Michael Broadway is Professor of Geography and the former Dean of Arts & Sciences at Northern Michigan University. His research expertise focuses on the meatpacking industry’s community impacts. In 2006 he was a visiting Fulbright Research Chair in the Department of Rural Economy at the University of Alberta. He is a co-author with Donald Stull of Slaughterhouse Blues: The Meat and Poultry Industry in North America. (2nd edition 2011: Cengage). More recently he has published on a variety of food and drink related topics including food tourism, slow food and coffeehouses.
Locally-produced beer is a growing industry in the Upper Peninsula, and despite an overall decline in the consumption of beer, microbreweries and brewpubs in the UP have found success in part by tying regional identity and community to their product.
Most people would consider the Upper Peninsula largely unsuitable for agriculture; its short growing season, poor soils, extreme weather and small market make farming a challenge. However, as Michael Broadway details, there has been a reversal in the decline of farms in the UP over the last 30 years.
The Upper Peninsula faces many challenges as a rural region that Governor Whitmer’s Office of Rural Development seeks to address–namely broadband access, infrastructure, and recruiting and retaining talent.
NMU Professor of Geography and former Dean of Arts & Sciences weights in on the long-term challenges he believes the Upper Peninsula will face as a result of changes in demographics, employment structure, and economic diversification.