Sustainable Food Program Manager, M Dining
Alex Bryan re-joined his alma mater in fall 2016 as the UM Sustainable Food Program Manager. UMSFP is a student-led umbrella organization designed to bring together student efforts to build a sustainable food system on campus as students grow as food citizens and change agents. His role is to connect students with the resources they need to succeed in working with faculty, staff, one another, and the larger community in meeting their individual and collective goals related to sustainable food. Uniquely nested within MDining, the UMSFP Program Manager is able to build relationships with University operations to facilitate systemic University-wide change.
Alex was previously the Director of Agricultural Programs at the Greater Lansing Food Bank where he managed two programs, Garden Project and Lansing Roots. Garden Project, a community garden support program, helped over 8,000 individuals access fresh food, annually, through community gardening at over 130 garden locations representing 30+ acres. Lansing Roots, a land-based farm business incubator, primarily focused on helping under-served populations scale up production to viable small-scale farm operations in mid-Michigan by providing land/infrastructure, technical support, and marketing outlets to predominantly immigrant and refugee families. Both programs used a community based asset development model to offer a “hands-up” approach to stabilizing community food.
Alex is the founding board president of National Young Farmers Coalition, serves on the board of Michigan Food and Farming Systems, and helped found the food policy council of mid-Michigan. An AmeriCorps Alums National Leadership Award Winner, Alex is co-owner of Food Field, a 4 acre farm in the city of Detroit, and was recognized by Farm Credit Services as a Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives Honoree for FCS 100th anniversary for his work to bridge rural and urban agriculture. He has given talks at national and international conferences on urban farming and hunger issues and is a strong supporter of community sourced initiatives to solving food issues.