Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Can I Become More Involved in Our Local Food System?

Know Your Farmer
The key to a sustainable food system in West Michigan is the participation of local consumers. It's ultimately up to you to take responsibility for where your food comes from; educate yourself about the issues surrounding modern agriculture and don't be afraid to ask questions when you shop. Farmers who are as concerned about the food system as you are appreciate it.

The West Michigan CoOp is primarily run by volunteers, and is heavily reliant on member and producer participation to continue bringing quality, sustainable agriculture to our area. While we are always appreciative for volunteers on pickup nights, we also need help with the leadership aspects of the Co Op, which include the board of directors and our four committees. Any member of the CoOp is encouraged to join a committee. They are the most important part of the direction we take.

Volunteer opportunities
Pick-up night volunteers:
These volunteers are crucial to ensuring that our pick-up nights run smoothly for shoppers and producers alike. At each pick-up night, volunteers are needed to help with set-up, greet members and distribute invoices, assist new members and help direct shoppers, and work as cashiers.

Committees: West Michigan Co-op maintains four ongoing committees to manage various areas of the organization. There are committees for producer relations, member relations, community relations, and the website. These committees are comprised solely of volunteers. For more about these committees, click here.

Special events: Throughout the year, the Co-op routinely participates in community events and festivals such as the Local First Street Fair, Grand Rapids Public Library Farmers and Artisan Market, and the Grand River Water Festival. Volunteers are typically needed at these events to staff the Co-op table and distribute literature about the organization.

Board of Directors: The Board of Directors manages the operations, finances, policies, and direction of the Co-op. The Board meets monthly. .

For more information about volunteering, or to sign up to volunteer, please contact Rori Weston, Volunteer Coordinator by email ( or by phone at (616) 951-3287.

The Board of Directors

Voting Membership
Voting members of the Co-op have the ability to vote at the annual meetings and at any special membership meetings that may be called throughout the year. In addition, voting members are eligible to run for a seat on the Board of Directors when there is a vacancy. As such, they have a greater voice in the direction of the Co-op.

There are two ways in which to become a voting member:
  1. Volunteer five or more times in the calendar year. Volunteer opportunities include helping out at pick-up night, helping at special events, and joining committees. 
  2. Being a Selling Producer in good standing with the West Michigan CoOp.

Please look over these opportunities and let us know if you have the time to help us shape the direction of The West Michigan CoOp. Your specific talents may be just what we are looking for. 

Our Annual Meeting will be held 
Wednesday, May 4 at 6pm at 1475 Michigan St. NE

If you are eligible and interested in running for a seat on the Board of Directors, please contact
Rori at
by April 27th.

No comments: