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Michigan Urban Farming Initiative


The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Detroit’s North End community, Started by U-M students from both the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses. MUFI’s mission is to use urban agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community in an effort to empower urban communities, solve many social problems facing Detroit, and potentially develop a broader model for redevelopment for other urban communities. Co-founders Darin McLeskey and Tyson Gersh developed the idea for MUFI through the optiMize Social Innovation Challenge at U-M, and were awarded seed funding to kick start the summer 2012 harvest season.

Since then, the initiative has brought together more than 8,000 volunteers from all over the world who have given upwards of 80,000 working hours and harvested 50,000 pounds of 500 varieties of organic produce, approximately 80% of which went to over 2,000 individual households and/or food pantries within two-square miles of the farm.

LSA optiMize Social Innovation Partnership

"MUFI offers a tangible example of how one can change the world around them.”
- Tyson Gersh, president
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