailers.
The remaining produce is donated to local shelters.
Acquired 1 building, 4 houses, and approximately 5 aces of land in Detroit's North End community.
Plans for the acquisition of 2 warehouses are in the works
The MUFI Hustle
MUFI employs social media platforms as it's primary form of fundraising, volunteer recruitment, community engagement, and educational programming.
To date we have raised approximately $38,000 through corporate-sponsored social-media-based contests and public pitching events.
Established active presence across all major social media platforms
facebook, twitter, instagram, website, google +, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Wikipedia, Blogger.
Aveda "light-the-way" Holiday Fundraiser ($2.5k)
Ford Blue Oval Scholars Community Challenge ($7k)
Whole Foods Community Partnership ($2.5k)
Nature's Path "Gardens for Good" Grant Competition ($15k)
Optimize Social Innovation Challenge ($5k)
3rd place in the Do it For Detroit Micro-Grant Pitching Contest
Edward Bagale “Different Makers” Award ($5k)
University of Michigan-Dearborn "Difference Makers" (2013)
University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Leadership Award in Service Learning (2013)
President's "Call to Service" Award (2013)
Target demographics: increase access to healthy locally grown food
Direct beneficiaries per year: grow over 10,000lbs of organic produce right in Detroit!
Geographic areas served: Detroit's North End Community
Programs: Urban Farming, volunteering, educational programming