4.      Organic Production Opportunities

Growers looking to buy or sell organic crops may be interested in the CROPP Cooperative’s Gower Pool.  Organic Valley offers regional pools for farmers which ensure minimum floor prices for a three years contract with the option to renew.  Farmers can set the acreage commitments and find feed stuffs for their animals through these pools.  The cooperative provides producers with available resources for organic crops such as the need for transportation and marketing, while setting regional pay structures for their members.  The remaining products are sold on the open market which gives annual profit shares to growers.  For more information, review the brochure at or contact Lowell Rheinheimer at Organic Valley, 888-444-6455 ext. 3509 or [log in to unmask] 

5.      New organic greenhouse to supply transplants to Meijer stores
by The Associated Press 
Thursday March 13, 2008, 6:42 AM

Michigan Environmental Issues 

Great Lakes' Environmental & Conservation News


AP PhotoFour acres of USDA Certified organic plants cover the inside of Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses, Kalamazoo, Mich. The Michigan company has built one of the Midwest's first federally certified organic commercial greenhouses, which will supply a variety of organic vegetable and herb potted plants to garden centers at Meijer stores starting this spring. 


PAVILION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan company has built one of the Midwest's first federally certified organic commercial greenhouses, which will supply a variety of organic vegetable and herb potted plants to garden centers at Meijer stores starting this spring. 


Officials from Elzinga & Hoeksema Greenhouses and Grand Rapids-based retailer Meijer Inc. held an open house and news conference Wednesday at the new $4 million greenhouse. The 4-acre facility is next to Elzinga & Hoeksema's offices in Kalamazoo County's Pavilion Township. 


The greenhouse was under development for two years and required seven months to build. Its sole purpose is the production of organically grown plants. 

"I really believe our timing is right," said Mark Elzinga, president of the nursery. "People want this product, and people can't find it."


Organic growing eschews the use of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering or radiation. Organic growers instead rely on integrated pest management, manure, crop residue, composted materials and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests.


While other greenhouse growers have converted existing non-organic greenhouses into organic producers, few have constructed entirely new facilities for the purpose, said officials at Elzinga & Hoeksema. The greenhouse received organic certification in December from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


It features energy-efficient equipment and renewable-energy sources, including solar panels, a closed-loop ground-heat exchanger, a closed-loop pressurized water-heating system, high-efficiency condensing boilers and in-floor heat.

The nursery expects to save about 30 percent on heating costs, Elzinga said.

The plants from Elzinga & Hoeksema are the newest members of Meijer's organic product line. It started a year ago with about 150 items and now has more than 200, said Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi.

"I think there's going to be real interest from folks to take home a plant and raise it at home," he said.


Officials at Elzinga & Hoeksema estimated the company will produce more than 1.3 million organic vegetable and herb plants during the 2008 growing season.

It started doing business with Meijer more than 40 years ago, when the privately owned retailer had only seven stores. Meijer now has 181 supercenters in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.

6.         SEEDS is Hiring! 
Job Title:  Project Manager: Great Lakes Bioneers Conference Coordinator
SEEDS, an ecologically focused non-profit research, design and educational institution is seeking a project manager for the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference.  This annual conference brings together over 500 people who meet, learn, and network at the rich crossroads of the ecology and social justice movements.  This Project Manager will work directly with the Executive Director.  The primary job focus will be on 2008 conference coordination and will include supporting other existing SEEDS projects.  We are looking for a self-motivated, well organized, flexible and engaging person living in the Traverse City region.  A passion for potlucks is advised.
Job Description:
This will be an hourly position, and the employee will be eligible for the modest yet creative benefits package all SEEDS employees receive including flexible scheduling.  This position will average 20 - 30 hours per week throughout the year; the number of hours and other project opportunities are somewhat flexible depending on applicant's interests and capacity.  That said it needs to be understood that the number of hours dedicated to the conference will gradually increase through the summer and then surge until the conference itself, October 17-19.  Further, many of these hours will be at meetings and events during evenings and weekends.
The hourly base rate is dependent on experience and will be in the range of $12-$15/hour.  View of the bay is half the pay?  Fundraising experience and passion is a plus!
For a more detailed job description see our website.
Please submit a cover letter and resume with references.  Position open until filled, but won't be open long!

7.      Seasonal Farm Educator for Pennypack Farm Education Center for Sustainable Agriculture in P.A. 
Pennypack Farm Education Center for Sustainable Agriculture located in Horsham, PA is currently searching for a seasonal farm educator.
Job Purpose Summary:
The Farm Educator develops and successfully implements education programs for Pennypack Farm Education Center for Sustainable Food Systems. This furthers the organization’s goals by educating about and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. 
Essential Job Results:
·        Further the educational mission of Pennypack Farm (PFEC) by developing and implementing programs for the College Settlement of Philadelphia, school groups, adults, PFEC families, and the public at large 
·        Actively engage and guide farm visitors and the community in learning about organic lifestyle choices by teaching hands-on lessons, leading tours, giving formal and informal presentations, and conducting outreach programs on a variety of topics including organic farming/gardening, nutrition, economic, ecological and social issues involved in sustainable local food systems., etc.
·        Designs and composes age appropriate curriculum by developing instructional materials and activities for use in education programs.
·        Assists in planning, planting, and caring for Edible (outdoor) Classroom to maximize educational opportunities for the College Settlement of Philadelphia and Pennypack Farm families; co-plan and organize work with family volunteers, teachers, and students to care for Classroom 
Position Qualifications:
A.  Education/Experience
·        Proven experience developing and implementing educational programs for a wide range of ages
·        Proven experience delivering curriculum in classrooms, on tours, and in other non-formal settings. 
·        Youth development/education experience (2 years preferred); bachelor’s
·        Degree a plus
·        Experience working with youth from both urban and suburban backgrounds
·        Organic farming experience (2 years preferred)
Send letter of interest and resume to:
Kristy Gregory
Education Director
42 Ivy Lane
Lansdale, PA 19446
[log in to unmask]

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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