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What’s Up for 3rd week of May

  1. Michigan Organic Growers Listserv
  2. Governor seeking federal $ for freezing temp for lower MI
  3. Growing Retail Sales of Organic Products Create Significant Opportunities for Midwest Farmers-Report from MOSES 2/06
  4. Food Alliance-an alternative type of certification that is not organic but promotes itself as “good food for a healthy environment.”
  5. Organic2006  CONSUMER ATTITUDES & BEHAVIOR  FIVE YEARS LATER & INTO THE FUTURE –May 31st at noon on campus seminar
  6. Mi state fair will have farmers market and seeking Michigan farmers to sell one day or whole time- Aug 23-Sept 4 in Detroit



Organic Transition federal $ passed


        Organic Farmer's Action Network 

May 24, 2006



Rep Holt’s amendment to increase the Organic Transitions program to $5 Million passed.

Thank you- Your calls made the difference!

Thanks in great part to the many of you who made calls, the amendment increasing funds for the USDA Organic Transitions research program from $1.8 million to $5 million passed.   The amendment, offered by Congressman Rush Holt (D-New Jersey), Rep. DeFazio (D-Oregon), Rep. Kind (D-Wisconsin), and Rep. Leach (R-Iowa), passed by voice vote on the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday morning.  

Because of the tight budget Congress is working with, this was a tough ask.  It passed because so many members of Congress heard directly from you all (and other constituents) that this program is extremely important.  You made the difference.

Next, the Senate will do their version of the 2007 Agriculture Appropriations bill.    The best way we can make sure this increase is part of the final law is for the Senate to include the same $5 Million in their version of the bill.   Then, the Senate and House will negotiate the differences in their two versions to come up with a final bill.


Next Steps:  Ask your Senator to support the same increase (to $5 Million) that the House of Representatives appropriated to this program.  The Senate is expected to do the first iteration of their bill sometime after Memorial Day. If you haven't yet called both of your Senators, its time to do so.


If you don’t already know who your senators are, click here to find out.


What you can do: Call your senators.  They both need to hear that their constituents are interested in this issue.  

  1. Call the US Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.   Ask the operator to connect you to your Senator's office. The switchboard is open 24/7. If you get a message machine, give your comments that way.
  1. When you get connected, introduce yourself and let them know you are from their State.   Tell them if you are a farmer.
  1. Explain you are calling in relation to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2007and that you want to see an increase to research on organic agriculture.


  1. Explain that you are calling in relation to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2007.   Ask them to support funding for organic research, including:

- $5 million for the USDA “Organic Transitions” research grants and

- $10 million for USDA Agricultural Research Service “Strategic Regional Programming for Organic Agricultural Research”

    5.       Ask if they would call Senator Robert Bennett (Chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee) (UT) to ask him to support increases to these two important organic research programs.      


Please send an email to [log in to unmask] letting us know you called.  Simply put “I called” in the subject line and send.  Or, include a note telling us how the call went!


If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for the Organic Farmer’s Action Network (OFAN) by visiting our website.


Organic Farmers Action Network (OFAN)
Brise Tencer

Organic Farming Research Foundation
P.O. Box 440, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
831-426-6606, 831-426-6670 fax

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Michigan Farmers Hurt By Recent Cold Weather




LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today requested federal assistance for Michigan farmers hard hit by recent frost and freezing temperatures.  Citing 28 counties that are expected to experience significant crop loss, Granholm called upon U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Michael Johanns to declare the counties a disaster area.




"April's extreme drop in temperature was devastating for our fruit and vegetable farmers in lower Michigan," said Granholm.  "On their behalf, I am requesting federal disaster assistance to free up available resources and help reduce the economic impact of this severe weather."




The affected counties included in Granholm's request are:


 Allegan, Antrim, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Cass, Charlevoix, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Leelanau, Macomb, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Otsego, Ottawa, St. Clair, St. Joseph, VanBuren, Washtenaw, Wayne              



Granholm acknowledged the work of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and its federal partners in assessing crop loss and expediting the process as much as possible.


 In order for federal disaster status to be granted, original crop loss estimates must be verified from harvest yield data.  If losses of 30 percent or more are confirmed and the request is granted, eligible producers will have access to low-interest federal emergency loans for up to 100 percent of their weather-related production losses









Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resrouces Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)

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