LocallyGrownNews.com is an online community designed to foster the eating locally movement. Our mission is to generate conversation around sustainable, healthy lifestyles.
The online community features eco-friendly, local topics about locally grown produce and other products. Robust user profiles allow members to connect with those with similar interests and passions.
Community members can:
* Learn about local foods and local producers
* Share seasonal recipes and prized gardens
* Find out about ideas for sustainable living
* Rate favorite markets
* Post regional events
Michelle Ferrier, Founder and Publisher
Michelle Ferrier, Ph.D. is an avid gardener, herbalist and local food evangelist. She raised her children on a "smell garden" of herbs and now cultivates tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, swiss chard, berries and other produce on the edible landscape formerly called her lawn. She is a professor at Elon University in North Carolina.
The saying on LocallyGrownNews.com website “Bloom Where You’re Planted” isn’t just a slogan for Michelle, it’s a way of life.
Since migrating to North Carolina and Elon University from Florida three years ago, Michelle has become a local food and sustainability advocate in the Piedmont Triad and established herself and her website as a go-to source for local food and sustainability initiatives across North Carolina and Florida. The site is a social entrepreneurship model that focuses on education and awareness of local food as a means of building local economies. She uses education as a tool to prompt readers to action around food policy as well as to make good food choices. The technology on the site is designed to engage community connection and action through civic engagement, advocacy on food policy issues, and self-sufficiency information.
Michelle launched LocallyGrownNews.com almost two years ago with a grant from the New Women’s Media Entrepreneurship program run by J-Lab and the McCormick Foundation. Her initial site focused on Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth Counties. Since then, she has expanded the content with a local site in Tampa Bay, Florida and with national content on food policy issues. She has grown the online resource and her visibility within the community and nationally in those two years.
She is part of the Local Food Group in Forsyth County, where she meets regularly with county staff and local food advocates. She is also a member of the Piedmont Triad Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Project and has spoken before the Greensboro City Council to promote local food as an economic driver for the city. She partnered with the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem on DATS 2010, a local food-centered conference around design, art and technology. And she recently collaborated with a faculty member at UNCG to publish a book chapter around online communities and virtual work on local food advocacy.
She is a frequent guest speaker at area and national colleges around local food initiatives and is a consultant to area farmers markets such as the Foothills Farmers Market in Shelby, NC, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market and Cobblestone Farmers Market in Winston-Salem on strategic communications and marketing. She recently joined the South Elm Urban Market as an advisory board member, to help bring the new market to fruition on Sundays in downtown Greensboro.
Nationally, Michelle has been a featured speaker at BlogHer Business | Entrepreneurship | Technology and BlogHer Food as a result of her work on LocallyGrownNews.com. She has also been a featured speaker and sponsored participant at other professional conferences because of the unique social entrepreneurship model she has developed.
She has mentored Elon students and students from other area colleges who are interested in sustainability and local food issues and has worked to publish their written and photographic works on LocallyGrownNews.com.
Michelle is an avid gardener and has brought that passion to her community. She is frequently consulted about landscaping, food, cooking and growing produce in her neighborhood. She is on the board of her homeowners association and has written grants for a community garden and playground. She recently spearheaded a renewable energy project for her neighborhood and is writing grants for the community to engage in conservation and energy creation using renewable resources as a national model of new urbanism. As such she is championing the project before city staff, the Greensboro City Council and local foundations such as the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the Duke Energy Foundation, Cemela Foundation and national grant makers as well.
While the above represents Michelle’s work around local food, she is also a national advocate for journalism entrepreneurship and hyperlocal journalism, particularly in diverse and underserved communities. She was recently appointed vice president of Journalism That Matters (JTM), a collaborative of educators, practitioners, community advocates and others remaking the media landscape. In the past three years through JTM, she spearheaded two conferences focused on the design, build and pitch of media projects by or for people of color or need. Journalism That Matters “Create or Die 2” was hosted in Greensboro in 2011; “Create or Die 1” was in Detroit in 2010.
She has been a frequent speaker, panelist and invited guest at conferences focused on digital entrepreneurship and was recently selected as a fellow at the inaugural Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Workshop held in January 2012 at Arizona State University. She continues to be a tireless advocate for underrepresented communities in the new media landscape and recently launched the “media deserts” research project that seeks to make visible through GIS technology those communities for whom fresh local news and information is lacking. Her work has drawn national interest as it speaks to the concerns of the Federal Communications Commission and the Knight Commission reports on the information needs of communities. She is working with a broad coalition of diverse advocates such as the Poynter Institute, UNITY NewU program, the Comcast DreamItVentures and communications colleagues at higher education institutions across the country to create a media ecosystem that educates and nurtures media entrepreneurship by and for communities of color.