4. Seeking Friends of Lansing City Market


Lansing area residents:


A movement is underway to re-energize the Lansing City Market! 


A small group of women who are passionate about local food, supporting local farmers and keeping Lansing's spendable dollars in the area are looking for supporters willing to share their time and talents to help revitalize the historic Lansing City Market.  For more information about the Friends of the Lansing City Market group and to join, please email [log in to unmask].


5. Whole Foods to buy Wild Oats for $565 million

By Nichola Groom and Michael Flaherty Wed Feb 21, 10:27 PM ET
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq:WFMI - news) said on Wednesday it will buy smaller rival Wild Oats Markets Inc.

(Nasdaq:OATS - news) for about $565 million to compete better with larger traditional grocers, which are increasingly encroaching into its organic and prepared foods niches.
Shares of the world's largest natural and organic grocery chain, which is facing slowing growth at established stores, rose 5 percent following the announcement, while Wild Oats shares soared more than 17 percent.
The news came as Whole Foods reported a 7.7 percent drop in quarterly earnings. Even though total sales rose, sales at stores open at least a year rose 7 percent in the quarter -- about half the 13 percent rise a year earlier.
Organic and natural foods are gaining popularity as consumers try to eat better, but growth has not been as strong as some expected a year ago when Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) said it was doubling its offerings of organic products.
At the same time, Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY - news) and other traditional grocers have also added more organic fare, while niche retailers like privately held Trader Joe's are expanding rapidly, and Whole Foods on Wednesday said it aimed to cut prices on some products in the face of competition.
"This is not a move being made from a position of strength," said Rob Campagnino of SeaRock Capital Management.
Whole Foods will pay $18.50 a share in cash for Boulder, Colorado-based Wild Oats -- an 18 percent premium to the company's closing share price on Wednesday. Whole Foods will also assume $106 million of Wild Oats' debt. The deal is expected to close in April.
"The growth opportunity in this category has led to increased competition from many players, most of whom are not dedicated natural and organic foods supermarkets, but are considerably larger than we are," Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey said in a statement, adding that the deal timing "could not have been better."
On a conference call with analysts, Mackey said he approached Wild Oats after CEO Perry Odak resigned in October and the company did not name a permanent replacement.
With the deal, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods will keep Wild Oats out of the hands of a traditional grocer, which could have used the chain to compete better against Whole Foods.
"Offense is the best defense," said Ken Harris of consulting firm Cannondale Associates. "They were either going to buy Wild Oats, or somebody else was going to do it."
Whole Foods said the addition of Wild Oats' 110 stores to its 190-store base will give it access to new markets and increase its presence in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain region, and Florida. Whole Foods stores are generally larger with about twice the sales per square foot.
"They're buying it for enhanced market presence, rather than going through the tough process of securing good real estate and building stores," said Tim McNamara, Northeast broker for SullivanHayes property management and leasing.
Whole Foods said it earned $53.8 million, or 38 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter, compared to a profit of $58.3 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.
Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 36 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales rose 12 percent to $1.87 billion.
In November, Mackey said fiscal 2007 would "be a transition year" for Whole Foods, and forecast same-store sales growth of 6 percent to 8 percent. The company on Wednesday backed that forecast, which is below the double-digit increases it has posted for the last three years.
Whole Foods shares were at $48.06 in after-hours trade after closing at $45.70 on Nasdaq. Wild Oats' stock, meanwhile, soared to $18.44 after closing at $15.72.
Yucaipa Companies, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, owns 15.2 percent of Wild Oats' shares.
Whole Foods shares trade at about 31 times analysts' average 2007 earnings estimate, well above the multiple of 18.9 for Safeway's stock.
(Additional reporting by Brad Dorfman in Scottsdale, Arizona and Ilaina Jonas in New York)



6. EPA Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

This is your chance to share your perspective on Global climate change and US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks

Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / [log in to unmask]

(2/20/07) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published.

After responding to public comments, EPA will submit, through the U.S. Department of State, the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, fulfilling its annual requirement as a party to this international treaty on climate change. The UNFCCC treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2005. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by "sinks," e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.

EPA prepared the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies. The major finding in the draft report is that overall emissions during 2005 increased by less than one percent from the previous year. Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2005 were equivalent to 7,262 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The draft report indicates that overall emissions have grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown by 55 percent over the same period.

Information on the draft 2007 report and how to submit public comments:





7. Assistant Grower Position-AmeriCorps position


Heifer International, a progressive, non-profit, sustainable development organization is seeking interested, reliable, experienced and hard-working assistant growers to participate in all aspects of the production and demonstration gardens at Overlook Farm in Rutland Massachusetts. These gardens supply the on-site cafeteria and the “global village” demonstration sites—providing traditional New England garden crops as well as crops from some of the countries Heifer sponsors. The assistant growers will be an integral part of the garden team, and be expected to help facilitate large groups of volunteers, and participate enthusiastically in all aspects of gardening and crop production for the 2006 season (April through October). Stipend and Housing Provided. AmeriCorps Education Award Opportunities available. For an application or more information- please contact Overlook Farm at 508-886-2221 or [log in to unmask]


8. Slow Food Red Cedar Dinner:  A Celebration of Slow Food


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

6-8:30 pm

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the MSU campus

Tickets, $45 per person, vegetarian options available


Join the new Slow Food Red Cedar organization for a special dinner at the Kellogg Center at MSU on Tuesday, March 6 from 6-8:30 pm.  The Slow Food movement promotes local foods, sustainable agriculture, heritage foodways, and lively conversation at the table.  This amazing meal is created by Chefs Nick Seccia of the Henry Ford Museum and Rajeev Patgaonkar of the Kellogg Center.  Here is the menu!


Course One

Organic Local sweet Corn Polenta, Cannellini Bean Mushroom Ragout,

Pancetta wilted baby greens, Detroit Asiago Cracker, Crème fraiche  


Course Two

MSU Campus grown Butternut Squash Bisque, Caramelized Pecans, Maple Sour Cream  


Course Three

Herb marinated grilled Organic Chicken Breast topped with Grand Traverse Cherry Bails Sauce, Minnesota Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus and Bell Pepper  


Course Four

Michigan Apple Pithivier, Organic Pear Espuma, Beet Sugar Caramel,

Free Trade Coffee Zabaglione  


Bread Rolls, Butter


Coffee, Tea, Decafe’



Tickets are $45 per person and include entry into the Farmers Market at 4:30 to sample Michigan products, including beers, wines, and hard ciders.  A vegetarian meal is available.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Please contact Diane Drago at [log in to unmask] or phone 517-663-5147 for ticket information.




Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resources Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)


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