What's New in Michigan Organics? Oct 29-Nov 4

1. Regional Food Show, Farm Open House
2. Organic Tree Fruit Field Day to be held in Flushing, MI
3. Hoophouse online course on Nov 14

4. Michigan Farm to School Website Now on the Menu
5. It looks like NAIS is not voluntary anymore
6. USDA released a proposed revision to the NOP


1. Regional Food Show, Farm Open House

The open house will take place Saturday, November 8th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Calder farm, located at 9334 Finzel Road, in Carleton, Michigan. There is no participation fee. The event is open to the public. For more information contact Calder Dairy at 734-654-2622.

Heightened demand for local products is creating opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses to launch or expand food and agricultural ventures. For consumers, businesses, and public officials looking for a bright spot in Michigan's economy, this is good news.

For every $500,000 in new or expanded food business activity our region retains at least seven full time jobs and creates the potential for approximately five new employment opportunities. These jobs are related to agricultural production, transportation, distribution, marketing, food preparation, retail sales, and services related to business operations.

MSU Extension is partnering with Calder Dairy, the MSU Product Center, and the Food System Economic Partnership to conduct a farm open house and local food show. Businesses which have been seeking high quality local food products will be able to sample new goods which are being introduced into the regional marketplace by MSU Product Center clients. These entrepreneurs are interested in expanding the number of wholesale accounts serviced by their ventures. Calder Dairy has an existing delivery service that can move products from entrepreneurs to retail business establishments such as grocery stores, institutional food services, and caterers.

The general public is also invited to attend this event. Consumers who attend will enjoy free samples of the region's newest local food products. Consumers will be asked to rate product samples and to indicate their interest levels in purchasing the goods. This information will be used by Calder Dairy and other food distribution businesses to make decisions on placement of new products within regional food retail businesses.

In addition to the business aspects of this open house, activities are planned to make the event fun for group or family outings. Open house participants will be able to tour the Calder dairy farm, pet farm animals, enjoy mini horse and buggy rides, and view late-afternoon cow milking. Refreshments will be sold, including hot apple cider, coffee, Calder's famous egg nog, and doughnuts. Tents will be set up to provide shelter in the event of foul weather. A bon fire will allow participants to warm themselves in the event of cold weather.

By expanding the list of food products delivered by Calder Dairy through their home delivery routes and increasing visibility of new food projects, organizers anticipate a positive net impact of between $500,000 and $1,000,000 on the regional economy.

2. Organic Tree Fruit Field Day to be held in Flushing, MI

A field day will be held at Jim Koan's AlMar Orchards on Tuesday, November 11 to report on MSU organic tree fruit research projects conducted in 2007. AlMar is located at 1431 Duffield Rd., Flushing, Michigan, one street east of M-13 off of Beecher Rd, approximately five miles north of I-69. Please do not confuse Koan's Orchard (Jim's Cousin) on Beecher with AlMar on Duffield.  An agenda can be found as a PDF at http://www.new-ag.msu.edu/pdf/KoanFarmFieldDay07.pdf. The program will begin at 10:00 AM. Lunch will be provided.

3. Hoophouse online course on Nov 14

ON Thursday Nov 13, Dr. John Biernbaum-Extended season production, MSU Dept of Hort and Dr. Eric Hanson-small fruit production, MSU Dept of Hort will be presenting Advanced High tunnel technology through the Midwest Video Conference program supported by NC SARE. In addition, two other presentations will be given on flower and tomato production in high tunnels.  I am including a flyer with the agenda. I hope that you can share this with your colleagues, students and farmers.

This presentation will be via Adobe connect so only a computer with internet connection is needed to participate, live. Following the presentation the program will be available through the web site. Note that I am hosting a live site on the day where John Biernbaum and Eric Hanson will present. This will offer the participants an opportunity to ask questions face to face and discuss with the other participants in the room. Refreshments will be provided. The event will take place in Natural Resource Bldg, Dept of CARRS in Room 302 from 7-9:30. I suggest if you attend you arrive by 6:45 so you can be ready for the program as it will start promptly at 7:00.  The route will be signed to the room at the entrances. All are welcome to participate. This event is free and open to the public. Web link: https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/hightunnels/


4. Michigan Farm to School Website Now on the Menu
: Helping schools link to local food.

Michigan Farm to School has launched a new website to share information, tools, and resources that help support farm to school projects throughout the state.

"Farm to school" applies to a variety of initiatives that link schools and kids to local food and farms, including procurement of local food for school meals programs, fundraisers utilizing local agricultural products, and education opportunities like school gardens, farmer visits to school classrooms and cafeterias, and school field trips to local farms.

The website houses Purchasing Michigan Products: A Step-By-Step Guide, a local food purchasing manual for Michigan school food service directors. Reviewed by school food service directors and an advisory committee, the Guide walks school food service directors through the process of purchasing food directly from local farmers, provides templates of forms for competitive bidding, and compiles regulatory information concerning local food purchasing for school meals programs participating in the National School Lunch Program. From the website, Purchasing Michigan Products can be viewed and/or downloaded in its entirety or step by step.

The website also allows interested readers to sign up for the Michigan Farm to School listserv (MIFARMTOSCHOOL). It provides links to other organizations working on farm to school and additional resources like recipes for school meals programs using local food. With funding from Michigan State University's Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), a manual for Michigan farmers to market to school will be developed over the next two years and posted to the website upon completion. Information about classroom activities, fundraisers with local food and agricultural products, and community resources will be coming soon.

5. It looks like NAIS is not voluntary anymore.

A State or Federal animal health authority or an accredited veterinarian must assign a PIN (NAIS) in the administration of Veterinary Services disease program activities.  This includes activities such as vaccinations and certification programs as well as livestock markets and slaughter plants.

The premises owner can complete the premises registration form.  The premises owner may choose to not register the premises - in which case the health authority or veterinarian will do so.  Voluntary registrations records will have a different enrollment code than involuntary registration records.  The status of the registration (voluntary / involuntary) will be a data element tracked in the SPRS, CRPS, and NPIR databases.

A PIN (NAIS) is required for activities performed at a premise by a State or Federal animal health authority or an accredited veterinarian for any disease that is regulated through Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations. http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/files/APHIS_PIN_Mandate_080922.pdf
6. USDA released a proposed revision to the NOP

Almost two weeks ago, the USDA released a proposed revision to the NOP often referred to as the "Pasture Rule." This proposed Rule has a 60-day comment period (comments must be received by December 23, 2008).  To view the Rule, go to:  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5073426&acct=noprulemaking

The first thing to note is that the proposed rule not only specifies what "access to pasture" should mean in certified organic production systems, it includes changes on several other fronts as well.  We want to make sure the voices of OEFFA members are heard before the proposed rule is incorporated into the NOP.

To comment, go to http://www.regulations.gov

Put AMS-TM-06-0198 into the search box and check the box below to look for items accepting comments.\
Click on "Proposed Rules" on the Left
Only one record will be displayed, click on it
There will be instructions to submit comments by mail or you can click on the little yellow picture beside "Add Comments" to submit online

If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html