Cultivating Beauty in Southeast Michigan: Increasing competitiveness of MI Grown Flowers


The Michigan Flower Growers’ Cooperative (MFGC) mission is to provide the highest-quality, most diverse offering of Michigan-grown cut flowers and foliage for the floral trade with the convenience of a once-weekly, aggregated marketplace. We aim to grow the market for locally-grown flowers and foliage and facilitate relationships and education between farmers, florists, and end users.  In 2017, the MFGC opened Michigan’s first wholesale cut flower market featuring exclusively locally grown flowers and foliage.


The MFGC seeks a contractor to work with the coop to increase the competitiveness of MI grown flowers through administering and implementing the Coops “Cultivating Beauty in Southeast Michigan” project granted through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

The tasks to be completed during the project period will increase the competitiveness of MI grown flowers by growing the industries economic sector in both demand and supply. This project has three main components.

  1. Increase demand for MI grown flowers through an awareness campaign highlighting and differentiating the products directed towards current and future wholesale buyers and end users. This includes branding and a media strategy as well as direct education at trade shows and workshops.
  2. Assist the development of the MFGC, through supporting the market manager, developing coop infrastructure, brand and services, researching and sharing lessons from similar industry projects, and cultivating partnerships of both vertical and horizontal market sectors.
  3. Increase quality and variety of available product through coordinating technical trainings for current and future flower farmers.

The contractor will work with Coop board members to develop and implement a detailed plan to carry out the projects objectives and specific activities in compliance with agencies policies and procedures. A comprehensive work plan and list of tasks will be crafted by contractor with the board upon hiring.


  • Administration of the grant, including financial management, reporting and evaluation. Set up accounting system and records for financial management and oversight.
  • Organize four educational workshops for members, prospective members, buyers, and prospective buyers; including finding trainers, approving curriculum and arranging logistics.
  • Help develop coop infrastructure and services including developing marketing materials with a designer, purchasing/contracting for a portable cooler and arranging for delivery services, allowing us to more rapidly scale up our operation.
  • Launch a state-wide marketing campaign targeting industry publications, journalists, and the general public to raise awareness about Michigan-grown cut flowers and the opportunity to buy them through the MFGC.
  • Attend/arrange for Coop Members to attend conferences, trade shows, and visit other cut flower cooperatives for educational and networking purposes
  • Compile project results into a fact sheet and disseminated widely to Michigan growers, floral industry professionals, and the press.


  • Experience with implementing detailed grants or contracts.
  • Ability to interpret and share financial details with non-experts.
  • Experience with computer software for desktop publishing, spreadsheets, communication and accounting such as Quickbooks, Google Docs, Square, mailchimp etc.
  • Excellent written communication and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to work well both independently and as part of a team environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationship with sub-contractors, board, members, and potential clients.
  • Strong ability to set and maintain priorities, delegate, and follow up with volunteers.
  • Practice organizing and promoting events.
  • Experience in publicity and marketing.
  • Experience with specialty cut flowers & the flower industry is preferred but not required.
  • Interest in local/regional sustainable agriculture.

HOURS & COMPENSATION:  This is a contract position for $14,000, paid in installments after sending in monthly updates on the completion of the project, and sending in requests for reimbursement to MDARD. Hours required will vary with the season. We will track success by milestones, knowing that the work will ebb and flow over the season, we estimate an average of 15 hours a week.

TO APPLY:  Please submit resume & 1 page cover letter detailing your interest and qualifications for the project and why you feel the work is important at a macro and micro level, complete with reference contact information, to [email protected]

The MI Flower Growers Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate potential employees based on race, creed, age, color, disability, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status.  We encourage the following groups to apply: people of color and individuals who possess an in-depth understanding of economic hardship and or the social and environmental costs of the current flower industry.