What's New in Michigan Organic Ag?
Jan 29 - Feb 5


1.       Harmful pesticides found in everyday food products

2.       ALMar Orchards gains national attention for use of pigs, not

3.       World Bank offering US $4 million in grants for innovations in
4.         Take Action on the Farm Bill

Notice of Position Openings

5.       Full Time Summer Intern Position in Leelanau County, MI.
6.       Join the Summer Crew at The Student Organic Farm! 
7.       Land Stewardship Project's Farm Beginnings Program Organizer
Job Opening in MN.

8.       Production Agriculture Summer Intern in Suttons Bay,

9.       Vista Volunteer-Full Circle Farm in Silicon Valley, CA




10.     Winter Wheat Management. Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sanilac Career Center, Peck, MI.


11.     Michigan Organic Conference: The Next Steps for Consumers and
Producers. Feb. 29 - March 1.


12.     Michigan Organic Food & Farming Reporting Session. March 5.


13.                  The Alternative and Renewable Energy Summit at
Grand Valley State University. March 11.


14.                  Choices: The conference that celebrates food and
health!  AND 2008 USDA FNS  Midwest Region Cross Program Collaboration


15.                  Marketing Opportunity for Michigan Farmers!
February 15.


16.                  What production grower meeting Feb 27


1.       Harmful pesticides found in everyday food products

Mercer Island children tested in yearlong study


Government promises to rid the nation's food supply of brain-damaging
pesticides aren't doing the job, according to the results of a yearlong
study that carefully monitored the diets of a group of local children.

The peer-reviewed study found that the urine and saliva of children
eating a variety of conventional foods from area groceries contained
biological markers of organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned
by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II. 

When the same children ate organic fruits, vegetables and juices, signs
of pesticides were not found. 

"The transformation is extremely rapid," said Chensheng Lu, the
principal author of the study published online in the current issue of
Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Once you switch from conventional food to organic, the pesticides
(malathion and chlorpyrifos) that we can measure in the urine
disappears. The level returns immediately when you go back to the
conventional diets," said Lu, a professor at Emory University's School
of Public Health and a leading authority on pesticides and children. 

Within eight to 36 hours of the children switching to organic food, the
pesticides were no longer detected in the testing.

To continue reading check this aticle out at 

2.       ALMar Orchards gains national attention for use of pigs, not

January 28, 2008




Pass by Jim Koan's 120-acre apple orchard this spring and you could well
spy dozens of baby Berkshire hogs marauding under the trees -- miniature
porkers scarfing up fruit and grubbing in the soil.

A case of hogs gone wild?


No. It's an experiment in organic farming gaining national attention,
and the pork-and-apple program at Koan's ALMar Orchards in Flushing is
getting accolades from Michigan State University researchers who say it
may someday help fruit growers reduce pesticide use.


Koan, like many orchard keepers, has long been plagued by the Plum
Curculio Beetle, a quarter-inch pest that burrows into the young fruit
to lay its eggs. The infestation makes the apples drop prematurely.


The larvae migrate from rotting fruit into the soil. The adult beetle
then emerges to attack the remaining fruit, and the cycle continues.


To continue reading this article visit
3.       World Bank offering US $4 million in grants for innovations in
Washington, DC January 22, 2008 - The 2008 Global Development
(DM2008) competition was launched today, offering $4 million in grants
social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that have potential for high
in promoting sustainable agriculture.
The competition this year is focused on the theme of "Sustainable
for Development." It is asking participants to focus on solutions to
agricultural challenges in developing countries such as linking
farmers to markets; improving land access for poor farmers; and
promoting the
environmental services of agriculture in addressing climate change and
biodiversity conservation.
DM2008 awards will support 25-30 of the most innovative ideas that
sustainable agriculture in developing countries. Typically, DM
attract close to 3,000 applicants, which are then narrowed down to about
finalists. Finalists of DM2008 will be invited to the competition's
event in Washington, September 24-25, to compete for grants and
participate in
knowledge exchange activities.
"The Development Marketplace has proven to be an effective mechanism for
identifying innovative projects with great development potential," said
Katherine Sierra, Vice President of the Sustainable Development Network,
oversees the World Bank's agriculture portfolio. "Tapping into that
resource is
a valuable opportunity to identify and support emerging ideas within
sustainable agriculture."
Global DM competitions are held every 12 to 18 months. Since 1998, they
have awarded more than $30 million to nearly 300 projects worldwide.
Past competitions have identified and funded innovative ideas including:
a new water pump in Zimbabwe made from common waste materials; promoting
literacy in India by placing same language subtitles on popular Hindi
music videos; and creating an agriculture e-marketplace that provides
price updates via cell phone text messaging to small farmers in the
As a seed-funder, The Development Marketplace serves as a launching pad
projects to prove their concept, scale-up, or replicate. In the words of
Field, a winner from the 2003 competition: "Without [Development
funding, we'd still be in our infancy. Now we can fly."
The themes of DM2008 stem from the recently published World Development
Report (WDR) 2008. Sierra said the WDR renews the consensus on the
positive role that agriculture can provide as an engine of growth, an
instrument of poverty
alleviation, and as a provider of environmental services.
Eligibility criteria, competition guidelines and step-by-step
instructions are
available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and
at the DM website:
<> . Proposals will be accepted in
English only through March 21, 2008 (23:00 GMT).
For more information about the World Bank visit
For more information about the Development Marketplace in Africa visit <>
For more information about the World Bank's role in Agriculture and
Development visit,,menuPK:336688~



Vicki Morrone

Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

303 Natural Resources Bldg.

East Lansing, MI 48824


517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (fax)

For information on organic agriculture production please visit:

P Please consider the environment before printing this email



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