Michigan Organic Listserv

April 27, 2010

MSU/CS Mott Group




Michigan Food and Wine Showcase 

When: April 19, 2010, from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Where: Shiraz Gardens, Bingham Farms, MI

Why: The Showcase will emphasize the importance of buying locally and green from Michigan farms and wineries, also that visiting our local wineries and featuring their products on restaurant menus and in retail shops supports our local economy in exponential ways, giving benefit to everyone living in our state.

How: $40 at the door. Call (248) 645-5289 for reservations. For more information visit www.michiganwines.com.

Free Webinar: Increasing Plant and Soil Biodiversity on Organic Farmscapes,

 by Louise Jackson, University of California,  Davis, CA

When: April 20, 2010, at 2:00 p.m.
Why: This Webinar, presented by Louise Jackson, will examine research results from a case study in California on an organic farm with hedgerows, preservation of a riparian corridor, and tailwater ponds. Louise Jackson is a professor and cooperative extension specialist in the Land, Air and Water Resources Dept at UC Davis. Her work focuses on biodiversity, soil ecology, and nutrient and water management.

How: Register online at: http://www.extension.org/article/27049

Free Webinar: Cover Crop Selection, by Jude Maul, USDA-ARS

When: April 27, 2010, at 2:00 p.m.

Why: Cover crops can play a role in farming operations in many different ways but the choice of cover crop and means of management can determine the difference between success and failure. This Webinar, presented by Jude Maul, will give an overview of the major cover crops available to farmers in the US, the functions many of these cover crops can perform and information about managing the cover crops in organic farming operations. Jude Maul is a Research Ecologist in the Sustainable Agriculture Systems Laboratory at the USDA-ARS research center in Beltsville Maryland. He conducts research on nutrient cycling, plant physiology, cover crop decomposition and soil ecology in the context of sustainable crop and vegetable systems.

How: Register online at: http://www.extension.org/article/27100


Grand Opening of the Lansing City Market

When: April 24, 2010, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Where: Lansing City Market, 325 City Market Drive, Lansing, MI

Why: The Lansing City Market has a brand new venue on the banks of the Grand River. Come for great food, speakers, music, children’s activities, and non-profit organizations. For more details check the web-site www.lansingcitymarket.com.

How: Event is free of charge.

Food Labeling Workshop

When: July 28-29, 2010

Where: The workshop will be held at the Henry Center for Executive Development on the MSU campus, 3535 Forest Road, Lansing, MI. 

Why: This workshop presents the FDA requirements for food labeling.  The workshop format and materials are designed to provide a user-friendly approach for those new to food labeling and also provide a thorough system and reference for those experienced with food label design and review. 

How: Early Bird rate $895 (May 14) after $985, includes: continental breakfast, refreshments, and lunch both days. Register Online: https://payments.msu.edu/Collect.Asp?ID=zf4d7fdmdst8x2f37t71. For more information call (517) 355-8295 or email [log in to unmask].

Organic Health 5K Run-Detroit

When: April 25, 2010

Where: Detroit, MI (Belle Isle Park)

Why: Organic Health 5K Run/Walk will be held to benefit the Golightly Agri-science program and the Organic Health Café Green Building Fund.  Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers. First place $500, second place $250, and third place $150. Sponsors are still needed for the event. Call (313) 334-1500 to become a sponsor.

How: Cost: $25. Register Online: http://organichealthdetroit.eventbrite.com/

Successful Organic Specialty Crop Production

When: April 24, 2010, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m

Where: Wayne RESA Annex Building in Wayne, MI with Dr. John Biernbaum from MSU.

Why:  Check out this workshop if you’re interested in growing organic specialty crops, like vegetables, or growing in high tunnels (hoophouses),

How: Cost is free of charge. Please RSVP to Morse Brown at (269) 208-1443 if you plan to attend. Registration is required.


                                                    Two openings for Vegetable Crop Specialists in Ontario

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affair’s mission is to be a catalyst for transforming our agriculture and food sectors and rural communities for a healthy Ontario.

This position will appeal to those who enjoy working outdoors, solving problems and building partnerships with the academic community and agricultural and rural organizations.

You will: be the Ontario lead technology transfer expert in the development, coordination and implementation of strategies, policies and programs related to assigned vegetable crops; coordinate projects designed to assess the applicability of new or existing practices/products/ technology/research/programs/policies to Ontario conditions which will ensure a competitive and environmentally responsible agrifood sector.

The Ridgetown position will be responsible for the following portfolio: sweet corn, peas, field cucumber and gherkin, squash, pumpkin, melon, watermelon and asparagus.

The Guelph position will be responsible for the following portfolio: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnip, onion, leek, shallot, scallion, garlic, chive, carrot, parsnip, lettuce, spinach and bok choy.

Qualifications: Knowledge and understanding of scientific theories, principles and practices of production, integrated pest management (for specific portfolio indicated above) and marketing related to vegetable crops and understanding of related disciplines in the agricultural industry; understanding of production practices (for specific portfolio indicated above) and economics within the vegetable industry to develop leading edge information and education materials; knowledge of research methods and practices, analytical and problem solving skills to investigate viability and applicability of new methods, techniques and technology; interpersonal, consultation, group facilitation, tact and diplomacy to establish and build partnerships and networks; effective oral and written communication skills; planning, coordination and project management skills; knowledge of techniques and methods of adult education/training to develop educational and training materials; valid driver’s license to travel frequently to areas not accessible by public transportation.

Posting Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Closing Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Apply Online at www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=26496




 MSU’s Risk Management Video on You Tube

Adam Montri an Outreach Specialist at MSU, discusses the partnership between USDA Risk Management and MSU. In this video Montri outlines four elements of MSU’s Risk Management outreach- 1. increasing soil organic matter 2. promoting crop diversity 3. encouraging direct marketing 4. extending the growing season. Patrick Crouch of the Earth Works Urban Farm in Detroit is also featured on the video. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ICMAtMcsXo&NR=1 to view video


 Survey: U.S Organic Product Sales Reach $26.6B in 2009

BY:  SN (Supermarket News) http://supermarketnews.com/news/organic_sales_0422/

Apr 22, 2010 12:31 PM

GREENFIELD, Mass. _ The Organic Trade Association revealed Thursday findings from its 2010 Organic Industry Survey, which indicated that sales of organic products continued to grow during 2009 despite the distressed state of the economy. Organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 38% of total organic food sales, experienced the most growth, reaching nearly $9.5 billion in sales in 2009, up 11.4% from 2008. Organic fruits and vegetables now represent 11.4% of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales.

Sales of organic fruits and vegetables have grown from $2.55 billion to nearly the$9.5 billion level since the approval of the final National Organic Program rule published in 2000, the OTA said. The mass market channel had the lion’s share of organic food sales in 2009, with 54% of organic being sold through mainstream grocers, club stores and retailers.

Natural retailers were next, with 38% of total organic food sales. Farmers_ markets, co-ops and CSA (community-supported agriculture) operations gained a lot of interest as consumers increasingly look for locally and regionally produced organic foods, the survey said, but it still represents a small share of sales.

While total U.S. food sales grew by only 1.6% in 2009, organic food sales grew by5.1%. Meanwhile, organic nonfood sales grew by 9.1%, as opposed to total nonfood sales which had a 1% negative sales growth rate. These findings are indicative that even in tough times, consumers understand the benefits that organic products offer and will make other cuts before they give up products they value,_ said Christine Bushway, executive director at the OTA.


Helping People Help the Land The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer United States Department of Agriculture • Natural Resources Conservation Service

3001 Coolidge Road, Ste. 250 East Lansing, MI 48823 • Phone: 517-324-5270 • www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov


USDA Seeks Proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants


EAST LANSING, April 22, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering Conservation Innovation Grants to support innovation in agricultural conservation practices. The USDA is accepting grant applications until June 4, 2010, with individual grants of up to $75,000.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is funding and selecting recipients for the Conservation Innovation Grants. Individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and federally-recognized Indian tribes are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted to the NRCS state office in East Lansing.

NRCS will use these competitive grants to seek creative solutions to assist agricultural and forest product producers with emerging and traditional agricultural and natural resource issues. In addition to market-based approaches to conservation, emerging issues include energy conservation, specialty crops, and new methods of addressing climate change. The grants also will fund solutions to improve water, soil and air quality, improve nutrient management, and enhance wildlife habitat and pollinator populations. CIG funds are for projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations.

More information about eligibility and the applying for CIG funding is available on the NRCS-Michigan Web site at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov. 

Next farm bill: new emphasis?

Apr 23, 2010 10:45 AM, By David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

As the next farm bill is crafted, it appears a shift from commodity programs to rural development will be a focus for the Obama administration.

       Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, USDA

Secretary Tim Vilsack provided a set of five priorities for rural America: broadband access, renewable energy and bio-fuels, regional food systems and supply chains, forest restoration and private land conservation, and ecosystem market incentives.


For Vilsack_s full testimony, see


For more on the next farm bill, see http://deltafarmpress.com/cotton/next-farmbill-


Conservation programs

Unsurprisingly, it didnt take long for committee members to pounce. In your written testimony, under the heading _the importance and challenges of rural America and its future_ nowhere do you talk about the farmer or the safety net of production agriculture,_ said an incredulous Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, ranking member of the committee. _I worry that this is symbolic of an issue thats becoming of much concern in the countryside. That is: does the (Obama) administration have a disconnect with rural America? Are you telling the committee that the administrations key areas of emphasis in the next farm bill will be broadband, renewable energy, biofuels, regional food systems, supply chains, forest restoration, private land conservation and ecosystem market incentives? Are those really the primary issues where the administration will go in the next farm bill?


Vilsack replied that the five priorities are _significant issues that need to be addressed (while) recognizing this committee will obviously focus on risk management tools, direct payment programs and the traditional safety net. I think it was important for us to expand the discussion, to understand and appreciate how important broadband is, how important

potential ecosystem markets can be in terms of additional income sources for farm families _ (and things) that are necessary for people to keep the farm. I think its important for us to see this as an expansion of the safety net, which is important to farm families._ Lucas was not mollified. _So, can I assume that the USDA_s proposals for the next farm bill will look something like the budget submissions made during the appropriations process with proposed cuts in direct payments, crop insurance subsidies and most conservation programs? Will we see the types of proposals in the next farm bill that we see in the annual budget submission?_Vilsack: _I think its important for us periodically to, sort of, recalibrate. There may be opportunity for us to utilize those resources in an effective way. _ There are 60 million people who live in rural communities. Obviously _ theres a tremendous amount of work (in those areas) that needs to be done. _ We will work with this committee on making sure, as best we can, to protect the baseline. I know (the committee needs that) to do your work._Lucas, who represents a district that was _the abyss of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, asked Vilsack how many of the conservation programs _including EQIP, CSP, WRP and GRP actually have final rules in place?_Under the 2008 farm bill, the USDA has rules _were working under,_ said Vilsack. _Were getting resources out the door. Were in the process of finalizing the (rules). But it hasnt stopped us from entering into contracts.

In EQIP, for example, there are a substantial number of contracts _ about 13 million acres and $1 billion being provided._

Find this article at:



END for April 23, 2010



Vicki Morrone

Organic Farming Outreach Specialist

Michigan State University

Dept of CARRS/C.S. Mott Group

303 Natural Resources Bldg

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-353-3542 (office)

517-282-3557 (cell)

www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu  (visit to learn how to farm using organic practies and upcoming educatonal opportunities)


If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html