I think that since conventional farming is so destructive to our health and the health of the plane that any stroner regulations for anything should be pointed in that direction.
>From: Danielle Craft <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Dec 9, 2008 1:11 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: What Happening in Michigan Organics?
>What's New in Michigan Organics?
>1. Action Alert: Support Strong Rules for Organic Pasture
>2. Cooperator Farmer Contracts program
>3. USDA Seeks Public Comment on Deregulation of Genetically
>3. Business Development Specialist
>4. Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo Thursday Dec 11, 2008
>5. Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Agriculture Conference
>1. Action Alert: Support Strong Rules for Organic Pasture
>Comment now to USDA-Comment period closes December 23, 2008
>The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) released the long anticipated
>proposed rules tightening the
>pasture requirements for organic livestock on Friday October 24, 2008.
>This is a strong proposal
>that guarantees that organic milk production meets consumer expectations.
>The proposal needs to be improved to remove overly prescriptive
>language that will cause problems for the health and safety of
>animals, might have negative impacts on the environment, and place
>extensive record keeping burdens on farmers. This can be done while
>preserving the requirement that organic ruminants be on pasture as
>much as possible during the grazing season.
>Please submit your comments ASAP - see below for detailed instructions
>See the NOC website, www.nationalorganiccoalition.org or
>http://www.nodpa.com/rule.shtml for more detailed information and a
>suggested re-write of rule language. Suggested key points for
>Support the requirement for a minimum 30% dry matter intake (DMI) from
>pasture, averaged over the full growing season, with the growing
>season ranging from 121-354 days, but substitute "grazing season" for
>"growing season," to take into account the reality of the grazing
>season in different areas.
>Require that ruminants are managed on pasture only during the grazing
>season, (not year round) to take into account different farming
>conditions, to protect pastures from damage, and to protect the health
>and safety of the livestock during adverse weather conditions.
>NOP must provide needed exemptions or ruminants from pasture and
>outdoor access during period of inclement weather and to protect soil
>and water quality.
>Revise the definition of "inclement weather" so that any condition
>that cause's physical harm to animals is a valid reason for limiting
>pasture and outdoor access.
>Dry lots and feed lots, where animals are confined and there is little
>or no vegetation, should be explicitly banned for ruminants. However,
>clean well-managed feeding pads (barn yards) are essential facilities
>needed for exercise and outdoor access during the non-grazing season,
>and as a supplement to pasture during the grazing season.
>Modify the definition of "sacrificial pasture" to indicate this can be
>used during the non-grazing season to provide outside access, and make
>use of this practice optional, as the practice may be detrimental to
>the environment, including to soil and water quality, and to animal
>health when operations do not have well drained land that is
>accessible for livestock or during winter weather or excessive rain
> Streamline the proposed record keeping requirements for livestock
>operations so that farmers can document their pasture feed rations in
>various ways that are acceptable to certifiers.
>NOP must drop proposed language regarding replacement dairy animals.
>As proposed, it will allow certain farms to buy non-organic animals,
>and require others to buy or raise only organic young stock. The NOP
>must move quickly to publish a Proposed Origin of Livestock Rule that
>has one criterion for dairy replacement animals for all operations:
>"Once an operation has been certified for organic production, all
>dairy animals born or brought onto the operation shall be under
>organic management from the last third or gestation.
>Permit grain finishing of beef slaughter stock, such that these
>animals may be exempt from the 30% pasture DMI requirement during the
>finishing period not to exceed 120 days, but must not be denied access
>to pasture during the period.
>Remove "bee" and "fish used for food" from the definition of
>"livestock" until proposed standards are issued for those production
>Please also demand that USDA NOP enforce the current regulation in
>regards to pasture while the proposed rule goes through the process of
>becoming a Final Rule
>Once in effect and with implementation by 2010, we urge NOP to enforce
>the new regulation and work with producers and certifiers to educate
>them on the requirements of the new rules. With these changes, a final
>rule can be written that can safeguard the long-term integrity of
>How to submit comments:
>Give your name, farm name (if appropriate), location and the reason
>for sending comments (consumer, producer, advocate etc.).
>There are three ways to submit comments:
>1) Mail. Written comments must be received (not postmarked) by Dec.
>23, 2008. They must be identified with, "Docket Number AMS-TM-06-0198;
>TM-05-14" at the heading of the document. Mail written comments to:
>Richard H. Mathews, Chief, Standards Development and Review Branch,
>National Organic Program, Transportation and Marketing Programs
>USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW.
>Room 4008- So., Ag Stop 0268
>Washington, DC 20250.
>2) Online. Visit the Regulations web portal: www.regulations.gov. Use
>the search terms "organic pasture." Comments must be submitted online
>by Dec. 23, 2008. Do not leave it to the last moment to submit
>comments to the site as it tends to get overloaded at the end of
>3) Send to NOC Mail, fax or email your comments to Ed Maltby by
>12/19/08 and he will forward them to the NOP. By mail: Ed Maltby,
>NODPA Executive Director, 30 Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342. Fax:
>866-554-9483. Email: [log in to unmask]
>2. Cooperator Farmer Contracts program
>As part of the pasture based dairy project at KBS a Cooperator Farmer
>Contracts program has been developed to support on-farm, farmer driven
>research, demonstration, and outreach activities. Please circulate
>this information to any dairy producers that may be interested in
>participating in the program and to any individuals or groups that
>have contact with dairy producers. Project proposals are due by
>January 16 and funds will be available by March. Additional
>information can be found on the pasture dairy web site
>(http://www.kbs.msu.edu/farm/dairy/pastureresearch.php) or by
>e-mailing ([log in to unmask]) or calling (269-671-2360) me. Thank you for
>your help in distributing this information and let me know if you have
>Pasture-Based Dairy Project Coordinator
>Michigan State University
>Kellogg Biological Station
>3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
>Hickory Corners, MI 49060
>[log in to unmask]
>3. USDA Seeks Public Comment on Deregulation of Genetically Engineered Corn
>The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection
>Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on a petition to deregulate
>corn genetically engineered (GE) to produce a microbial enzyme that
>facilitates ethanol production. The petition for deregulation,
>submitted by Syngenta Seeds, Inc., is in accordance with APHISʼ
>regulations concerning the introduction of GE organisms and products
>and is available for public review and comment. Following the comment
>period, APHIS makes a determination of nonregulated status if it can
>conclude that the organism does not pose a plant pest risk. If APHIS
>grants the Syngenta Seeds, Inc., petition for deregulation, the GE
>corn and its progeny would no longer be regulated articles. The
>product could then be freely moved and planted without the requirement
>of permits or other regulatory oversight by APHIS. Comments may be
>submitted online or by mail until January 20, 2009.
>4. Business Development Specialist
>Posted: Nov 17, 20008
>Deadline: Dec 12, 2008
>Supervisor: Jennifer Fike, Executive Director, Food System Economic
>Partnership (FSEP) and the Business Innovation and Networking
>Location: Food System Economic Partnership, Ann Arbor, MI
>I. Purpose & Responsibilities
>In an independent contracting position reporting to the FSEP Executive
>Director, and working as a facilitator of the Agri-food Regional
>Skills Alliance (RSA) and member of the Business Innovation and
>Networking Team, this professional works collaboratively with the FSEP
>Business Innovation and Networking Committee, FSEP Leadership Team,
>and RSA partnering organizations to provide business planning services
>to maintain and grow the regional agricultural economy and make
>agriculture a thriving component of communities in Southeast Michigan.
>II. Specific Job Functions
>Coordinate the Agri-food RSA, where FSEP and the Business Development
>Specialist serve as a catalyst, convener, intermediary, and advisor in
>the creation of the Agri-Food RSA in Southeast Michigan. The goal of
>the Agri-Food System RSA is to expand business planning services for
>agri-business entrepreneurs and assist farmers in the conversion of
>agriculture commodities into consumer products or services to create
>and expand jobs in the region. There are four components of this
>1) Catalyst: Help bring about: a) change in the agricultural
>economy of Southeast Michigan through creating connections between
>food system entrepreneurs and to increase job creation in the
>2) Convener: Assist in bringing together key stakeholders for the
>RSA including Michigan Works! agencies, economic development
>organizations, business owners, farmers, community organizations,
>farmers, food distributors, and all others involved in making the
>transition to more locally produced food purchasing and consumption.
>3) Intermediary: Serve as the conduit for services related to
>agricultural business planning services; work with entrepreneurs
>interested in creating agri-food businesses and assist them in the
>development of business plans
>4) Advisor: Advise other key stakeholders on insights knowledge
>gained, effective practice, policy impacts, etc. Key Stakeholders
>include funders, the private sector, the public sector, policy makers,
>nonprofits, and business owners.
>III. Specific Expectations:
> Goal 1:
> Provide business planning services to potential entrepreneurs and
>existing business owners.
>1) Identify potential food business entrepreneurs and existing
>businesses through outreach at MSU Extension offices, job fairs,
>Michigan Works! Centers, community colleges, etc.
>2) Conduct survey of employers within RSA to determine business needs
>3) Select entrepreneurs and existing businesses to engage in business planning
>4) Perform market analysis with entrepreneurs
>5) Perform feasibility studies with entrepreneurs
>6) Develop business plans; set goals/objectives
>Conduct outreach to potential entrepreneurs in Southeast Michigan to
>promote business planning services offered by Agri-Food System RSA.
>1) Create Agri-RSA council to provide linkages between employers and
>Michigan Works! Agencies
>2) Conduct outreach at employment agencies, Eastern Market, community
>colleges, and chambers of commerce to promote services
>Conduct outreach to farmers/producers in Southeast Michigan to promote
>Agri-Food System RSA
>1) Conduct direct mail campaign to farmers/producers and issue press releases
>2) Conduct outreach to farmers at farmers' markets
>3) Update FSEP website to add services
>4) Conduct outreach at Farm Bureau offices
>Provide seed funding through Agri-Food System RSA to potential entrepreneurs
>1) Determine methodology for awarding funds
>2) Determine feasibility of business venture
>3) Reach agreement with entrepreneur
>4) Apply for grants to support funding
>Develop and implement marketing plan to increase consumer demand for
>local foods to develop markets for agri-food businesses
>1) Define targets, goals, and dates of implementation
>2) Create marketing materials
>3) Implement plan including mail, radio, print campaigns
>4) Measure success of plan
>IV. Key Knowledge & Skills
>A. Project management/leadership and or start-up nonprofit experience.
>B. Strong facilitation skills with demonstrated results as an
>intermediary working with cross-sector collaboration.
>C. Knowledge of and interest in local food systems and economic development.
>D. Strong leader with an active leadership style
>E. Effective oral and written communication skills.
>F. Demonstrated ability to work effectively in team settings, as both
>a leader and team member. Strong interpersonal skills in a
>professional context: working collaboratively, motivating and
>inclusive leadership style, and excellent facilitation skills.
>G. Demonstrated ability to work effectively without day to day supervision.
>H. Excellent skills in the use of computer technology for word
>processing and a variety of forms of electronic communication.
>VI. Ideal Qualifications
>A. Bachelor's degree in business, agriculture, communications,
>community organizing or related field preferred. Master's degree
>B. Demonstrated ability to develop leadership in the agriculture
>community. Ability to manage multiple and varied tasks required.
>C. Experience with group facilitation.
>D. Business experience working with entities that have budgets,
>boundaries, expectations, and profit motive.
>E. Two years of work experience in business, community, or economic
>Position requires travel using personal vehicle to program sites in
>five county region of Southeast Michigan, as needed. Compensation
>commensurate with experience. Estimated start date is January 5,
>2009. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The Food System
>Economic Partnership is an equal opportunity employer. To apply,
>please email or fax (734-222-3990) a cover letter and resume to
>Jennifer Fike at [log in to unmask] You can also mail your
>information to FSEP, P.O. Box 8645, Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645,
>Attention: Jennifer Fike.
>4. Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Exop 2008
>The 2008 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo December
>11, 2008, DeVos Place Convention Center Grand Rapids, MI. Thursday
>events include Tasting of the Winning Ciders: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., Trade
>Show: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., EXPO Registration: 8:00 a.m. - noon,
>Education Program: 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Education Program: 1:00 - 3:30
>Fruit Irrigation Systems Workshop: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
>Thurday at 9 A.M. Organic Production and Certification. Vicki Morrone,
>Outreach Specialist for Organic Fruit and Vegetable Growers, MSU
>Certification: will be one of the speaker presenting the topic To Be
>or Not To Be - That is the Question. Visit this link to see the
>complete schedule http://www.glexpo.com/program.php?id=47.
>Special Thursday Registration Fee
>A special registration fee of $30 is available for admission to the
>EXPO's trade show and education sessions on Thursday. This is good for
>Thursday ONLY – if you pre-register for this reduced rate and decide
>to attend the EXPO on Tuesday or Wednesday, you will have to pay the
>full on-site registration fee. The trade show will be open from 8 a.m.
>to 1 p.m. on Thursday. The special registration fee does not include
>membership in the Michigan State Horticultural Society or the Michigan
>Vegetable Council and the free subscription offers that are included
>Visit the Expo's website for more details http://www.glexpo.com/index.php
>5. Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Agriculture Conference
>Contact: Jack Gurley, 410-472-6764, [log in to unmask]
>Future Harvest – CASA's 10th Annual Conference Connect Locally: Food,
>Farms and Communities January 16 and 17, 2009 Frederick, Md.
>Eldersburg, Md. — On January 16 and 17, 2009, aspiring, transitioning,
>and experienced farmers will come together with regional buyers,
>backyard gardeners, parents, students and others interested in local
>foods to share information and learn about sustainable agriculture at
>the 10th Annual Conference of Future Harvest – A Chesapeake Alliance
>for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA). The 2009 conference theme,
>"Connect Locally: Food, Farms and Communities," emphasizes making and
>sustaining connections between producers and consumers.
>Nina Planck, farmers' market maven and "real" food enthusiast, will
>present the keynote address. After growing up in Virginia selling the
>ecological foods from her family's farm, Ms. Planck started the
>successful London Farmers' Markets in the U.K. and now runs the
>producer-only Local Food Markets in Washington, DC. Her recent book,
>Real Food: What to Eat and Why, explores the nutritional and cultural
>significance of traditional foods.
>Seminars, panels and round table discussion groups on Friday will
>cover agri-tourism, soil fertility, farm-to-school and hospital
>programs, and raising healthy food. Saturday's workshops will cover
>the nuts and bolts of sustainable agriculture, specialty crops,
>cultivating new farmers through mentorships, grass based systems,
>profitable grain production, and market gardening. Meals will feature
>locally-grown food, showcasing the region's great local food options.
>Future Harvest-CASA is an educational non-profit organization
>dedicated to promoting profitable and environmentally sustainable food
>and farming systems in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland,
>Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware. For more information, visit
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