What's New in Michigan Organics?


1.      Get Farming! Entrepreneur Series

2.      Finding local food funding: Free Workshop

3.      Still time to register for the 2009 Michigan Family Farms Conference

4.      Reminder the Conservation District's Organic Farming Workshop

5.      Register Now for National Organic Action Plan (NOAP) Summit 2009

Job Opportunities

6.      Non-Profit Executive Director at Fair Food Matters

7.      Production systems for specialty crops at Purdue


1.      Get Farming! Entrepreneur Series

Starting January 20, 2008 Michigan Works, 1209 Garfield, Suite C, Traverse City MI.

If you're dreaming about farming-and actually making money at it-then this is the place for you this winter. Market research, legal concerns, financial planning, management and other topics will be part of this business planning courses for aspiring farmers, or those needing a business brush-up. Core instruction will be provided by guest experts and the regional Small Business and Technology Development Center.

For only $85 you receive: Eight classroom sessions, field trips to farm and food businesses, and personal business-plan counseling. Space is limited, so please register now by calling the Michigan Land Use Institute at (231) 941-6584. For more information, call Jim Sluyter at 231-889-0199.

2.         Finding local food funding: Free Workshop

Finding Local Food Funding: Free workshop for farmers and others in agribusiness

Workshops 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. January 15, 2009, at Benzie Community Resource Center/Health Dept or February 18, 2009 at Kalkaska High School Auditorium

As northern Michigan farmers work to build a sustainable, local-food economy, they need funding and other support to expand current operations, build year-round growing capacity, and establish new business models.

USDA Rural Development and the Michigan Land Use Institute have teamed up to provide workshops that will point local growers toward government agencies, non-profits, and private lenders who can help. We'll present a broad overview, specific information, and a chance to meet with people who can offer assistance.

This great networking opportunity includes a potluck dinner, so bring a dish of something you grow, produce, or just enjoy eating. But don't dare stay away just because you don't have a dish to share!

Please pre-register for this free workshop. Call Judy at the Institute, 213-941-6584. For information, call Susan Loney at 800–944-8119, email [log in to unmask], or Jim Sluyter, 231-889-0199, email [log in to unmask].

3.      Still time to register for the 2009 Michigan Family Farms Conference

The 2009 Michigan Family Farms Conference is on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek!  But register soon, before the deadline this Friday, January 9, to reserve your spot for this great learning and networking opportunity. Register online now!

This year's conference, themed "New Opportunities, Sustaining Local Agriculture for the Future", will feature 18 educational sessions, a youth track and a keynote address by Alabama farmer and energy expert, Wayne Keith. Several of these sessions, including the keynote, will offer Spanish translations using listening equipment.

Sessions include: Crop Insurance Products; Beekeeping; Farm Energy Savings Checklist; How to Sell at a Farmers Market; Learning to be Certified Organic; Agriculture Loans; Selling to a Grocery Store; Farm to School; What is my Woodlot Worth?; How Wayne Keith Did it; and Preparing to Sell: Business Aspects and Legal Requirements. Also, there will be three Vegetable Production Basics sessions on Crop Selection, Scheduling and Planning, and Soil and Plant Health, as well as four Farm Bill sessions on Marketing and Specialty Crops and what opportunities the USDA Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service can offer small farmers. The youth track will have a morning educational session on agriculture and natural resources and an afternoon trip to nearby Binder Park Zoo to visit with the animals in their winter environments and learn about conservation.

Registration cost is $35 for each adult and $25 for each youth participant under 16 years of age. MIFFS members receive a discount at registration and can attend for only $30, a great value for a full day of learning and making connections. Learn more about MIFFS or join by visiting www.miffs.org/join.asp.

More information about this event, including the conference brochure, an online registration link and recent press releases, is available at www.miffs.org/mfffc. Thank you to this year's sponsors and partners who make this conference possible: Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS), the Farm Research Cooperative, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Rural Development (RD), the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), Potawatomi Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D), Michigan State University Extension, and the Calhoun and Kalamazoo Conservation Districts.

For more information about the conference or registration, contact the MIFFS Office at (517) 432-0712 or [log in to unmask] or Barbara Norman at (269) 208-4588. Don't miss out on this great conference!

4.      Reminder the Conservation District's Organic Farming Workshop

Attention farmers and those considering becoming farmers. The new Farm Bill may be some provisions for funding your operation! Not organic? Not Farming but would like to? Plan to attend Oakland Conservation District's Organic Farming Workshop that will be held Thursday, January 22, 2009 at   Springfield Oaks County Park Activities Bldg. 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Cost is $40.00, lunch provided. We'll be explaining starting up, producer considerations, plus the new Farm Bill and how to find out if you can get federal dollars to help your operation. To register call 248-328-0594 or email [log in to unmask].

Course Outline:

8:30 – 9:00 am   Check in and registration (Cathy Alty)

·         Coffee, tea, water, light breakfast breads

·         Networking

9:00 – 10:00 am – Introduction to Organic Farming

·         Oakland Conservation District – Michael McGuinness

·         USDA-NRCS – Albert Jones

·         Organic Farming Overview – Jay Blair

10:15 – 11:15 am – Business Plan – Phil Sweeney

·         Creating a Business Plan

·         Farming Budget

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Soil Review – Hannah Stevens

·         Product Center

·         Market Maker

12:30 – 1:45 pm – Lunch Session – Marketing Your Product



2:00 – 3:45 pm –Getting Started in Organic Farming & Certification

·         Organic Farming – Vick Morrone

·         Organic Certification – Colleen Collier

3:15 – 4:15 pm – Marketing – Susan Smalley

·         Farmer Markets

·         Community Support Agriculture

4:30 – 5:00 pm – Round Table Discussion

·         Papa Joe's Restaurant -
Lavender Farm – Iris Lee
Market Manager –

5.      Register Now for National Organic Action Plan (NOAP) Summit 2009

The NOAP summit will be held Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 12:30-8:00 pm and Thursday Feb. 26 8:00am-5:30 pm. Just prior to the MOSES Organic Farming Conference 20th Anniversary. LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

The National Organic Action Plan Project (NOAP) is a collaborative civil society initiative engaging organic community participants across the country to articulate their vision for the future of organic food and farming in the decades. In February 2009, a 1-1/2-day Summit will be held to review the results of the national input, and work from the draft plan currently being developed to build consensus for a Plan.  This Plan can then be used by policy advocates, in advancing federal policy objectives in Washington;  state and local governments to work on other policy initiatives; and consumers, retailers and industry to advance innovative marketplace goals to ensure the integrity of organic in their local arena.

Job Opportunities

6.      Non-Profit Executive Director at Fair Food Matters

Blossoming community food educational non-profit seeks enthusiastic, motivated, experienced person for executive director position. Mission: To build, educate, support and empower community connections around local food. The right candidate will have excellent communication (written and verbal), management, and strategic fundraising skills, and be able to communicate our vision to the community while staying focused on daily operations. The director will oversee core projects and many important community partnerships. Food systems experience a plus. Salary and benefits package. All resumes and cover letters are needed by 5pm, January 9th at Fair Food Matters, 323 Burdick Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

For complete job information, please visit: www.fairfoodmatters.org or http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/av/Job/323085-35.

7.      Production systems for specialty crops at Purdue

Duties:  The successful candidate will establish a vigorous, externally funded and internationally recognized research program focused on sustainable production systems for specialty crops, with emphasis on vegetable crops.  Preference will be given to candidates who desire to test basic research hypotheses in field environments.  The successful candidate is expected to use interdisciplinary approaches aimed at diversifying and improving production systems, reducing impacts of production systems on the environment, and improvement of soil quality. Research that aims to understand and improve horticultural crop performance is desirable.  State-of-the-art laboratory, greenhouse and field facilities are available within the College of Agriculture and the HLA Department.  This position is one of three new faculty hires in the College of Agriculture that will function as a team to understand and enhance sustainable production of specialty crops.  This is an academic year position with a primary research appointment, however, the successful candidate will teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels relevant to the specialty crop horticulture industries.  The individual will serve as a member of the graduate faculty, and is expected to mentor graduate students and post-doctoral research associates.  Numerous opportunities exist for collaborative research within the HLA Department and across the strong research community at Purdue University.  Collaborative research at regional, national and international levels is strongly encouraged.  Further information about the position may be obtained from the chair of the search committee: Stephen C. Weller, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (Email: [log in to unmask]).

Qualifications:  A Ph.D. degree in horticulture, agronomy, plant science, soil science, ecology, or a closely related field.  Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential.  Ability to work as a member of multi-disciplinary teams is important.  Interest or experience in international dimensions of sustainable agricultural production is desirable.

Compensation:  Salary will be competitive and commensurate with professional experience.  Academic year appointment with excellent fringe benefits that include employer contributions to the individual's retirement program, medical, life & disability insurance, and sabbatical-leave opportunities.

Application:  Screening of applicants will begin March 15, 2009, although applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  The target date for filling the position is July 1, 2009.  Qualified persons are requested to submit a letter of application that includes a statement of professional goals for their research and teaching program, a curriculum vitae including publications, and the names and contact information, including email address, of four referees.  All application material should be sent electronically as .pdf files to:

Ms. Colleen Martin

Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture

Purdue University

625 Agriculture Mall Drive

West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010

Email: [log in to unmask]

Phone: 1-765-494-1306

Fax: 1-765-494-0391





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