What's happening in Michigan Organics?
1. Great Lakes Heirloom Fruit Conservation and Heritage Orchard Restoration Workshop
2. "Michigan's Food:  Bringing Health Back Home"  Workshop
3. Learn as You Grow: A Practical Experience in Organic Gardening Continuing Hands-On Workshops throughout the Growing Season Focusing on Family Food Production
4. Plasticulture 09 Research Demonstrations: 35th National Agricultural Plastics Congress
5. Reminder for the Michigan Organic Conference
6. Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) Events During ANR Week 2009
7. Accepting SNAP Benefits at Farmers Markets Training Sessions
8. Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Workshops, February 25, 26, 2009
9. Michigan's 2nd Annual Organic Reporting Session: Organic Symposium

10. Calling organic farmers to enroll as a reviewer for the organic agriculture grant programs that the USDA how has.
11. Booklets for 2008 Farm Bill

12. Herdsman wanted for Organic Goat Dairy
13. Visiting Faculty Position (teach Practice of Sustainable Agriculture) at Evergreen College
14. Pleasant Hill Farms Intern

1. Great Lakes Heirloom Fruit Conservation and Heritage Orchard Restoration Workshop

The Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance is hosting a workshop on Heirloom Fruit Conservation and Heritage Orchard Restoration in the Great Lakes Region, to be help on Friday, March 20th, 2009 from 9 am to 4 pm in Madison, WI. This workshop will include instruction in orchard production and restoration techniques, taught by nationally recognized fruit advocates and writers Gary Nabhan, Ben Watson, Dan Bussey and Kanin Routson, along with renowned apple conservationists form around the country. In the afternoon, Edgerton orchardist Dan Bussey will lead a tour of his own heritage orchard and a few others in the Madison-area. This workshop is for experienced and beginning orchard growers alike, or anyone wishing to join the growing group of people knowledgeable and educated to the region's unique fruits.
Cost to attend is $25, and includes instruction, workshop materials, hands‐on demonstration, bus transportation to the orchards and lunch. QUESTIONS and REGESTRATION requests can be directed to Heidi Busse at [log in to unmask] or visit www.michiganorganic.msu.edu event tab for registration form – due date is March 1, 2009. Registration is limited to 25 participants.

2. "Michigan's Food: Bringing Health Back Home" Workshop

Inviting you to an evening of local foods, February 21, 2009 from 6-8:30 pm at Westwind milling CO. 8572 Silver Lake Rd. Linden, MI. Leading the workshop discussion will be Robb and Kate Harper, publishers of the beautiful Edible WOW magazine. They are incredible networkers for Michigan's food and farmers, and have great resources. If you are a potential grower of an established eater, this is sure to be an informative and fun evening. We will be serving a war and nutritious soup and bread dinner with dessert, so be ready to get lots of resources and find out what you can do to promote local, healthy food in Michigan. Space is limited, ($10 per person) so if you can make it, call us (810)735-9192 to reserve your s pot soon.

3. Learn as You Grow: A Practical Experience in Organic Gardening Continuing Hands-On Workshops throughout the Growing Season Focusing on Family Food Production

Whetham Organic Farm is offering a series of workshops on their farm designed to teach the philosophy and principles of organic growing to beginning gardeners and those who want to convert to organic practices. These classes will begin in late winter and continue through the season. In spring and summer the sessions will take place in our hoophouse and garden, providing the hands-on experience needed for practical application of the information.

Participants will learn how to choose varieties and seeds; the importance of soil tests and the minerals needed to increase the fertility of your garden; why we should respect and nourish the microscopic life in the soil; how to start transplants (in seeds flats and plugs and in soil blocks) and how to transplant. Participants will learn how to work in the garden - how to hoe, hill, weed, mulch- and learn when and how to plant seeds and transplants, how to choose cover crops for summer and fall, how to compost. We will focus particularly on early and late season vegetables, showing participants that home gardens shouldn't start on Memorial Day and need not end in September.

Workshops will begin in late winter (February) and will continue through September. Ten sessions are planned with each session 2 to 3 hours in length. The cost to attend the entire series is $150. Individual workshops will be $25. (Barter will be considered if fees are a problem due to unemployment or low income. Please call for more information) Space is limited. Currently the sessions are planned for Saturday mornings. Weekday classes will be considered if there is demand. After March (when it is finally light late enough) we will consider evening classes if there is enough interest.

Reserve your spot in the workshops by sending in the form with a $25 deposit, (http://michiganorganic.msu.edu/Events/tabid/54/Default.aspx and click on the form link under the event)  Contact Pat at Whetham Organic Farm for details: email: [log in to unmask] phone: 810-867-4435 or mail: Pat Whetham, Whetham Organic Farm, 11230 W. Mt. Morris Rd, Flushing MI 48433.

4. Plasticulture 09 Research Demonstrations Save the Date: 35th National Agricultural Plastics Congress

View exhibits, speak with vendors and see demonstrations of:  High Tunnel production, mulch film technology, crop production systems with Plasticulture, greenhouses and controlled environments, and plastics re-use and recycling. Demonstrations will take place July 13-16, 2009 at the research farm on the campus of Penn State University, State College, PA. This is a great opportunity to network with experts and academicians from across the country. For more information visit http://www.plasticulture.org/.

5. Reminder for the Michigan Organic Conference

The Michigan Organic Conference takes place March 6-7, 2009 at the Kellogg Center East Lansing, MI. The Conference includes a gourmet organic luncheon, more than 20 educational sessions, dozens of organic-related exhibits, food systems film festival, and following the conference a local organic foods reception.  Early Registration must be received by Feb. 25. Cost $60 for MOFFA Members (Students $25) Non-members $70 (Students $35) Onsite Conference Registration for all participants $80 (Students $45) To Register visit www.moffa.org.

6. Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) Events During ANR Week 2009

This session will provide participants with a hands-on approach to using the internet to promote their farm or farmers markets. The afternoon will walk participants through developing or enhancing their presence on food and farming websites and online calendars. In addition, the session will provide how-to instruction and opportunities for developing websites and weekly e-mail announcements.
Fee: $20 for MIFMA members
$35 for non-MIFMA members
Registration: 20 seats still available
Monday, March 9, 2009, 6 - 9 p.m. at the Kellogg Center, Riverside Room
Annual business meeting of the Michigan Farmers Market Association. Attendees will learn of MIFMA's accomplishments in the past year, plans and goals for the year ahead, and how to benefit more from their MIFMA membership. In addition, all voting members in good standing shall have the privilege of voting at this meeting. Following the business meeting, dinner will be served. This will be a great opportunity to network with those in the farmers market community.
$25 for MIFMA members
$40 for non-MIFMA members
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Kellogg Center, Centennial ABC
This one-day, annual "boot camp" is designed to provide a day of intensive market management training for managers from markets of all types and sizes. The day will include a mix of roundtable discussions, facilitated break-out sessions and networking opportunities. The information-packed program is intended to benefit market managers at all stages of their career.
The morning session will include an opening presentation leading into a facilitated in-depth conversation regarding topics that matter most to market managers. Outcomes will include ideas and strategies for better managing farmers markets.
Following lunch, there will be three afternoon breakout sessions: (1) Successful Community Outreach, (2) Increasing Access to Low-income Households, and (3) Business Management Strategies.
Fee: (includes morning and afternoon sessions, lunch and materials)
$50 for MIFMA members
$85 for non-MIFMA members

To register for any of these events go to www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu/ and select ANR Week Events to view registration form.

7. Accepting SNAP Benefits at Farmers Markets Training Sessions.

As of Oct. 1, 2008, SNAP is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program.  SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.  Benefits are provided on an electronic Bridge Card which is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores and more and more farmers markets. Today, the program provides benefits for more than 31 million low-income people, more than 50% of whom are children.
According to the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), the SNAP participation rate increased more than 17% between September 2007 and September 2008 nationally – a clear indicator of current economic conditions. Last year in Michigan alone, 18 farmers markets accepted SNAP benefits for redemption of more than $87,000. This year, even more markets are hoping to step up to the plate.

Four half-day training sessions are taking place across the state to make that happen and educate farmers and farmers markets on participating in SNAP. The dates and locations for these workshops will be Thursday, February 26, 2009 from 1-4 pm at Eastern Market in Detroit; Wednesday, March 4, 2009 from 1-4 pm at the University Center in Gaylord; Tuesday, March 10, 2009 from 1-3 pm at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI; and Thursday, March 19, 2009 from 1-4 pm at the MSUE Office in Kent County.

These sessions focus on everything that farmers and/or farmers markets need to do to accept SNAP benefits, including: completing the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) application to become an authorized retailer; preparing a proposal for the Department of Human Services; alternative redemption systems; acquiring a pint of sale device; record keeping; program promotion; community outreach; and fundraising.

Sessions are free, but registration is required to ensure that adequate resource materials are available for all participants. To register or get more information, visit www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu or contact Dru Montri at 517-432-3381 or [log in to unmask]

8. Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Workshops, February 25, 26, 2009

These workshops address common issues that growers face when trying to tackle the supply chain and can help you learn the steps and strategies to safely getting your fresh local product to regional grocery stores and the wholesale distributors that service them. 

There is no cost to attend, lunch will be provided, and each participant will receive the "wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Selling, Post-Harvest Handling and Packing Product" Manual. Contact MIFFS for more information or to RSVA at (517) 432-0712 or [log in to unmask]. You must register to attend; please RSVP at least 3 days prior to the date of the workshop.  Check out the workshop flyer for more information http://www.miffs.org/media/GAP%20GHP%20Workshops09.pdf

9. Michigan's 2nd Annual Organic Reporting Session: Organic Symposium

The event includes lunch and breaks. The discussion will take place 12-1:30 p.m. during lunch, with participants selecting their topic during the A.M. break. This session will offer researchers, Michigan State University Extension Educators, and expert farmers a chance to share their findings and ideas on organic agriculture production and marketing. This will be a great opportunity,  with the goal to promote Michigan's organic agriculture research aand organic food access. For registration form visit http://michiganorganic.msu.edu scroll down to event and click on form. Questions contact Vicki Morrone 517-353-3542 or [log in to unmask].

10. Calling organic farmers to enroll as a reviewer for the organic agriculture grant programs

Now that the Farm Bill is law, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and other sustainable agriculture research initiatives will need volunteers to review applications to these programs:
• Integrated Organic Program (IOP) http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/integratedorganicprogramicgp.cfm
• Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
• Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
• Farmer's Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
• Value-added Agricultural Market Development Program (VAPG)

To ensure that the funding for this program is maximized, organic farmers are strongly encouraged to volunteer to be a grant reviewer. As a grant reviewer you can help ensure that the panel will include a sustainable agriculture, and rural community, and that the best projects are funded.

Why be a grant reviewer?
• Bring sustainable agriculture expertise to the review process
• Ensure the most critical and important projects and funded
• Ensure the integrity and future success of the program
What is required of a grant reviewer?
• Read and submit written comments on grant proposals
• Participate in a panel review meeting
If you are interested in being a grant reviewer for one of these programs, please contact Tracy Lerman, OFRF Policy Program Organizer at [log in to unmask] or (831)426-6606.

11. Booklets for Farm Bill 2008

2008 Farm Bill booklets are now available online at www.michiganorganic.msu.edu under organic marketing opportunities in PDF format.  There are three booklets focusing on 1. Opportunities for beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers 2. Programs and assistance geared to organic fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop growers and 3. Opportunities for tribes and tribal members.  Booklets contain information on conservation opportunities, loan opportunities, marketing opportunities, insurance opportunities and more.


12. Herdsman wanted for Organic Goat Dairy

WHEN:  March 15th 2009 – Jan 15th 2010 operational season
WHERE:   Twisp, North Central WA
TIME:  Full-time, 40 hrs/week 5-6 days. Minimum of one season
TIME-OFF: 1-2 days off per week.  Short breaks of
3-4 days OK with total time off not to exceed 14 days during the work season.

BENEFITS; Housing, utilities, some food and garden access

DUTIES:  Milking 2X day, goat care and feeding, irrigation, pasture monitoring, taking goats to and from pastures, milk room, cooler and barn cleanup.  Participate in other farm projects as time permits, such as cheese making and packaging, monitoring herd health, hoof trimming, production and health records, feed records, tattooing, kid raising, barn construction.

PAY:  Beginning pay $10/hr DOE with opportunity for pay increases with demonstration of prowess and competency.

Looking for long term employee/farm community member interested in all aspects of certified organic/wholistic health care for a herd of 50 Nubian milk goats.  A 500 dollar bonus will be given upon completion 10 month season.

13. Visiting Faculty Position (teach Practice of Sustainable Agriculture) at Evergreen College

The Evergreen State College seeks applicants for a full-time visiting faculty position to teach Practice of Sustainable Agriculture/ (PSA), a program that has an academic component and a hands-on practical farm program that has an academic component and a hands-on practical farm component. This position will start in spring quarter 2009 and continue through spring quarter 2010. The successful candidate will teach two versions of PSA. The first is a two quarter program (spring and summer quarters 2009) and the second version is a three quarter program beginning fall quarter 2009.

We seek a broadly trained person with demonstrated expertise in organic agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. This full-time position involves curriculum development and teaching of a sixteen-credit program that integrates academic topics with a 20-hour per week farm practicum. The academic component is expected to support the practicum activities and deepen students; understanding of agricultural sciences, small farm planning and business plan development. In one or more quarters,
the program may be taught collaboratively with another faculty member. Practicum activities would be coordinated with the farm manager.

The successful candidate will have a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for teaching and learning in an interdisciplinary environment, as well as a demonstrated excellence for undergraduate teaching. In addition, she/he must have hands-on small farm experience and experience with the scientific foundations of agriculture as well as the practical, economic, cultural, and social context in which agriculture is embedded. The ability to engage students in both qualitative and quantitative
research methods is desirable.

The college operates a five-acre organic farm located on our 1,000 acre forested campus where students gain experience in small farm operation and faculty can do hands-on teaching and research. We also encourage collaboration with local farmers including on-farm research and student internships. The Practice of Sustainable Agriculture /program have a long history at the college.

•         A Master degree in the agriculture sciences: Agroecology, sustainable agriculture, soil ecology, plant health, plant breeding for organic/integrated system or related disciplines.
•         Experience in applied agricultural field research, diversified cropping systems or small-scale organic cropping systems required.
•         Familiarity with business and small farm planning.
•         Previous teaching experience.

Preferred Qualifications:*
•         Ph.D. in the agriculture sciences: Agroecology, sustainable agriculture, soil ecology, plant health, plant breeding for organic/integrated system or related disciplines.

Review our website for the current catalog description of the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture/:

To apply, please submit the following information on our website:
•         Contact Information
•         Work Experience
•         Affirmative Action
Submit the following items as an attachment(s) with an email:*
•         Curriculum Vitae or resume.
•         A 2 to 3 page letter of interest that addresses your qualifications for the position, reasons for your interest in the position and your teaching philosophy.

•         Names of three references; include address, telephone number and email address.

To send additional application materials or for questions regarding
this position, contact us at:
Faculty Hiring Coordinator
The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Parkway, L-2002
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-6861 voice
(360) 867-6794 fax
(360) 867-6834 TDD
[log in to unmask]

Review of complete files starts February 17, 2009. *
We will continue to accept applications until finalists are selected.*

14. Pleasant Hill Farms Intern

Pleasant Hill Farm grown certified organic blueberries for over thirty years and seeks one more intern for summer of 2009. Interns receive room and some board, plus a small stipend. Some of the skills that can be learned are: brewing compost tea, spraying blueberries, baling hay, milking goats, driving oxen and other homestead jobs. Garden space is available if interns should want to grow a vegetable garden.  And interns could also learn from other local organic growers. During the blueberry harvest, interns must be able to lift 40 pound lugs repeatedly for nine hours, six days a week. The farm is one mile from Fennville and five miles from Lake Michigan. Please email: [log in to unmask] or call 269-561-2850