World hunger relief nonprofit is subject of next Entrepreneurship Forum

contact: Stacey Markin
| WMU News
Photo of Norm Braksick

Braksick

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Norm Braksick, the retired executive director of Foods Resource Bank, an organization that raises money to help people in developing countries grow their own food, will speak about founding the organization and social entrepreneurship at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in Room 2150 of Schneider Hall.

The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. Free parking is available in Lot 72R next to Schneider Hall.

Foods Resource Bank

Supported by more than 200 U.S. growing projects, which last year raised $3.3 million to support 62 overseas programs, Foods Resource Bank's 15 member organizations and 59 local partner organizations work in more than 30 countries.

The nonprofit raises resources to support the capability and desire of small farmers in developing countries to grow lasting solutions to hunger. All programs focus on developing small-holder agriculture.

Why agriculture? Having enough to eat depends on growing enough to last all year. Hunger is often a seasonal issue as farmers run out of last year's food before the next harvest. If provided with training and basic resources, such as seeds or small tools, farmers can increase their harvest and food security.

With up to 70 percent of the population in developing countries living in rural areas, agriculture plays a key role on the path to food security. Foods Resource Bank embraces the principles of sustainability and community and links the grassroots energy and commitment of the U.S. agricultural community with the capability and desire of small farmers in developing countries to grow lasting solutions to hunger. The organization also is devoted to awareness; Foods Resource Bank brings visitors from its overseas programs to the United States to tell their stories and often takes visitors and U.S. farmers to Washington, D.C., to influence policy on sustainability and food security.

Norm Braksick

Braksick worked for 30 years at The Upjohn Co. and was president of the Asgrow Seed Co. before retiring in 1997. In late 1998, he agreed to help form the Foods Resource Bank, a nonprofit international organization involving faith, agriculture and world hunger relief.

He is an active community volunteer and was the recipient of the Portage Rotary Club Annual Community Service Award, which recognizes the many years of volunteer work that Braksick has provided to benefit the Portage community as well as communities worldwide.

Entrepreneurship Forum

Entrepreneurship Forum is a monthly series sponsored by Educational Community Credit Union and hosted by Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business to bring stories of entrepreneurial success to the greater Kalamazoo community. This series is devoted to entrepreneurs and unique stories of start-up success. For more information on the series, wmich.edu/business/entrepreneurship-forum.

Contact Alyshia Norris (alyshia.d.norris@wmich.edu) to request information or RSVP. If you know an entrepreneur who should be considered for the series, contact Stacey Markin (stacey.markin@wmich.edu).

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.