What’s new in Michigan Organic Ag?
June 21 – June 30, 2008
By Vicki Morrone and Kate Leitch 

Production News and Information
1. New Ag Network Newsletter
2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
5. Project FRESH Enhances Access to Local Produce for WIC Recipients and 
Senior Citizens
6. Plant a Row for the Hungry 

Notice of Position Openings
7. Growing Home, Chicago - Urban Farms Manager Needed 

8. There are Still Some Delicious Battle Creek U-Pick Strawberries!
9. July 8 and 9 – Hoophouse-Raising Workshop at Bay Mills Community 
10. July 31 – High Tunnel Open House
11. August 20 and 21 - Annual Soil-Building Workshop- Innovations to Build 
Soils to Feed Sustainable Communities


1. New Ag Network Newsletter
Vol. 5, No. 5 June 25, 2008 

In this issue:
  Success with a SARE farmer grant: The science of fighting flies
  Soybean aphid overwintering survey
  Learn from the cover cropping in vegetable systems tour held June 12
  Reports from organic growers

2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 10, June 25, 2008 

In this issue:
  Vegetable insect update
  Downy mildew is in Ontario field cucumbers: Michigan growers need to be on 
high alert
  Asiatic garden beetles beginning to emerge in St. Joseph County
  Learn from the cover cropping in vegetable systems tour held
  June 12
  Regional reports

3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 12, June 26, 2008 

In this issue:
  Serious armyworm infestation in Ontario; Soybean aphids; Asiatic garden 
  Slug-slayer suppliers
  Western bean cutworm trapping network starts
  Asiatic garden beetles emerging in St. Joseph County - Watch for potato 
injury in 2008
  Potential for nitrogen loss from heavy rainfalls
  Are there benefits to using foliar fungicides after hail damage?
  Alto fungicide receives Section 3 registration in soybeans
  Regional reports

4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 12, June 24, 2008 

In this issue:
  Tree fruit news
      Dogwood borer control in apples
      Managing cherry leaf spot in poor spraying weather
      High density apple orchard tour
  Small fruit news
     Strawberry black root rot and renovation meeting
     Blueberry IPM Twilight meeting
     NW Grape IPM Update “First Friday” meeting
  Other news
      Regional reports
     Weather news

5. Project FRESH Enhances Access to Local Produce for WIC Recipients and 
Senior Citizens
June 30, 2008
Emily R. Beutel 

EAST LANSING, MICH – As the bounty of local food is becoming readily 
available, more people are getting access to fresh, local produce through 
Project FRESH this summer. 

Project FRESH (Farm Resources Expanding and Supporting Health) is a program 
that makes fresh produce available to low-income, nutritionally-at-risk 
consumers and also supports Michigan farmers.  It expands the awareness and 
use of farmers markets in addition to increasing sales at the markets. The 
Michigan Department of Community Health WIC Division, Michigan State 
University Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture Food 
and Nutrition Service jointly administer the program.  Project FRESH 
receives federal funds, local funds, private grants and WIC program income 
from vendor fines. 

Project FRESH operates from June 1 through October 31 each year.  Coupon 
booklets are provided to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition 
Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to purchase locally grown 
fruits and vegetables at authorized farmers markets and roadside stands.  
Specially printed coupon booklets are issued to WIC participants who reside 
in participating counties.  Each participant receives ten $2 coupons which 
may be used at the authorized markets and stands. 

This summer, the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan 
State University is coordinating Michigan State University’s role in 
nutrition education for Project FRESH recipients.  Also assisting are 
Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) and the Michigan Farmers Market 
Association (MIFMA) because of their close links to farmers and farmers 
markets in the state. 

“This project will focus on enhancing the connections between farmers 
markets, Michigan State University Extension and local WIC offices in an 
overall effort to increase peer-to-peer networking as well as Project FRESH 
recognition and redemption,” said Susan Smalley, Director of the C.S. Mott 
Group. “In Michigan’s current troubled economy, we want to help Project 
FRESH recipients redeem every coupon issued and use the food they receive to 
improve both nutrition and enjoyment of Michigan products.” 

Main objectives of this project over the summer include: providing more 
extensive media visibility for Project FRESH, organizing and hosting 
regional meetings in five locations around Michigan to invite local sharing 
and collaboration within Project FRESH and related efforts, and offering 
special consultation and support to counties with relatively large numbers 
of coupon booklets distributed and relatively low redemption rates. 

“Project FRESH is a great program, and we’re excited to be involved to 
raise awareness about its benefits and work towards greater redemption of 
coupons,” said Dru Montri, Association Manager of MIFMA. 

For more information about Project FRESH, visit  
To learn more about MIFFS or MIFMA, visit or, or call (517) 432-0712.

6. Plant a Row for the Hungry 

Community Food Initiatives wants your help in feeding the hungry in our 
community. Please bring any extra produce from your gardens to the CFI 
Donation Station at the Athens Farmers Market or drop it off at 143 Morris 
Ave., Athens, OH. 

All of the donations will be given to local agencies that support the 
abused, homeless and hungry.  For more information, contact Ronda Clark at  
[log in to unmask] or 740-593-5971.


7. Growing Home, Chicago - Urban Farms Manager Needed 

Growing Home, Inc.
2732 N. Clark #310, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 773-549-1336		
Email: [log in to unmask]
Urban Farms Manager
Growing Home has an opening for a full-time urban farms manager who will be 
responsible for the operation of Growing Home’s Wood St. urban farm, Su 
Casa urban farm, and additional urban farms planned for the south side of 
Chicago.  We are looking for a person to manage all aspects of these 
year-round urban organic farms, to supervise our urban farm staff, and to 
take an active part in Growing Home’s transitional job program for 
low–income and homeless people. 

Growing Home has a 10-acre certified organic farm in Marseilles and operates 
two urban farms on the south side of Chicago. We grow a wide variety of 
vegetables, as well as small fruit, including raspberries and strawberries. 
Produce is sold at farmers markets, through a CSA, and to restaurants.
Specific responsibilities include: Managing the overall urban farms 
operation, developing an overall plan for all urban farms, managing and 
training urban farm and marketing staff, managing seedling production, 
planting, harvesting and processing crops; working with GH staff to 
integrate training program and farm activity; working with farm team on farm 
fertility, planning and sustainability; maintaining equipment and supplies. 

Important qualities for Urban Farms Manager:
•Strong managerial capabilities
•Ability to work with and manage a diverse staff
•A commitment to social justice and change
•An entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for growing food
•Attention to details
•Computer skills: PC operating systems, Microsoft Office, especially Excel 

Managerial experience, including supervising and working with diverse 
populations is essential in this position. Experience working on organic 
farms and familiarity with rotations, cover crops, organic fertility and 
intensive vegetable production are useful.  Individuals should demonstrate a 
passion for growing food, and a desire to share food, farming and life with 
our staff and trainees. 

Growing Home is an Affirmative Action, Equal-Opportunity Employer.
This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive, and employees 
shall perform other duties as appropriate. Growing Home reserves the right 
to revise or change job duties as needed. This job description does not 
constitute a written or implied contract of employment.
Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience, health insurance 

Growing Home is a social enterprise organic agriculture business that 
operates a job training program. Growing Home’s mission is to provide job 
training and employment opportunities for homeless and low-income people 
within the context of an organic agriculture business. 

If interested, please email a resume and cover letter to:
Harry Rhodes
Executive Director
[log in to unmask]


8. Battle Creek U-Pick Strawberries
Come on out as soon as possible! 

The Wyllys are offering U Pick Strawberries. They are a farm in their 1 year 
transition to organic. They are located at 20975 Pink Lake Rd in Battle 
Creek, MI, 49014. Located off 66 N in Battle Creek, Go right on Penfield 
road, then at T go Left on Pine Lake Rd. They are the 4th house on left. 

Their hours are 9-7 but call in to check status. Call David and Shirley 
Wyllys at Phone 269-964-3942.  This may be the last week to pick so be sure 
to get them while they are red and sweet.

9. Hoophouse-Raising Workshop at Bay Mills Community College
July 8th and 9th 

Bay Mills Community College has purchased a hoophouse, also called a passive 
solar greenhouse, that will be constructed at West Campus. Professor John 
Biernbaum from Michigan State University Department of Horticulture and Adam 
Montri, Hoophouse Project Coordinator with Michigan Food and Farming Systems 
will be at BMCC on Tuesday, July 8 and Wednesday, July 9 to offer a workshop 
to raise the hoophouse at West Campus. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 
5 p.m Tuesday and 9 a.m. until noon on Wednesday. There is no charge for the 
workshop and it is open to the public. 

This will be a fully hands-on workshop in which we will learn by doing. For 
anyone thinking about putting up a hoophouse of their own this will be an 
exceptional opportunity to work side by side with the most knowledgeable 
people in the state on the use of unheated hoophouses. 

For more information about the workshop, call Larry Dyer, tribal extension 
educator with MSU Extension and BMCC, at 248-3354 extension 4245.

10. High Tunnel Open House
July 31 

On July 31 there will be two events centered around the high tunnels at 
SWMREC (Michigan State University’s Southwest Michigan Research and 
Extension Center).  The same basic program will be held at both times.  Eric 
Hanson, Greg Lang, Ralph Cramer, myself and possibly others will give guided 
tours of the research being conducted in the SWMREC tunnels and be available 
for answering questions. 

The first event from 3 to 5 will be exclusively for Extension Educators and 
Ag service professionals (field scouts etc.).  This event will go from 3 to 
5 PM and end with a cookout supper. 

The second event is for the general public and will start at 7:00pm.  
Educators and Ag professionals may also come to the 7:00 pm event if they 

The reason for the split is that the vegetable work is partially funded by a 
SARE grant that requires an educational opportunity for Educators and 
Professionals.  The cookout is the "hook" to get you guys to come.  So 
please look at your calendars and consider coming and inviting your local 
field scouts.  If you are coming to the cookout portion I will need to know 
so I can plan for food so send me an e-mail to let me know and tell me how 
many others you are bringing with you. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 


Dr. Ron Goldy
Michigan State University
District Extension Vegetable Educator
1791 Hillandale Road
Benton Harbor, MI 49022 

Office: 269-944-1477  ext207
FAX:    269-944-3106
Mobile: 269-208-1651

11. Annual Soil-Building Workshop- Innovations to Build Soils to Feed 
Sustainable Communities
August 20 and 21, 2008 

The 3rd annual soil-building and equipment workshop sponsored by Michigan 
State University, Michigan State University Extension, USDA Farm Service 
Agency, and Morgan Composting Inc. will be held on August 20th and 21st, 
2008.  The event will be held at the Morgan Composting facility in Evart, 
Michigan, 20 miles west of Clare, MI.  The theme for this year’s workshop 
is Innovations to Build Soils to Feed Sustainable Communities. We have an 
exciting panel of speakers and demonstrators who will present at this event. 
The information presented will be of great interest and value to the 
vegetable and field crop farmers of the area.  Presentations and Q& A 
sessions will be held in the morning and equipment demonstrations will be 
held in the afternoon.  On Wednesday we will have equipment that is useful 
for the vegetable farmer who is considering ways to scale up and on Thursday 
we will have equipment demonstrations of equipment to make and spread 
manures and compost. 

To view this event’s flyer and registration form, please visit
By scrolling down to the Events section, you can find the section discussing 
this upcoming meeting. Additionally, online registration for the meeting 
will be available at the same website by July 7th. 

This event will occur at Morgan Composting Inc Facility in Evart, Michigan 
on August 20th and 21st from 9 am – 4 pm each day. The first day 
(Wednesday, August 20th) will focus on vegetable production, while the 
second (Thursday, August 21st) will emphasize issues important to field crop 
production. The intent of both days’ events is to provide farmers with 
information they can use to improve their production and increase their 
returns while enhancing soil health. The participants will have several 
opportunities to learn. We will offer demonstrations of equipment that can 
increase efficiency of the production process from seeding to harvesting for 
vegetable production.  Additionally, we will provide information on loan 
options and loan management to establish the financial framework for 
expansion of production. Finally, through a series of speakers, we will 
cover issues in soil building and marketing. 

Early-bird registration for this event is due by August 15th; the 
registration fee before this date is $30.00 if you plan to attend one day 
and $50.00 if you plan to attend both days.  Registration after August 15th 
will cost $40.00 for one day and $60.00 for both days. Walk-ins are accepted 
but lunch is not guaranteed. Additionally, for a fee of $60.00, equipment 
dealers may set up a trade booth table.  Registration for a trade booth must 
be done by August 15th.  Each vendor will receive 2 conference 
registrations, a display table and 2 chairs. 

We are looking forward to two great days in Osceola County this August. Hope 
that you can join us for this event. 

For additional information or questions please call Vicki Morrone,
Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops at Michigan State 
University at 517-282-3557 or email her at [log in to unmask]

Have a great 4th of July weekend! 

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