*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 schedule information visit
To register visit **  OR for
additional information visit* *** <>
<> <>
** <>

*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.

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