University partners with local farm

University partners with local farm

MARQUETTE — Last week we talked with BSB Farm in Skandia about their new partnership with Northern Michigan University, but now we have more insight from outside the coop.

A partnership between the two blossomed when Luke Bell from BSB Farms contacted dining services at NMU about fresh eggs.The timing for the arrangement was ideal, as the avian bird flu was hitting the school’s primary vendor and limiting their egg supply.

“I think local has a better story. It’s a fresher product, there’s a lot more health benefits to the local egg versus an egg that’s probably been in transit for 2–3 weeks,” said executive chef Nathan Mileski. “Literally we’re getting the eggs the day of or the next. So I think it’s just a really great story to tell.”

Northern hopes this is only the first phase of a much larger goal, to increase a more local food presence at the university.

“This is step one. The eggs were really unique and an easy fit to begin with. We’re going to start looking at other partnerships. We started a partnership with North Farm in Chatham,” Mileski added. “We’re going to start reaching out to other farmers in the area. But as we talk it over and we make those partnerships happen, you’ll start to see a lot more farm fresh food on campus.”

Currently, the school gets 450 dozens of eggs a week and goes to serve both residential and retail venues. When school is not in sessions, Bell will provide those eggs at the Farmer’s Market to help out the community.