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What's New in Organic (Part 1 of 1)


Katherine Jane Leitch <[log in to unmask]>


Katherine Jane Leitch <[log in to unmask]>


Tue, 29 Jul 2008 16:40:05 -0400





text/plain (736 lines)

What’s new in Michigan Organic Ag?
July 18 – July 29
By Vicki Morrone and Kate Leitch 

Production News and Information
1. New Ag Network Newsletter
2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
5. Horizon Organic(R) honors organic dairy farmer partners, including Brian 
& Agnes Koenigsknecht from Michigan!
6. FY2009 SBIR Phase I Request for Applications 

Notice of Position Openings
7. North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services- 
superintendent position opening 

8. Upcoming Project FRESH meetings
9. Bioenergy Bus Tour
10. Annual Friends and Family Farms Field Day- at Barbara Norman’s 
blueberry farm in Covert, MI


1. New Ag Network Newsletter
Vol. 4, No. July 23, 2008 

In this issue:
Crop rotation and covers fit the bill
Western bean cutworm alert
Minnesota Organic Apple Field Day – August 2
Nominate MOSES 2009 farmer of the year
New publication helps understand weed seedbank dynamics
MSU Soil building workshop online registration now available
New publication on organic growing of ornamentals
Reports from organic growers 


Crop rotation and covers fit the bill
Michelle Wander
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois 

I have no doubt that New Ag Network readers appreciate the benefits of crop 
rotation to soil and water.  So why is our landscape dominated by the corn 
monoculture and or corn-soybean bi-culture?  Many will argue that money and 
time are the main reasons for this but do the numbers support this.  Looking 
at the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) database for Illinois 
and Iowa, I see per bushel prices for both corn and soybean have doubled 
since 2001.  The total value of the corn crop has actually tripled because 
yield-per-acre also rose by about 15% during this time period. The total 
value of the soybean crop has not climbed as much because productivity has 
changed little and acreage has been lost to corn.  The total number of acres 
(about 0.5 billion) devoted to these two crops has actually not changed 
Even though annual corn and soybean rotations could be diversified without 
losing an annual cash crop by adding cover crops, few farmers include winter 
annuals in their rotations.  Singer and Nusser (2007) surveyed farmers in 
the Corn Belt and found only 18 percent of them had ever used cover crops 
and that in 2005, those who did planted them on just 6 percent of their 
farmland.  Fear of yield loss and the extra time constraints were cited as 
reasons not to use covers.  Research is doing much to reduce and clarify the 
risks associated with cover crop management in corn and soybean systems 
(e.g., Miguez and Bollero, 2005.  This, and improvements in planters are 
making cover cropping a real option for mainstream agriculture.  Over half 
the farmers Singer and Nusser surveyed indicated they would cover crop if 
cost-sharing was available. They identified a mean minimum payment price 
needed to promote adoption of $56.81/ha or $23/ac.  If one multiplies that 
value by the acres planted to corn and soybean in Illinois and Iowa last 
year, they’d find it would have cost us a billion dollars to protect the 
soil.  Hind sight is probably going to tell me and other tax payers this is 
worth the cost.
The cost of flood damage in Iowa had topped $1.5 billion last month when the 
White House asked Congress for nearly 2 billion dollars in emergency 
disaster aid to address the historic floods.  This was well before water 
levels peaked.  A financial argument for cover cropping can be strengthened 
if we accept National Weather Service findings that flood damage estimates 
typically underestimate costs by an average of 40 percent (Pielke et al. 
2002).  Planting cover crops would not have stopped the rains but countless 
studies indicate their presence would have reduced flooding, leaching and 
erosion and with this, done much to keep needed nutrients and organic matter 
where they belonged (eg: Jiang et al. 2008; Kladivko et al. 2004; Gowda et 
al. 2008).
The influence that current agricultural practices had on flooding made 
national news (Achenbach, 2008).  Changes in drainage and hydrology were 
cited in addition to cropping patterns.  By removing perennials or actively 
growing plants from the landscape, we have reduced evapotranspiration and 
increased spring runoff to streams (Zhang and Schilling, 2006).  The 
argument that crop diversification is needed to help cope with climate 
change has been met with counter arguments offering up continuous GM corn 
grown with no-tillage practices as a superior alternative.  The data on 
organic matter has yet to come in; certainly no one disputes that reduced 
tillage can reduce erosion. In that scenario, bare or plant-free soil would 
remain a spring problem.
It is good we had at least some perennials in place this spring thanks to 
the CRP program.  Growing plants help cope with water onslaughts by removing 
and slowing water movement.   CRP lands can also supply emergency feed to 
livestock.  Release of CRP lands for feed has been approved in the 48 
flood-damaged counties in Illinois but, rather than pay them more for this 
emergency relief, the Farm Service Agency will reduce payments by 25 percent 
for acreage opened for grazing.  Apparently appreciation for the 
conservation value of perennials has not gone up as a result of recent 
floods. As usual, our minds are on our stomachs.  Rising food and energy 
prices have caused many to look for solutions.  Large scale agriculture 
seems to be considering more monoculture corn while small scale producers 
are diversifying markets and crops.
If we can resist over simplifying the challenge of land management to one 
that pits diverse, tillage and management-intensive farming against simple, 
input and technology- intensive farming we are likely to make more progress. 
As currently practiced, common organic and conventional rotations have 
different strengths and weaknesses.  It is difficult to compare the two 
approaches because organic systems use crop rotation and cultural practices 
to do much more than protect the soil.  Cropping pattern and cultural 
techniques must also supply and retain nutrients, control weeds, disease, 
and reduce insect pressure in organic systems.  Imagine the subsidy organic 
farming systems will provide to mainstream agriculture if we figure this 
out.  In my experience, maintaining adequate weed control in medium- to 
fine- textured soils is a bigger challenge for organic growers than building 
soil quality.
We are always thinking about improving the rotation on our farm where 
husband Jon Cherniss grows organic vegetables. Soil tests indicate our 
rotation is maintaining or building organic matter.  I am emphasizing 
rotation here because we don’t have animals and use very little compost or 
manure.  We were both impressed by how well our soil stood up to the rains 
this year as we watched the neighbor’s soil and residue pile up on the 
road.  We do have tile drainage and offset our environmental guilt with the 
knowledge that improved tile and carefully managed surface drainage have 
spared spring crops during three of the past four years.
Our spring crops were planted into fallow ground that followed fall crops.  
Getting covers incorporated in time for summer crops was a challenge, but we 
were lucky with the rains and confess a bit aggressive with the spader.  By 
adding all the organic matter with tillage, soils resist or quickly recover 
from any damage.  While we are pleased that spading covers in during spring 
to prepare beds doesn’t seem to be compromising soil quality, we are 
concerned that it is exposing us to certain kinds of weed pressure.  Legume 
covers like hairy vetch or field peas are mowed before incorporation with a 
We can use in-row cultivation for some crops but not others and can follow 
the spring crop with a summer fallow or smothering summer cover.  The 
presence of a crop or a cover crop prevents us from tilling as much one 
would want to control thistle.  Time constraints and rain prevent us from 
tilling frequently enough to control things like purslane so we need to find 
a way to mulch.  This is why rollers are once again piquing Jon’s 
interest.  So, even though we are trying to achieve more with rotation than 
our conventional neighbors, we share an interest in incorporating reduced 
tillage into our system.  Getting from the mulched phase of a rotation to a 
clean seed bed ready for spring greens will be another challenge.  So what 
about a cost share program for organic growers?
The Agricultural Management Assistance Program, authorized by the Federal 
Crop Insurance Act in 2002 has allocated funds to reimburse producers for 
organic certification costs.  The new Farm Bill includes $22 million with 
five years of guaranteed funding to cover up to 75 percent of the cost of 
certification with maximum annual cost-share eligibility of $750 per farm.  
This cost share defrays certification expenses – not organic production 
costs.  It currently costs growers over $70 an acre to plant hairy vetch. 
This is what it would cost to apply nitrogen fertilizer at 150 lbs per acre. 
So, the diverse rotation turns out to be a deal for the downstream public 
while organic farmers are substituting effort, land area, and time for 
purchased inputs. We devote 50% of our land area to soil building crops 
instead of cash cropping it each year.  Even with this, we are probably too 
small to make it worthwhile to fill out and apply for a $23 per acre cost 
share for covers if it were available.  Now paying us back for the price of 
certified cover crop seed might fit the bill.
Achenbach, J. Iowa Flooding Could Be and Act of Man, Experts Say. June 19, 
2008. Washington Post: 
.html; and accessed July 19, 2008. 

Gowda P.H., Mulla D.J., Jaynes D.B. 2008. Simulated long-term nitrogen 
losses for a midwestern agricultural watershed in the United States 
Jiang X.B., Huang C.H., Ruan F.S.  Impacts of land cover changes on runoff 
and sediment in the Cedar Creek Watershed, St. Joseph River, Indiana, United 
States 2008. JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE   5:113-121. 

Kladivko EJ, Frankenberger JR, Jaynes DB, Meek DW, Jenkinson BJ, Fausey NR 
2004. Nitrate leaching to subsurface drains as affected by drain spacing and 
changes in crop production system JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY  

Miguez F.E., Bollero G.A. 2006. Winter cover crops in Illinois: Evaluation 
of ecophysiological characteristics of corn CROP SCIENCE   Volume: 
46:1536-1545.National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS); 

Pielke, R.A. Jr. Downton MW., Barnard Miller J.Z.  2002. Flood Damage in the 
United States, 1926–2000; A Reanalysis of National Weather Service 
Estimates; NOAA.; 
accessed July 2008). 

Singer J.W., Nusser, S.M. 2007 Are cover crops being used in the US corn 

Zhang YK, Schilling KE 2006. Increasing streamflow and baseflow in 
Mississippi River since the 1940 s: Effect of land use change JOURNAL OF 
HYDROLOGY 324:412-422. 

New publication helps understand weed seedbank dynamics
Although there is an old saying that "one year's seeding makes seven years' 
weeding," farmers don't always pay much attention to the importance of 
managing weed seedbanks. 

The weed seedbank is the reserve of viable weed seeds on and in the soil. 
The study of seedbanks is a relatively new but promising area of weed 
science, and a new publication from Montana State University Extension 
describes the dynamics of seedbanks in a way that can help agricultural 
producers deal with them. 

The seedbank consists of both weed seeds recently shed and older seeds that 
have persisted in the soil for several years.
"Not only do these seeds represent a history of past successes and failures 
in weed management decisions," says Fabian Menalled, Montana State 
University Extension cropland weeds specialist, "they have the potential to 
create future weed problems."
Menalled, who authored the publication, adds that understanding the dynamics 
of the weed seedbank can help producers predict the degree to which 
crop-weed competition will affect crop yield and quality and is a vital step 
in the development of integrated weed management. 

The publication "Weed Seedbank Dynamics and Integrated Management of 
Agricultural Weeds" MT200808AG, is available for free download at 
f. It describes what happens with weed seeds after they are shed from the 
parent plant, discusses the importance of minimizing weed seedbank inputs 
and provides simple strategies to manage weed seedbanks in agricultural 
settings. This publication is also available from Montana State University 
Extension Publications, P.O. Box 172040, Bozeman, MT 59717-2040. 

For more information on managing agricultural weeds visit the Montana State 
University cropland weed management website at

2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 13, July 23 2008 

In this issue:
Western bean cutworm: a new corn “worm”
Aster leafhoppers and aster yellows
Watch for tarnished plant bug
Recent foggy, humid weather favors downy mildew
Potato disease update
Starane Ultra labeled for onions in Michigan
Informational meeting on new water use legislation
Agricultural field sanitation requirements in Michigan
Regional reports

Western bean cutworm: a new corn “worm”
Beth Bishop

Numbers of European corn borer moths captured during July 15 - 22 are still 
very low, but should increase soon as the second flight begins. Also, very 
few corn earworm moths were captured last week. Although the risk from these 
pests to sweet corn, peppers, snap beans and tomatoes is low, another 
“worm” pest has appeared. 

Western bean cutworm has been a pest in the western Corn Belt and, in recent 
years, has been expanding its range eastward. For the past several years Dr. 
Christina DiFonzo, MSU field crops entomologist, has been coordinating the 
Michigan component of a pheromone trapping network that tracks its spread. 
The first western bean cutworm captured in Michigan was caught in Cass 
County in 2006. In 2007, moths were caught as far east as Eaton County and 
so far in 2008, low numbers of moths have been caught in many different 
counties as far east as Ingham County.
For detailed information on western bean cutworm identification and biology, 
consult the Field Crops CAT Alert. To summarize, there is one flight, or 
generation, each year, which usually begins in early to mid-July and 
continues until mid-August. Females are attracted to corn in the whorl to 
pretassel stage. Eggs are laid in clusters on the upper surface of leaves. 
Eggs are white when first laid, but turn purple before hatching. European 
corn borer egg masses are white at first, but flat, resembling fish scales, 
unlike the rounded eggs in a western bean cutworm egg mass. Upon hatching, 
larvae feed on the tassel in the whorl and after the tassel emerges move 
down to the silk. They feed on the silk for a while and then enter the ear. 
Unlike corn earworm, the larvae are not cannibalistic, and there can be many 
western bean cutworm larvae in a single ear. 

Sweet corn growers in areas where western bean cutworm are flying should be 
scouting their fields for egg masses. Check the upper leaves of 20 plants in 
five different locations in the field. Be sure to check different varieties 
and corn at different growth stages. Chris DiFonzo has recommended a 
threshold for field corn of five percent of plants with egg masses. However, 
the tolerance for worms in sweet corn is considerably lower. Growers with 
silking corn should already be on a preventative program for European corn 
borer and corn earworm. However, remember that western bean cutworm prefers 
corn at the pretassel stage. If western bean cutworm egg masses are found in 
sweet corn at the whorl or pretassel stage, an insecticide should be applied 
at tassel emergence. Western bean cutworm larvae are difficult to control 
when in the silk and impossible to control once in the ear, so insecticides 
must be timed to tassel emergence. A number of insecticides are registered 
on sweet corn for control of western bean cutworm, including pyrethroids 
(Asana, Capture, Baythroid, Mustang Max, Proaxis, Pounce), organophosphates 
(Lorsban, Penncap-M), Sevin, etc. 

Western bean cutworm is not controlled by most varieties of Bt sweet corn. 
It is also a pest of dry beans, but that crop is less preferred. I have not 
heard of any reports of western bean cutworms on snap beans, although that 
is always a possibility later when the population increases and corn becomes 
less attractive.

3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 14, July 24, 2008 

In this issue:
Western bean cutworm alert
Armyworm also in northwest Michigan
Looking for a few “good killers”
Corn and soybean fungicide: To spray or not to spray – that is the 
Agricultural field sanitation requirements in Michigan
Regional reports

Looking for a few “good killers”
Diane Brown-Rytlewski
Plant Pathology 

Can you help us with our search for soybean killers? We need to collect 
isolates of the fungus that causes Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) from 
grower fields for a research study funded by the Michigan Soybean Promotion 
Committee. The first part of the project is to collect plants with symptoms 
of SDS from grower fields. 

We’d like to sample at least 10 grower fields with symptoms of SDS. After 
the plants are collected we will be culturing symptomatic plant tissue to 
recover the pathogen. Isolates of the pathogen will be tested to determine 
their level of pathogenicity. We need to find isolates that are “good 
killers” for the second part of the study. Next year, we will be 
inoculating a field with the SDS pathogen and planting soybean varieties 
that have been bred for resistance to SDS to see how well they perform in 

Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome symptoms usually appear in late July - August. 
Leaves develop yellow spots that merge to form yellow patches between veins. 
As the disease progresses, the leaf tissue between the veins turns brown, 
and the leaves stay green. Leaves may fall off, leaving the leaf petiole 
still attached. SDS usually occurs in patches where there is compacted or 
poorly drained soil, and may be associated with soybean cyst nematode. A 
fact sheet about SDS with color photos of symptoms can be found at 

If you know of a field with symptoms of SDS, please contact your county 
Extension educator, phone me at 517-432-0480, or email me at 
[log in to unmask]

4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 4, July 22, 2008 

In this issue:
Tree fruit news
Predicted peak 2008 apple harvest dates
Small fruit news
Blueberry gall midge injury more common this year
Managing mid-late season grape berry moth
What to do when you start seeing disease in the vineyard
Grape IPM workshop July 24 in Scottdale, Berrien County
NW Wine Grape IPM “First Friday” meeting and Harvest BBQ on August 1
Other news
TNRC Field Day
SWRMREC High Tunnel Day
Agricultural field sanitation requirements in Michigan
Regional reports
Weather news

5. Horizon Organic(R) honors organic dairy farmer partners, including Brian 
& Agnes Koenigsknecht from Michigan! 

BROOMFIELD, Colo., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Organic(R), the first 
certified organic dairy to distribute products nationally in the United 
States, today announced the winners of the 2007 Exceptional Quality Awards 
program, which recognizes the top ten percent of Horizon Organic farmer 
partners in each state whose milk is the highest quality within Horizon 
Organic's network. In order to be considered for the award, producers must 
ship organic milk to the brand for one full calendar year, and the average 
test results for each shipment must be among the best in their respective 
"Horizon Organic is dedicated to producing the highest quality of organic 
milk on the market, and our Quality Awards program is a great way to 
recognize and honor our farmer partners that exceed our high standards," 
said Jule Taylor, vice president of dairy operations. "The Producer Milk 
Quality Program reflects our mission of providing consumers with 
great-tasting, high-quality products nationwide."
This year's national winner for the best quality milk in Horizon Organic's 
total producer supply is awarded to Jos and Deanna Poland of Poland Farms in 
Madras, Ore. The Polands built a new farm when they switched to organic 
dairying and were certified organic three years ago. Jos and Deanna milk 220 
Holsteins on their farm and they credit their success in organic dairy 
quality to keen attention to detail. Upon receiving the National Quality 
Award, the couple was presented with a plaque in their farm's name and a 
cash award.
"After we switched from conventional farming to organic, I feel that the 
quality of milk is higher," said Jos Poland of Poland Farms. "With organic, 
the cows are much healthier and their immune systems are stronger."
The second and third place National Award winners also hail from Oregon. The 
second place honors went to Perrin Farms in Woodburn, Ore. and the third 
place award was bestowed upon Staehely's Valley Veue Dairy in Oregon City, 
who were the winners of the 2006 National Award.
The complete list of 2008 Exceptional Quality Award recipients include: 

 --  Jack Perrin
 --  Staehely's Valley Veue Dairy 

 --  Mario & Victor Avelar 

 --  Wayne & Patti Bragg
 --  John & Marcia Donald 

 --  Paul & Amy Primus 

 --  Brian & Agnes Koenigsknecht 

 --  James & Ellen Putnam 

 --  Brett & Audrey Stevenson
 --  Jeffrey Sheen
 --  Jerry Schwartz
 --  Martin Syvertson & Vickie McClain
 --  Jonas Gingerich
 --  Charles & Julia Deichmann
 --  Brenda & Scott McAuslan
 --  George & Linda Wright
 --  Douglas Morse
 --  Eugene Dana
 --  Chris Schwartz
 --  Ron Franklin 

 --  Henry & Emma Zook
 --  Samuel Kaufmann
 --  Jacob K. Stoltzfus
 --  Elmer F. Esh
 --  Stephen & Charlotte Lyon 

 --  Michael & Marilyn Gardner
 --  Dorothy & George Muzzy
 --  Howacres, Inc.
 --  Gene & Pamela Manning 

 --  Sidney Beery 

 --  James Greenberg 

 --  Gilman Littlefield (ME): 57,567
 --  Ralph Caldwell (ME): 74,058
 --  John Donald (ME): 82,439 

Horizon Organic, founded in 1991, was the first certified organic dairy to 
distribute products nationally in the United States. The company remains 
true to its vision for a more organic planet, purchasing milk from 450 
certified organic dairy farms and providing certified organic dairy products 
to natural foods retailers and supermarkets across the country. Horizon 
Organic's products are produced without the use of antibiotics, growth 
hormones, pesticides or cloning. That's the organic promise from our farmers 
to consumers. For more information on the growing world of organic, visit

6. FY2009 SBIR Phase I Request for Applications 

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program offers grants to 
qualified small businesses (including small and medium-sized farms) in 
support of high quality, innovative research related to important scientific 
problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant 
public benefit if successfully commercialized. The USDA SBIR program has 
awarded more than 2000 grants since its inception in 1983, allowing hundreds 
of small businesses to explore their technological potential and profit from 
the commercialization of their innovative ideas. 

The FY09 SBIR Request for Applications (RFA) was released on June 27, 2008 a 
closing date of September 4th, 2008. Please check the Web site 
<> for more information. 

All FY2009 proposals must be submitted electronically through 
<> and all attachments must be submitted as 
a Portable Document Format (PDF).  Note that the registration process for 
submitting applications electronically can take as much as two weeks to 
complete, and registration must be finished prior to submitting an 
application. To complete the registration process, go to 
<>  and click on the "get registered link" under the 
applicants menu. 

Three of the topic areas - Small And Mid-Sized Farms, Marketing and Trade, 
and Rural Development - are particularly relevant to small farms and 
ranching enterprises and other small businesses focused on development of 
new or application of existing technologies to address a problem or an 
opportunity in rural communities.  More applications in these topics are 

For additional information about these programs, please contact Dr. S. 
Sureshwaran, National Program Leader, at [log in to unmask] 

Thank you.

S. Sureshwaran, Ph.D.
National Program Leader, SBIR Program
Mail Stop 2243
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
Telephone:  (202) 720 7536
Fax:  (202) 401 6070
Email:  [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
SBIR Web Site: 

NRI Web Site: 

Mission of CSREES is to advance knowledge of agriculture, the environment, 
human health and well being, and communities.


7. North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services- 
superintendent position open 

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is 
currently advertising the superintendent position at the Cherry Research 
Farm which also houses the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS).  
CEFS (<> is a partnership among 
NC State University, NC A&T State University, NC Department of Agriculture 
and Consumer Services and many non-profit organizations.  The 2000 acre 
facility is recognized for its: 

•        80 hectare (200 acre) long-term interdisciplinary farming systems 
experiment that  allows researchers the capacity to examine the impact of 
agriculture and natural areas on soil quality, water quality, carbon 
sequestration, pest dynamics, plant growth, development, and yield, 
economics, energy and nutrient flows, long-term ecological impacts and 
shifts, and more.
•        Innovative animal production research and demonstration 
facilities (beef, dairy, swine) that focus on projects  that enhance the 
efficiency and economic viability of animal production while developing 
systems that reduce energy use, improve water quality, improve animal 
health, efficiently utilize animal waste management, and improve quality of 
life for producers. In addition to the animal production units, integrated 
animal/crop production studies are included within the 200 acre experiment 
mentioned above.
•        Organic production facility, unique in the United States for its 
focus on research and education efforts on organic agriculture. An early 
leader in developing  information for organic production systems, this 
dynamic unit is a focal point for farmer and student education, innovative 
research, and extension training.
•        A Small Farm research and outreach unit that covers approximately 
30 acres with a wide range of soil types, equipment, buildings and 
educational focal points. The function of the Small Farm Unit is to provide 
stakeholders a place where a systems approach demonstrates a whole farm 
model in which is embedded research relevant to successful sustainable small 
farm operation. Research topics are nested into the whole farm unit design.
•        An eight -week residential summer internship program in 
sustainable agriculture that draws students from all over the country and 
world for in-depth study of all aspects of sustainable agriculture.  The 
program includes lectures, field trips, special projects, and hands on 
experience in production, research, and extension.
•        Farmer and extension agent training on pertinent sustainable 
agriculture topics.  These have included (but are not limited to) pasture 
management, rotational grazing strategies, organic agriculture (offered to 
Extension agents as a graduate level course), disease management, organic 
grain production, composting, etc.  CEFS also hosts annual field days and 
other educational workshops.
•        Community-based food systems work developing alternative direct 
marketing strategies to targeted consumer groups that also educate and 
promote the consumers role in facilitating a more sustainable agriculture. 

The position description (Research Operations Manager) and job application 
guidelines can be found at: 

Application deadline:  August 1, 2008.  Contact information about the 
position is found at the above website.  For further information about CEFS 
contact:  Nancy Creamer, CEFS Director, 919-515-9447 or 
[log in to unmask] 

Nancy G. Creamer, Director
Center for Environmental Farming Systems
North Carolina State University
Box 7609
Raleigh, NC   27695
919-515-2505 (fax)
[log in to unmask]


8. Upcoming Project FRESH meetings
Project FRESH (Farm Resources Expanding and Supporting Health) has grown 
over the decades into a program which helps local economies by providing 
income to farmers, and giving access to amazing produce to our mothers, 
children, and seniors. We are holding five regional meetings to facilitate 
dialog on how everybody involved in Project FRESH can increase the 
redemption rates and visibility of the program. 

The Meetings are as follows:
•	Marquette: Tuesday, July 29th, Marquette Commons, 203 S. Front St. 
•	Harrisville: Wednesday, July 30th. 12pm-4pm. Alcona County EMS Building, 
2600 East M-72.
•	Kalamazoo: Friday, August 1st. 12pm-4pm, Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation 
Building, 251 Mills St.
•	Big Rapids: Friday, August 8th. 10am-2pm, at the MSU Extension Office, 
14485 Northland Drive. 

We hope to increase the visibility and redemption of the program by bringing 
together all those involved to begin a constructive dialog directed by two 
questions: how do we raise our redemption rates further, and how do we 
increase the visibility of the program.
Two simple questions which have proven extremely difficult to address by any 
one person is exactly why we need you to voice your concerns, your 
philosophies, and your history to what methods have worked, are feasible, or 
what needs to happen in order to keep this program successful.
Hopefully, you might meet those who are in the position to assist you in the 
ways that you cannot assist yourself.  We are all interconnected in this 
program, and we need to start discussing it beginning now, and establishing 
contacts to continue throughout the year.
Attached are five invitations for five regional meetings.  Attend as many as 
you want: just RSVP!
For more information either contact me or Teresa Johnson ([log in to unmask]), 
or visit under “What’s Happening’ 
on the left hand side for agendas of each individual meeting. 

If you are not familiar with project FRESH here is a little overview of the 
program: Project FRESH (Farm Resources Expanding and Supporting Health) is a 
program that makes fresh produce available to low-income, 
nutritionally-at-risk consumers and also supports Michigan farmers.  It 
expands the awareness and use of farmers markets in addition to increasing 
sales at the markets. The Michigan Department of Community Health WIC 
Division, Michigan State University Extension and the United States 
Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service jointly administer the 
program.  Project FRESH receives federal funds, local funds, private grants 
and WIC program income from vendor fines. 

Thank you very much, and I hope to see you there.
Micah Manikas
416 Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI
(517) 432-3387
[log in to unmask]

9. Bioenergy Bus Tour 

Find the flyer at: 

Registration is now open for the Bioenergy Bus Tour.  The dates are Aug. 
25-28, 2008.  The flyer has details about the trip, the cost and a 
registration form.
This trip will be an excellent opportunity for you to network with others 
working in the bioenergy arena as well as learn about other aspects of 
energy production that you might not be familiar with. 

The registration deadline is August 1, 2008.  If you have any questions 
please contact me.  To register, please fill out and mail the form along 
with a check to Leah Worthington.  Leah’s contact information is in the 
Have a great day!
Dennis Pennington
Bioenergy Educator
KBS Land & Water Program
Michigan State University Extension
3700 East Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
Phone: 269-671-2412 ext. 221 or 1-800-521-2619
Fax: 269-671-4485
10. Annual Friends and Family Farms Field Day 

Flyer can be found here: 

Mark your calendars for the annual 2008 Friends and Family Farms Field Day 
on August 6, 2008 at Barbara Norman’s blueberry farm in Covert, Michigan.  
This is a great opportunity to meet Michigan farmers and resource 
professionals, learn about farm loans, marketing and conservation 
opportunities (and more!) and fill up a bucket of fresh, local blueberries 
to take home! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Barbara Norman’s Blueberry Farm
75127 28th Avenue, Covert, Michigan 49043 

Please see the flyer for more information, or contact Barbara Norman at 
269-764-1776 (home), 269-208-4588 (cell) or [log in to unmask]  Please post 
widely and help spread the word!

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