Biography

A Short Biography of Shannon Brines & Brines Farm

Shannon Brines began authentically growing vegetables and fruits as a child growing up in Dexter and established Brines Farm on that family land in 2004 due to his passion for slow food and sustainable, year-round agriculture.  He began selling year-round at farmers markets shortly thereafter and offered the area's first fresh produce Winter CSA share program a few years later.  Shannon was selected as a member of the US delegation to participate in Terra Madre 2008 in Turin, Italy: a world slow food meeting focused on increasing small-scale, traditional, and sustainable food production.  Shannon is an Applied Geographer and Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment interested in land use, agriculture, food systems, public health, and sustainable design.  He consults on a variety of research projects in academia, most notably: multiple projects with the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health which include neighborhood analyses of food access; and, a new USDA-funded project led by the university which will analyze Food Access In Michigan and includes multiple community NGO partners and educational institutions across the state as collaborators.  Shannon is active in our local food community organizations: currently serving on the Slow Food Huron Valley board (vice-chair), HomeGrown Festival steering committee, Local Food Summit steering committee (co-chair), Greenbelt Advisory Commission (vice-chair), and on the student initiated University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) Advisory Board.  Shannon has also served in the past on the Ann Arbor Public Market Advisory Commission and the Tilian Farm Development Center steering committee.  In 2012 Brines Farm expanded its operation in northern Webster Township by purchasing a neighboring historical 80 acre farm.  Brines Farm offers a variety of internship opportunities as well as periodic open houses and volunteer days for the public.  Additional folks lending their labor of love to the Brines Farm vision currently include Erin Mittendorf (Shannon's spouse as of a 2013 wedding on the farm!), Bill & Marlene Brines (Shannon's parents), Andy Balabuch (Shannon's cousin), Paul Vugteveen, Pete Widin, Shannon's siblings, and many of Shannon & Erin's friends including (but not limited to) Jason Frenzel, Drew DeOrio, Peter Stephens, and Tina Roselle.  To all our treasured help, volunteers, and patrons, spanning the past, present, and future, we thank you for your support!  We would not be here without you!


Shannon Brines on the Tilian Farm Development Center and Washtenaw Food Hub:


"Having a farm incubator and a ag business incubator and hub in our area has been a dream of  mine for more than 10 years, so my primary concern at Tilian is helping establish a strong vision and plan for the center's future, in addition to serving as a mentor for beginning farmers."


"The simple truth is that we need more farmers.  If the greater Washtenaw county area wants to be a healthy and sustainable community then we all need to support efforts like Tilian Farm Development Center.  Currently everyone from local food businesses, chefs, institutions, to everyday eaters are demanding more supply of fresh, nutritious local food.  There is lots of potential for more farmers and more niche markets.  Vibrant and robust local food systems have

plenty of room for diversity and redundancy.  Together with a collaborative community effort we can increase the numbers of farmers and comradery of farmers in our community... and we will have a great time doing it.  This has been and continues to be my goal which is why I am extremely happy to be a member of the Tilian steering committee, an accessible mentor farmer to all, and a part of this community."

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