Food Hub Management Professional Certificate

Training for Tomorrow’s Food Hub Leaders

The first of its kind in North America and now planning for its fifth year, this program is an innovative blend of hands-on, community-based online and in-person learning to prepare you for managing food hubs. The program provides the tools you need to advance your career in food systems.

In 2018, the program is being held in Canada through the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund and University of Vermont. The residential portion of the program takes place in Ontario, Canada. The Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) is dedicated to promoting new ways of thinking about agri-food business management. They develop business management tools, information, resources, and training for Ontario’s agri-food and agri-based producers and processors with the aim of helping them achieve their business goals (more information can be found at the bottom).

Planning is underway for the 2019 program in Michigan, through a partnership between Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the University of Vermont. The residential portion of the program will take place in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with tours of other food hubs in lower Michigan and hands-on training in the ValleyHUB food hub at the Kalamazoo Valley Food Innovation Center.

2019 Residential session dates

March 4 – 8, 2019
November 4 – 8, 2019 (tentative)

The residential sessions take place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo is accessible via the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO), Gerald R Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids (GRR) (one hour ground transport), Chicago Midway (MDW) and Detroit Wayne (DTW) (each 2.5 hours ground transport), and by Amtrak.

Program overview

  • Designed for emergent and established food hub managers
  • Goals of the program are to strengthen and accelerate management skills of operational leaders of food hubs and other community based food system organizations
  • Multi-disciplined subject matter taught by Food Hub Managers and subject matter experts in each discipline
  • Taught online with two, week-long residential sessions held in Michigan
  • Syllabus includes: Business Formation, Food Hub Fundamentals, Business Planning, Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR & Staffing, Risk Management, Food Safety, Product Development and Knowledge, Supply Chain Management, Storage and Warehouse Management, Distribution, Processing, Technology, Value Chain Facilitation

Develop Essential Knowledge & Skills

  • Legal Structure, Sources of Capital
  • Business Planning and Assessment
  • Sales Forecasting, Analysis and Marketing
  • Finance and Risk Management
  • Food Safety – On Farm, Facility, and FSMA
  • Supply and Value Chain Integration
  • New Product Development and Processing
  • Management of Facilities, Distribution, and Technology
  • Human Resources and Stakeholder Management

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals exploring the feasibility of starting or expanding a food hub
  • Emerging leaders in organizations advancing the feasibility of regional food systems
  • Food Hub practitioners focused on ‘the next ten years’
  • Professionals seeking to develop their career in the local and regional food market

Space is limited to 25 participants.

2019 Program Fee

4-month Fundamentals Program: $3,795
Includes March residential session and 4-month online course

8-month Comprehensive Program: $5,945
Includes both residential sessions, 4-month online course, and action project

Scholarships will be made available based on financial need. They can be requested through the program application.

Breakfast, lunch, and some dinners are included in the tuition fee. Transportation to Kalamazoo and lodging are the responsibility of the participant.

For more information

This information will be updated as details are available and registration will begin in mid-October 2018 for the 2019 program.

If you would like more information or to receive updates about this unique learning opportunity, please complete the inquiry form at right.

Learn more about the host organizations

ValleyHUB Food Hub at the Kalamazoo Valley Food Innovation Center:

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems:

Related Programs


“I enrolled in the UVM program in order to broaden my own vision for local food. I wanted to extend it to include other region’s local food systems, in the hopes of learning about the common challenges and diverse solutions. The broad food system concepts, coupled with specific analytical skills and real world examples, have improved my leadership skills and made me a stronger collaborator.”

Lisa Reeder, Program Graduate, 2015

“I had a wonderful experience with the food hub management certificate. I learned so much, and I made great connections with the instructors and classmates. Ann and Lisa were great educators and supporters. This course could not come at a better time for my organization, as we are currently developing our food hub operation. It was so beneficial to ask real questions to folks who run real food hubs. They offered helpful insights on the nitty gritty aspects of food hubs, information that can be difficult to find elsewhere.”

Laura Erickson, Program Graduate 2016

on the Blog

UVM Students Find Local Food Hub Inspiration in Vermont

The Mad River Food Hub hosted 25 students in UVM’s new Food Hub Management Certificate Program for a two-hour tour and Q&A session last week. Students in the program met in Vermont last week to attend lectures and visit local food hubs, distributors, businesses – including The Intervale Food Hub, Black River Produce, and the Mad River Food Hub.

Read More.