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AQUINAS COLLEGE SIFE PROGRAM TO HOST FARMERS MARKET

April 21, 2010 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (April 21, 2010) – Aquinas College is promoting sustainable living with presentation of a small Farmers Market on campus as a part of Earth Day Celebration Activities on Thursday, April 22. Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) group is hosting the on-campus market place from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the campus' Wege Mall (outdoor area between the Wege Student Center and the College's main academic building).

The event marks the second year that Aquinas will play host to such an event. Professor Masato Yamazaki, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and faculty advisor for the club, states that “the major purpose of the market is to create an opportunity to understand and appreciate nature’s gifts for students and the Aquinas community.”

Among the local sellers at the farmers market will be Creswick Farms of Ravenna, which offers antibiotic and chemical-free meats and eggs; Groundswell Community Farm of Zeeland, which offers a variety of agricultural products and has been making the transition to achieve certification as an organic farm over the last few years; Making Thyme Kitchen of Grand Rapids, which offers a variety of dishes that utilize hormone and chemical free meats, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options; and Magnanimous Salsa, a Grand Rapids business that uses locally grown, chemical preservative-free ingredients to create unique flavors of salsa. Sam’s Club and Frito-Lay, which are major underwriters for SIFE at Aquinas, as well as throughout the United States, will be present to demonstrate their own commitment to sustainable business practices.

Stephanie Krajnik, co-leader of the SIFE team that is coordinating the event, says, “We want our fellow students to participate in the community; we want to take what we have learned in SIFE about being able to change our surroundings and make other students believe in the goal of bettering our community.”

On a related note, the Aquinas College SIFE Team will take part in National Competition in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 11-13. The AQ SIFE group was one of the top three finishers in its category during Regional Competition in Chicago April 8. This is the second year in a row the AQ SIFE Team earned the right to compete at the national event. More than 500 teams from colleges/universities across the country competed in the regional competitions. Only 200 of those schools earned the right to compete in Minneapolis.

The AQ SIFE group consists of 60 students on eight teams, including Sustainable Living Team, Renewable Energy Team, Clean Water Team, Intelligent Production System (IPS) Team, Financial Literacy Team, Building Material Recycling Team, Stop Oil Speculation Team and Entrepreneurship Incubator Team. Since being established in 2001, the AQ SIFE teams have been to regional competition eight times and three times to nationals, including this year.

>>Additional information on AQ SIFE