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*Whatís New in Michigan Organics?*


1.      Reminder 2009 MOFFA Organic Conference

2.      Reminder 2nd Annual Organic Reporting Session during MSU ANR Week

3.      Michigan Apple Association to host cider safety training

4.      A Workshop for Growers:  How to Sell Produce Direct to Schools

5.      Farm Bill Education Program

6.      Great Things Are Happening in March at the Flint Farmersí Market


7.      Calling for Farmerís to participate in East Lansingís new farmers

8.      Gibraltar Trade Center has opened an inside Corner Flea Market

9.      USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on NAIS


10.  Farm Help

11.  Greenhouse Manager and Operator


*1.      **Reminder 2009 MOFFA Organic Conference*

Registration for the conference has been extended through Monday March 2,
2009. The 2009 Michigan Organic Conference will take place March 6-7, 2009
at The Kellogg Center, East Lansing MI.  Early Registration - $60 ($30 for
Students); Walk-in Registration - $85; Exhibitor Registration (1 Table/I
attendee) - $100. For more information on conference agenda and registration

*2.      **Reminder 2nd Annual Organic Reporting Session during MSU ANR

The 2nd Annual Organic Reporting Session will take place Friday March 6, 2009
at The Kellogg Center, East Lansing MI. For those planning on submitting an
abstract the deadline has been extended until Monday March 2, 2009. If you
are interested in attending the organic symposium which takes place during
lunch 12:00-1:30 p.m. go to www. to submit the form.
The symposium will offer researchers, Michigan State University Educators,
and expert farmers a chance to share their findings and ideas on organic
agriculture production and marketing. This is a great opportunity, with the
goal to promote Michiganís organic agriculture research and organic food
access.  For more information visit or contact
Vicki Morrone 517-353-3542 or [log in to unmask]

*3*.*      **Michigan Apple Association to host cider safety training*

Cider makers across the state are invited to participate in a two-day
seminar next month that will train participants on food safety. Food Safety
for Cider Mills will be offered March 10 and 11 at the Kellogg Center on the
Campus of Michigan State University.

As part of the plan to strengthen food safety procedures the Michigan Cider
Safety Task Force has worked to upgrade the states apple cider food safety
measures.  In addition to the 50-point Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
that the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) currently uses in an
inspection, the Task Force worked to implement the requirement that every
Michigan cider mill have a certified food safety specialist on premises.
This is now law and enforcement will begin this fall.

By taking the course, offered through the Michigan Apple Association (MAA),
a cider mill will be certified for the next five years.  The class will be
instructed by Dr. Les Bourquin who has worked with MDA to develop a food
safety program specific to cider.  Complete class outline is available at

Bourquin is an associate professor and food safety specialist in the
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and the National Food Safety
and Toxicology Center at MSU.  His research focuses on the impacts of public
and private food safety standards, barriers to their acceptance and
effective implementation by the food industry, and the potential impacts of
these standards on public health.

During the training, Bourquin will be joined by Mike Lally who has worked
extensively with cider manufacturers in Michigan.  Lally is the senior food
safety inspector with the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) Food and
Dairy Division.  He has been with MDA since 1990 and holds a B.S. in Food
Science from MSU.

At the end of course, a multiple-choice test will be administered, and those
who score 80 percent or higher will be sent an attractive, framed
certificate of completion for their cider mill retail space.  This will
satisfy MDA inspection requirements, and make a strong quality statement to
cider mill customers.  Up to six Pesticide Re-certification Fruit Crop
Credits will be available for private applicators who attend the training.

Advanced registration is required. Cost of the session is $190 for MAA
members, $210 for Michigan growers and $250 for out-of-state growers.
Discounts are available for cider mills with more than one employee and for
mills that belong to the Michigan Cider Guild.

Registration form may be obtained by contacting Cindy Reisig, MAA education
coordinator, at (517) 669-8353 ext. 38 or
[log in to unmask]  For hotel reservations, call
1-800-875-5090 and ask for the special Cider Maker rate.

*4.**      **  A Workshop for Growers: How to Sell Produce Direct to Schools

If youíre interested in learning more about Farm to School, Food System
Economic Partnership (FSEP) in conjunction with Monroe County MSU Extension
will be hosting the workshop for growers that will discuss how farmers can
get involved in selling to schools directly.

The workshop will be held Tuesday, February 24th, 2008 from 1:00-4:00pm at
963 S. Raisinville Rd, Monroe, MI (Monroe County MSU Extension Office).  The
workshop is free of charge. For more information contact Jennifer
Fike(Executive Director Food System Economic Partnership) 734-222-6859 or
check out the web

*5.      **Farm Bill Education Program*

Learn whatís ahead for agriculture and agribusiness. Attend one of the four
information farm Bill meetings being held across the Thumb on Tuesday,
February 24, 2009. An educational program will be given on the two main
parts of the bill: the ACRE program and SURE program. The SURE program is
connected to the direct payment program of the past. Dr Roy Black, MSU Ag
Economist will be speaking on the SURE program and Bob Battel, Huron County
Ag Educator and Emily Sneller, Saginaw County Ag Educator will be speaking
on the ACRE program. The goal of the presentation is to give growers enough
information so they can determine which program(s) best fit their farm
operation. Local Farm Service Agency Directors will also present how their
office will best be handling sign up.

∑         *Albee Township Hall*, 10645 East Rd., Burt, MI. Registration
starting at 8 a.m. Program 8:30-11:00 a.m. Cost is $5 per person. Includes
refreshments. To pre-register, call Saginaw County MSUE: 989-758-2500

∑         *Sanilac Career Center*, 175 East Aitken Rd, Peck, MI. Program
10:30-3:00 p.m. (includes a commodity market update) Cost is $15 per person.
Includes buffet dinner. To pre-register, call Sanilac MSUE: 810-648-2515

∑         *Franklin Inn*, 1060 E Huron Ave Bad Axe, MI. Registration
starting at 3:30-6:00 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. Includes buffet dinner.
To pre-register, call Huron MSUE: 989-269-9949 ext 602

∑         *Colwood United Brethren Church*, 1840 Colwood Rd., Caro, MI.
Registration starting at 6:45 p.m. Program 7:00-9:00 p.m. Cost is $5 per
person. To pre-register, call Tuscola County MSUE: 848-672-3870

*6.      Great Things Are Happening in March at the Flint Farmersí Market*

∑         *FREE **Smart Cooking - Healthy Eating Classes & Seminars* will
start *beginning Tuesday, March 3, 2009 *and continuing* *every Tuesday at
the Flint Farmersí Market.  Those in attendance will learn to prepare new,
simple, healthy, quick, snacks and meals each week *from the *Genesee
Intermediate School District (GISD) Health & Nutrition Services Team.
* *Classes
will be held at two times each Tuesday;  10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the
lower level Garden Room at the market! For more information call the GISD
591-5133 or go to the market website at  No
pre-registration is required.

∑         *Get Fresh Greens Saturdays at the Market*!  The students of
Kingís Karate are now at the market every Saturday selling fresh locally
grown greens from their own hoop house in the Beecher area.  Kingís Karate
students now offer proof it is possible to grow fresh vegetables in Michigan
right through the winter.  During the week, they work in the hoop house,
planting and cultivating, and every Saturday they harvest their greens and
bring them to the market to sell.  Fresh, locally grown greens are rare
treat during the winter.

∑         *Bundles are Great Deals!*  Inside the market Coykendall Produce
and Knob Hill Meats have combined to offer Food Bundles to their customers.
For prices ranging from $29.99, $49.99, $79.99, to $99.99 customers can buy
a fixed amount of fresh produce and meat.   For more information or to order
go to  or call Coykendall Produce at
810.449.8060 or Knob Hill Meats at 810.449.2785.

The Flint Farmersí Market is located at 420 East Boulevard Drive in Flint
just off I-475 and Robert T. Longway Blvd. Exit 8A, across from the main
post office.


7.      Calling for Farmerís to participate in East Lansingís new farmers

The city of East Lansing is proud to announce a new Farmerís Market, which
will open for its first season this summer. The market will take place on
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from July 12 Ė October 29, 2009. The market
will be located in Valley Court Park, which is on the western edge of
downtown East Lansing.

The new market will boast vendors selling Michigan-grown and produced
products, including fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers, baked goods,
dairy products, honey, and many other quality products. Apply to be part of
the new East Lansing Farmerís Market. Applications received by April 15,
2009 will be given priority in the vendor selection process. Click on to learn more about the market and
to download addition registration materials.

8.      Gibraltar Trade Center has opened an inside Corner Flea Market

Gibraltar Trade Center has opened an inside Corner Flea Market as a new
permanent part of the Mount Clemens Market. Right now produce and flowers
can be sold at the market indoor on a $10 a day ($30 a three day weekend)
and you can bring a table or rent a table for $6 if you need it to sell your
hot house flowers or veggies indoors right now. Itís in a new area where
space is 10 X 16 and there is an entrance nearby where customers can take
their goods right out to their car and continue to shop the rest of the
market. You can check out the rules in entirety at or
call (586) 465-6440 for more information.

6. USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on NAIS

Liberty Ark Alert: January 16, 2009

USDA has published a proposed rule that would mandate NAIS premises
registration and animal identification for several key animal disease
programs. This includes scrapie, brucellosis, tuberculosis, and Johneís. If
this rule is adopted, hundreds of thousands of people who own cattle, sheep,
goats, and pigs will be forced to register their property and use only tags
approved by the USDA for NAIS.

This proves, yet again, that NAIS is NOT a voluntary program at the Federal
level. Participation in these disease control programs are often mandatory,
or necessary for economic reasons, for farmers to stay in business.
Converting the programs to mandate NAIS Premises Registration effectively
makes NAIS an involuntary program, contradicting USDAís continued claims
that NAIS is voluntary.

Submit comments on the proposed rule. You can submit comments on the
proposed rule through March 16, 2009, using either the online portal or
regular mail:

1. Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal to submit or view comments, as well
as related materials.
2. If you mail your comments, send two copies of your comment to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD APHIS Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

You should clearly state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-
2007-0096. We will send out sample talking points to help people in
submitting comments as soon as possible.

Here are some of the key points of the proposed rule:
1. If the rule is adopted, the NAIS Premises ID Number (PIN) would be the
ONLY form of premises identification allowed for official uses such as
federal disease control programs.
2. The proposed rule states that it will still allow the use of the National
Uniform Eartagging System, but it would be linked to the NAIS PIN.
3. USDA claims that it has determined that the proposed rule is "not
significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866," which requires a
cost-benefit analysis of federal regulations. But the agency never completed
a cost/benefit analysis (and refuses to release its draft analysis). So it
has no proof that the proposed ruleís benefits outweigh the costs to be
inflicted on the animal owners.
4. The bottom line: The proposed rule would mandate portions of NAIS though
official federal regulations.

Excerpts from the Proposed Rule

Online Voting
The official website of the President-elect has set up a section where
people can vote on ideas, and the top ideas will be presented to President
Obama after he is sworn in.
Several suggestions to stop NAIS have been posted. The one that has garnered
the most votes so far is Eliminate NAIS. You can find all the ideas that
mention NAIS by searching the citizens briefing book. Please go vote for
eliminating NAIS.
For more information on NAIS, visit and support


9.      Farm help

Interested in taking over a farm? *Farm Background*: Our farm has been in
the family since the 1800 hundreds. We have farmed here since 1975. We are
older famers and are looking for a person or persons to help in the fields.
We have over thirty years experience and lots of knowledge to offer. We
raise around sixty acres of high quality prod cue. All the produce is fresh
picked, sorted, washed, and packed for market. We go to market three days a

The farmer is open to different options such as renting a plot on his farm,
offering an internship, or to pick produce for bulk wholesale price and go
to a market and sell it at retail.  He wantsí someone to go to another
market and help state a C.S.A.  The option here is they don't need a lot of
money to start. They could work on the farm for wages the days they don't go
to market.

After reviewing this information and interested contact:

Dave Wyrick
Michigan FFA Executive Secretary
Dept. of CARRS, Michigan State University
108 Natural Resources
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
FAX (517)432-5632* *

10.  Greenhouse Manager and Operator

Hill CTE Center, located on Wise Rd in South Lansing.

Looking for an experienced greenhouse manager and operator who can work
15-20hrs/week to teach and coach studentís greenhouse production practices,
create a database of customers and vendors, assist with marketing and
community outreach, assemble hydroponic equipment and student lessons, and
possibly assist with inventory and recordkeeping systems.

The vision for this program is to transition to growing more food, including
herbs, greens etc for the Culinary Program housed in the same building, and
to add a gardening component for student and community projects. There is a
strong need to recruit high school students interested in this new program

∑         Pay rate: 10/hr (contractual)

∑         Duration: Feb thru mid May

∑         Must be available April 4-10th.

∑         Start Date: ASAP

Applicants can send a letter of interest to
[log in to unmask] call 517-974-5697 for more

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