Whatís New in Michigan Organics?

EVENTS

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

NEWS

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

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

9.††††† USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on NAIS

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

10.Farm Help

11.Greenhouse Manager and Operator

EVENTS

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 visit www.miffs.org

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

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. michiganorganic.msu.edu 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 www.michiganorganic.msu.edu 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 www.MichiganAppleAssociation.com.

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 www.fsepmichigan.org

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 www.flintfarmersmarket.com.† 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 †www.flintfarmersmarket.com †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.

NEWS

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

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 www.cityofeastlansing.com/farmersmarket 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 www.gibraltartrade.com or call (586) 465-6440 for more information.


6. USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on NAIS

Liberty Ark Alert: January 16, 2009

WHAT'S HAPPENING:
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.

TAKE ACTION:
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
LibertyArk.net

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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 week.

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
(517)353-9221
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 focus.

†††††††† 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] or call 517-974-5697 for more information.


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