The Mission


The Mackinaw Valley Institute exists to aid in facilitating the necessary local economic changes which will have a profound impact on the vitality of rural communities. To accomplish this, the Mackinaw Valley Institute serves as a focal point for relevant social commentary and academic debate regarding the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices and the development of social capital by advocating for a practical alternative to the status quo.

In order to overcome obstacles the Mackinaw Valley Institute promotes viewing community, technology, husbandry, and sustainability not as mutually exclusive objects but rather as components. It will be the marriage of these concepts, not their segregation, that will drive the development of innovative solutions to solve the dilemma faced by rural America.

To achieve that end,  the Mackinaw Valley Institute promotes policy that:

  • ensures equitable opportunity for small farms

  • promotes agricultural and development practices that conserve soil, water, habitat, and energy

  • enables local producers to access local markets and food systems

  • encourages the growth of social capital

  • fosters the long term economic vitality for communities of all sizes

  • acknowledges the connection between communities and the rural landscape