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 pesticide
3.       World Bank offering US $4 million in grants for innovations in agriculture
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 Conference


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 pesticide

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 agriculture
Washington, DC January 22, 2008 - The 2008 Global Development Marketplace
(DM2008) competition was launched today, offering $4 million in grants to
social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that have potential for high impact
in promoting sustainable agriculture.
The competition this year is focused on the theme of "Sustainable Agriculture
for Development." It is asking participants to focus on solutions to
agricultural challenges in developing countries such as linking small-scale
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 advance
sustainable agriculture in developing countries. Typically, DM competitions
attract close to 3,000 applicants, which are then narrowed down to about 100
finalists. Finalists of DM2008 will be invited to the competition's Marketplace
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, who
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 Philippines.
As a seed-funder, The Development Marketplace serves as a launching pad for
projects to prove their concept, scale-up, or replicate. In the words of Trevor
Field, a winner from the 2003 competition: "Without [Development Marketplace]
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 Spanish
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 Rural
Development visit,,menuPK:336688~pagePK:149018~piPK:149093~theSitePK:336682,00.html



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:

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