3. Would you like to be included in a list of Organic Farmer mentors in


As an organic vegetable/field crop educator I would like to share a very
valuable resource, OUR ORGANIC FARMERS!  I am creating a list of organic
farmers who are interested in sharing their knowledge, experience and
expertise to less experienced and new organic farmers.  This list would
be available to extension educators and others on <>  web
site (Jan 25 to be launched). The list would provide new or upcoming
organic farmers seeking information and guidance with a list of organic
farmer mentors.  It's your call how much you offer as a mentor, whether
it be just a phone call or a farm visit or even giving a presentation.



If you are interested in being included on this list please send your
contact info to Vicki Morrone, MSU ([log in to unmask]) or 517-353-3542
phone or 517-353-3834 fax the following info.



Address (if you want)



What level of mentoring you would like to offer: 

Phone conversations, visits on your farm, present your farm to a group,
offer info at a farmers' meeting. Just let me know so you only receive
requests for info as you wish.


Thanks and looking forward to building resources WITH you for our future
organic farmers!



4. Needed: Organic Food for Conference in Ann Arbor, MI


Hi All,

Our office received a call from Lisa with Healthy Traditions Network.
She is coordinating a conference on Feb. 2-4 in Ann Arbor and is looking
for organic food for the event. If you can help, please contact her at
[log in to unmask] or by calling 248-705-0326 or pass this message along
to others who may be able to help.



Elaine Brown

MIFFS Executive Director 


5. Dr. Oran B. Hesterman to Lead New 'Fair Food Foundation' 



New foundation seeks to increase access to fresh, local and healthy food

                        urban and rural communities


    DETROIT, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Oran B. Hesterman today

the creation of the Fair Food Foundation (
Because the Foundation believes access to fresh, healthy food is a basic
human right, it will promote the development of a fair and equitable
food system that makes fresh, local and sustainable food available to
all by reconnecting urban and rural

communities and empowering local leadership. Currently program director

the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Food and Society Initiative, Dr. Hesterman

will serve as the Fair Food Foundation's president and chief executive

officer. Beginning operations in January 2008 with a focus on southeast

Michigan, the Fair Food Foundation will become national and

in scope over time. The Foundation's startup budget will range between

million and $20 million per year, primarily to be awarded as grants to

non-profit organizations. The budget will increase as the Foundation

    "Our vision is to create a food system that reconnects us to the

we eat, our families, communities and the Earth," says Dr. Hesterman.

will work in partnership with community leaders and organizations in

urban and rural settings to help create new solutions and relationships

the source."

    Dr. Hesterman is a longtime leader in sustainable agriculture and

published more than 400 reports and articles about the food system. As

program director at Kellogg, he worked with the Michigan Governor's

to develop the highly-acclaimed Michigan Food Policy Council.

    A Kellogg National Fellow from 1987 to 1990, Dr. Hesterman also

as a professor of agriculture at Michigan State University. He returned

the Kellogg Foundation as a program director in January 1998.

    Dr. Hesterman earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the

University of California, Davis. He received his doctorate in agronomy

business administration from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

    The FAIR FOOD FOUNDATION is solely dedicated to creating a

relationship- centered food system that provides access to fresh, local

sustainable food for all.



SOURCE Fair Food Foundation/



Nicole de Beaufort

Vice President



585 Grand Avenue

St Paul, MN 55102

main: 651-690-2733

direct: 651-690-3133

cell: 202-236-0207

fax: 651-690-0410

skype: ndebeaufort


6. Corn pest expansion consequence of transgenic crops?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007



A corn pest that can devastate yields may be increasing in prevalence
across Illinois and other states because Bt crops are reducing predators
that once kept the pest at bay.


That was the word from an Iowa State University researcher who spoke
during the recent Illinois Crop Protection Technology Conference,


Western bean cutworms, a major pest in Nebraska and Colorado, was first
detected in Illinois in 2004 and has spread to 49 counties, according to
Marlin Rice, an Extension entomologist at Iowa State.


Rice and his colleagues attempted to learn why a pest that was rare in
Iowa six years ago has spread as far east as central Ohio.


In laboratory experiments and field studies, Rice tested the bean
cutworm's survival when placed together with corn earworm, which is the
more aggressive of the two pests and will kill the bean cutworm. Both
pests were allowed to feed on silks from Herculex and YieldGard plants.


The bean cutworms had better survival rates when they fed on YieldGard,
which is not labeled for cutworm control, compared to Herculex, which
is. Both hybrids are labeled for corn earworm control.


"Our theory is that increased (use) of Bt cotton and YieldGard corn has
suppressed (populations) of corn earworms, which are predators of
western bean cutworms. This allows (more) bean cutworms to survive," 

Rice said.


"YieldGard corn may be one of the reasons for more damage from western
bean cutworm," Rice said. "It may be influencing (pest) competition in
the field."


Bean cutworms have become established in Illinois, "but we'll have to
wait a couple of years to see if it is an economic problem," Rice said.


He recommended farmers scout their fields and time insecticide
treatments for when eggs or young larvae reach economic thresholds.


If western bean cutworm becomes an economically damaging pest, farmers
should consider planting Herculex hybrids, he said. - Kay Shipman

7. New Year, New "Organic"

Local Harvest Jan 07 Newsletter

For many people the New Year is a rejuvenating time for taking on new
challenges, committing ourselves to life-affirming resolutions or
recommitting ourselves to goals that we have previously set for
ourselves but may have let slide with the chaos of the holidays. Buying
local and buying organic are two goals that are increasingly on many
peoples lists, and with the increasing availability of organic foods,
the second of these goals is becoming easier for people around the
country to commit to. 

With "Organic" becoming so pervasive, it is important that we look at
what is happening to the meaning of the term, and to consider what the
current marketing trends are doing to the "organic food" movement and
what the effects of this are on small farms. 

Mega chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Wegmans, Safeway, to name a
few, are now selling organic food items often at lower prices than can
be found in our local mom-and-pop co-ops, farmers' markets, or natural
food stores. A lot of these new organic food items to hit the
supermarkets are now being produced by major food processors such as
Kellogg and Kraft, who are still pumping out Rice Krispies and macaroni
and cheese, but now with "organic" options. 

There is a sea change occurring in the organics industry as these large
producers and retailers stake their claim in this booming new market of
everything and anything "organic." And while it seems that the hugely
profitable organic market signals the occurrence of a much needed shift
in consciousness about our food choices and how they impact our bodies,
quality of life, families, and our environment, it also seems necessary
to step back and think about the larger implications of the recent
corporate embracing of the "organic" label. 

While Wal-Mart is marketing its new emphasis on organic food as being a
democratizing move towards making organic food available to everyone,
many worry that the retail giant's new "Organics for Everyone" slogan
merely signifies the repackaging and clever, if not insidious, marketing
of processed junk food. Many large food processors are now offering
"mass market" organics. While these companies will still have to meet
the same organic standards that other producers have to comply with, the
"organic" label, used in this way, will nevertheless merely help to
legitimize packaged and processed food and turn the consumer's attention
away from other fresh, unprocessed, and more sustainable food options. 

Others worry that the entrance of these heavy weights into the organic
market will signal the demise of organic standards, both in terms of the
USDA organic guidelines and with the outsourcing of organic agriculture
and food production to other countries that don't have adequate
environmental and human rights regulatory oversight. 

While these concerns are quite real, we at LocalHarvest think that the
core issue, and one that is sometimes lost in the discussion, is the
definition of "organic." It is unfortunate that the organic movement,
which started as a reaction against the industrialization of
agriculture, and grew mostly due to the desire by consumers to support
more "wholesome" old-fashioned farming, became known for and branded by
a singular and simplistic avoidance of sythentic chemicals, in the form
of fertilizers and pesticides. It is this singularity that has made the
organic movement so likely to be, and, in fact, so easily co-opted by
big business interests, which too easily ignore the larger picture that
pesticide-free farming practices are merely a part of. Most "organic
food" in the market now is grown by factory farms which in many cases
use practices just as insidious as those of their "chemical"
competitors. What is needed is the willingness to embrace and support
the earlier vision of "organic" - not simply as signaling the absence of
pesticides and chemicals, but rather as the more integrative and
holistic concept of sustainability. 

Some of LocalHarvest's member farms now feel that "organic" has lost
much of its meaning, and are now choosing not to certify their farms as
such. Also, organic certification has gotten more expensive and
bureaucratic, and many small farms cannot afford it anymore. Small farms
that sell less than $5,000 of organic produce per year are now allowed
to sell their produce as "organic exempt", but for some small farms that
exceed this threshold, the effort and expense of organic certification,
coupled with the dilution of the "true meaning" of the term, as seen by
many of the small farms that created the movement, make it less
appealing for them to become certified. 

Ideally, buying local from farms you know and trust, coupled by consumer
awareness, would reduce the need for certification, but for many, the
time and effort required for this is out of reach, which makes
certification necessary. Alternatives to "Organic" such as "Certified
Naturally Grown" are now becoming popular. Buying locally grown whenever
possible and knowing your local farms is the next step in the evolution
of what was originally called "organic". Now that the term also
encompasses many things that the original creators of it never intended,
many purists are going back to the roots, by promoting things like CSA
subscriptions, humane treatment of animals, and the importance of buying

Organic farming practices, and consumer commitment to buying organic,
should indicate a dedicated willingness to produce food humanely and
ethically, both with the health of our bodies, environments, and future
generations in mind. When we commit ourselves and our New Year to
"organic," we should also make a commitment to sustainability in our
food choices, our environmental impact, and our relationships. In
addition to buying organic, cultivating relationships with our small,
local farmers, getting to know them and their farming practices,
supporting CSAs, as well as farmers' markets, and buying local whenever
possible, are just a few ideas for "going organic" in the New Year. 




8. Is the FDA's Cloning Proposal Ready for Prime Time?



The Critical Issue Report was authored by Jim Riddle, Organic Outreach
Coordinator at University of Minnesota.



The following excerpt from the Executive Summary explains the premise of
The Organic Center report in response to the Food and Drug
Administration's draft risk assessment on meat and milk from cloned



"On December 28, 2006, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft risk assessment,
a risk management plan, and guidance to industry on meat and milk from
cloned animals. A Federal Register notice was issued on January 3, 2007,
in which the FDA requested comments on all three documents."


"The documents address the risks associated with somatic cell nuclear
transfer (SCNT), the most common method used to create cloned animals,
and do not address other cloning technologies or risks associated with
genetically engineered animals. The document acknowledges that there are
ethical, cultural, and religious issues raised by animal cloning. The
agency offers to participate in discussions of these issues " other
forums," but makes clear such considerations are not germane to its
conclusions regarding the safety and animal health impacts of animal


"Throughout the FDA risk assessments, the health risks to surrogate
mothers used in the cloning process are compared to the risks associated
with other "Assisted Reproductive Technologies" (ARTs), such as
artificial insemination, embryo transfers and splitting, and in vitro


"The Organic Center has issued this Critical Issue Report to provide
background on the FDA's proposal and the cloning process so that readers
can better



*What the FDA found in its scientific assessment and is proposing;


*The impacts of cloning on animal health and reproduction;


*Potential impacts of animal cloning on food quality and safety; and


*The status of cloned animals, their progeny and products in organic



Dr. Charles Benbrook, Chief Scientist for The Organic Center, explained,
"We did this report to help individuals and groups preparing comments to
the FDA on the cloning proposal better understand what the FDA has
proposed, what they found in the risk assessment, and impacts on
consumers and organic livestock producers."





Steve Diver.


9. Look what Massachusetts is doing for their local markets!!
January 23, 2007
Contact: Mark Lattanzi, Campaign Director, M-Thurs 8:30-5:30, Fri.
413-665-7100 or [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Market research documents success of 'Local Hero' campaign
Researcher cites "stunningly high" level of awareness
(South Deerfield, MA) Independent market research carried out by
Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner of Washington, DC in June, 2006 revealed
that Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture's (CISA) 'Local Hero'
brand enjoys a "stunningly high" level of awareness among local
consumers - 82% of residents in Franklin and Hampshire Counties
recognize the brand. Additionally, 

*	44 percent of consumers recognize the campaign's slogan, "Be a
Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown," an increase of 7 points since 2000 and
10 points since 1999. 
*	65% of respondents report that Local Hero advertising has
influenced them to buy locally grown food, a significant number
considering that people are generally reluctant to admit that
advertising affects their behavior. 
*	70 percent of those who have seen ads buy locally grown foods
every week compared to 30 percent of those who have not seen ads. 
*	Those who have seen ads shop at roadside stands 16 times a year
on average compared to 9 times a year for those who have not seen ads. 

"This research was done at a time when I would have expected lower
results," says Mark Lattanzi, Campaign Director. "June is the time when
we are farthest away from the last Local Hero ads, which end in October.
Local Hero ads for the summer had barely begun when this research was
conducted. These results show me that Local Hero has become a year-round
brand with deep roots and staying power." 

An interesting indicator of just how deeply local consumers have
embraced Local Hero is the ubiquitous yellow Local Hero bumper sticker.
"Not a day goes by that I don't see a few of those," says Lattanzi. "And
in the survey, bumper stickers were the most recalled aspect of Local
Hero promotions." With 78% of consumers recalling them, the bumper
stickers are a familiar and effective reminder to buy locally grown.
"I've seen them on all kinds of cars, from a Prius to a Hummer, a potato
truck to a rusted out Volvo," says Lattanzi. 

The research emphasized that it is essential to make sure consumers see
the Local Hero brand wherever locally grown foods are sold. "It's been
shown that if consumers see the brand, more of them will buy the locally
grown food," says Lattanzi. "The best way for local farmers, grocery
stores and restaurants to increase their sales of locally grown foods is
to use the Local Hero stickers and price cards that we provide our

Enrollment now open for 2007 Local Hero Campaign 

CISA's Local Hero program is entering its 9th season in 2007 - and the
Local Hero brand continues to offer farmers, grocers, chefs and others
the opportunity to use this popular and respected brand. Enrollment for
the 2007 season has begun.

Local Hero membership is available to farms, farmers markets,
restaurants, grocery stores, institutions and schools and other local
businesses that buy or sell locally grown farm products. Members are
welcome from Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden Counties as well as eastern
Berkshire and western Worcester Counties.  To receive an enrollment
packet, call the CISA office at 413-665-7100 and ask for Jennifer. Send
the application back postmarked by January 31 to receive an early bird

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), a non-profit in
South Deerfield, MA,  links farmers and communities to promote and
strengthen agriculture in ways that enhance the economy, rural
character, environmental quality, and social well-being of western

10. Goodness Greeness - New Partnership Benefits Beginning Farmers

by Mercedee Renz

Goodness Greeness and the CSA Learning Center at Angelic Organics have
recently joined resources to connect local growers with the Midwest's
thriving organic market. 

CALEDONIA...Known for effectively connecting regional farmers in
Illinois and Wisconsin with agricultural and business skills, the CSA
Learning Center at Angelic Organics has recently partnered with the
Midwest's leading supplier of organic produce, Goodness Greeness. Lead
by experienced farmers from the Collaborative Regional Alliance for
Farmer Training (CRAFT), the Learning Center has been hosting
informative courses intended to foster more interest and participation
in sustainable farming, including organic and Biodynamic methods. With
the help of Goodness Greeness and their fifteen years of experience
sourcing, storing, packing, and delivering such perishable goods, the
Learning Center hopes to offer practical, original tools for farmers
entering the growing local, organic marketplace. 

"It is very exciting for our farmer network to be partnering with
Goodness Greeness," says Parker Forsell, Farmer Development Coordinator
for the CSA Learning Center at Angelic Organics, "New partnerships
between growers, suppliers, and farmer training networks are going to be
key components of a sustainable local food system." 

"The CSA Learning Center's approach to training new farmers is a model
that is working around the country. To support our mission of buying
more food from local farmers, it's important that we partner with
organizations like the Learning Center," says Warren King, General
Manager of Goodness Greeness. 

The CSA Learning Center's farmer training program is based in Caledonia,
Illinois, at Angelic Organics Farm, home of the renowned Farmer John of
The Real Dirt On Farmer John. Training includes the Stateline Farm
Beginnings(r) business planning course, field day workshops and
exchanges, internships, employment, and mentoring. Farm Beginnings(r)
was originally developed by the Minnesota-based Land Stewardship
Project. More information about the CSA Learning Center's farmer
training program is available at 

Goodness Greeness is the Midwest's leading supplier of fresh, organic
food and the largest privately held organic distributor in the country.
Founded in 1991 by CEO Robert Scaman and his brothers, Rodney and Rick,
Goodness Greeness employs over 75 people at their warehouse in the
Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. The company directly supplies over
300 stores that include the region's largest supermarkets and
independent retailers. Goodness Greeness is committed to supplying its
customers with the finest organic food from around the world, while at
the same time furthering its purchases from the Midwest's small-scale
organic farmers. Goodness Greeness has developed a private label brand
of local organic food that is distributed to Midwest area retailers.  

Mercedee Renz 
(773)-224-4411 x 230


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