What’s new in Mi Organic Sept 14-24, 2007


1.    Seeking fields for on-farm research with native plants

2.    Fulbright Applications in Agriculture being accepted now.

3.    Eating Local in Kalamazoo Programs

4.    Master Composter Training Workshop October 12 & 13 in Paw Paw, MI

5.     Update on 2007 Farm Bill

1. Seeking fields for on-farm research with native plants


Here is an opportunity to participate in on-farm research, to look at the impact of using native wildflowers to attract and over-winter lady bird beetles. This opportunity if for farmers who grow corn and soybean in rotation.

******Site selection will start very soon (deadline is Sept 28, 2007), so please help us get the word out!!******




Soybean aphid populations are decreased by natural enemy insects such as lady beetles.  Native Michigan wildflowers could support natural enemies and help them to control soybean aphids. In order to test this, we need sites with adjacent fields that will be in a corn/soybean rotation for the next 5 years, where we can plant a native wildflower strip between these fields.



What we plan to do on the selected sites:  At each selected farm, we want to establish a 600 x 12 ft native wildflower strip at the junction of the corn and soybean fields. We will plant the wildflower strip in either fall 2007or spring 2008. Planting will be done by MSU personnel using plants that we know are attractive to pollinating insects and to natural enemies of soybean pests. The wildflowers that we will use are not weedy in crop fields and are not attractive to pest insects.


What we will measure over the next 5 years:  During 2008-2011 we will measure the number soybean aphids and their natural enemies in fields near the native wildflower strips and in cages placed over selected soybean plants in the field. Potted plants will be placed in field edges for a few days each summer to measure pollination and bee populations.

LooNew MSU Insect Research

If you are interested in participating, or know of others who fit our criteria,

please contact Julianna Tuell in the Department of Entomology at MSU.

202 CIPS Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Email: [log in to unmask] Phone: (517) 432-9554 [log in to unmask]


2. Fulbright Applications in Agriculture being accepted now.


Applications continue to be accepted for some Fulbright Scholar awards
for lecturing, research or combined lecturing/research awards in
agriculture during the 2008-2009 academic year.  Faculty in agriculture may apply not only for awards specifically in their field, but also for one of the many "All Discipline" awards open
to any field.

Visit our website at www.cies.org <http://www.cies.org/>  for
descriptions of available awards and new eligibility requirements.  
 Awards are closing daily, so please consult the relevant program
officer before applying.



3.  Eating Local in Kalamazoo Programs

Monday, September 24, 8:00 PM
Towards a Just World: Eating Locally

Journalist Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, co-authors of PLENTY: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally (creators of The 100 Mile Diet), will appear at Kalamazoo College's Recital Hall to discuss the ways the local food movement connects to social justice. The Recital Hall is located in the Light Fine Arts Building on the corner of Academy and Thompson - 1200 Academy Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49006

Tuesday, September 25, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Kalamazoo Green Drinks

Dr. Amelia Katanski, Ali McCubbrey, and Alison Geist will talk about the Farms to K program. Farms to K is an organization working to increase the amount of locally-grown food served in the Kalamazoo College cafeteria and to develop and support the local food system while fostering sustainable agricultural practices and safe and fair working conditions.  Green Drinks meets at the Kraftbrau Brewery, 402 East Kalamazoo Avenue, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007.

Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 PM
Meet the Authors: Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, authors of PLENTY: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
(creators of The 100 Mile Diet)
Authors will give a public talk about the book with a book sale and signing to follow at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch - Van Deusen Room - 315 S. Rose Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007

Wednesday, September 26, 7:00-8:30 PM
Why Local Still Matters in a Global Economy

While much of today's discussion about the economy focuses on the importance of a global economy, community experts will discuss the impact of shopping locally and using local resources to address community needs in our local economy. Panelists include: David Anderson (Kalamazoo City Commission), Jill Bland (Southwest Michigan First), Chris Lampen-Crowell (Gazelle Sports), and John Patten (WMU Engineering Program). The panel discussion will take place at Kalamazoo Valley Museum  - Mary Jane Stryker Theater, 230 N. Rose Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007

Thursday, September 27, 7:00-9:00 PM
At Home in the World: Insights from Student Studies Abroad - Local Foods Around the Globe at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch - Van Deusen Room - 315 S. Rose Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007.


For more information:  www.eatlocalkalamazoo.org


4.  Master Composter Training Workshop October 12 & 13 in Paw Paw, MI

Van Buren County MSU Extension is offering Master Composter Training as an intensive two-day training workshop on October 12 & 13 at the Van Buren County Human Services Building East Conference Rooms in Paw Paw.  The Master Composter Workshop focuses on backyard composting and will introduce you to the basic science of composting, as well as, the rewards and satisfaction of creating an immediately usable organic soil product.  The cost for the Master Composter Certification Workshop is $65, which includes materials and meals.  A registration brochure is available at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/vanburen/07compostbrochure.pdf.  Call 269-657-8213 or e-mail: [log in to unmask]  for local lodging information.  This workshop will allow you to become a certified Master Composter with the fulfillment of some additional requirements or can be used as Continuing education credits for Master Gardener Volunteers.

Please feel free to pass this on.

Beth Clawson
Extension Educator
Natural Resources/Resource Recovery
Van Buren County MSU Extension
219 Paw Paw St., Suite 201
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Phone: 269-657-8213 Ext. 81617
Fax: 269-657-6678
[log in to unmask]

5. Update on 2007 Farm Bill

As many of you already know, this is a critical time for the 2007 Farm Bill as the Senate version is up for consideration soon.  Below are a few websites and resources that you might find useful if interested in learning more about the Farm Bill, a number of perspectives about what is or is not included, and ideas for how to get involved.  Please note that there are many, many other sites highlighting the Farm Bill and that these are not the only resources you should look to.  A simple Google search yields 20 million results.  With that being said, there are many perspectives out there.  I encourage you to do you own research, form your own opinions and act accordingly.  These links are just meant to get you thinking and acting.




http://www.healthyfarmbill.org <http://www.healthyfarmbill.org/>



















Dru Montri

Project Manager


Michigan Farmers Market Association - MIFMA


www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu <http://www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu>



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)

For information on organic agriculture produciton please visit: http://www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu/

P Please consider the environment before printing this email



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