Shannon Brines is a local farmer, staff member at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment, and member of the Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission (GAC).
He was appointed by the city council for a term from Nov. 21, 2011 and to Nov. 20, 2014. He filled a position previously held by Gil Omenn for a public-at-large representative.
Brines began growing vegetables and fruits as a child growing up in Dexter and established Brines Farm on that family land in 2004 due to his passion for slow food and sustainable, year-round agriculture. He began selling year-round at farmers markets shortly thereafter and offered the area's first fresh produce Winter CSA share program a few years later. He was selected as a member of the US delegation to participate in Terra Madre 2008 in Turin, Italy: a world slow food meeting focused on increasing small-scale, traditional, and sustainable food production.
Brines is a systems analyst and lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment, where he is manager of SNRE's Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory. His interests include land use, agriculture, food systems, public health, and sustainable design. He consults on a variety of research projects in academia, most notably: multiple projects with the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health which include neighborhood analyses of food access; and, a USDA-funded project led by the university which will analyze Food Access In Michigan and includes multiple community NGO partners and educational institutions across the state as collaborators.
Brines is active in the local food community organizations: currently serving on the Slow Food Huron Valley board (vice-chair), HomeGrown Festival steering committee, Local Food Summit steering committee (co-chair), Greenbelt Advisory Commission (vice-chair), and on the student initiated University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) Advisory Board. He has also served in the past on the Ann Arbor Public Market Advisory Commission and the Tilian Farm Development Center steering committee.
In 2012 Brines Farm expanded its operation in northern Webster Township by purchasing a neighboring historical 80 acre farm. Brines Farm offers a variety of internship opportunities as well as periodic open houses and volunteer days for the public.
Brines is married to Erin Mittendorf, communications coordinator for the Stewardship Network. They live on Ann Arbor's north side, in the Miller Nature Center neighborhood.