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Michigan Organic Listserv
Food vs. Fuel: MSU Scientists
Say Growing Grain for Food is More Energy Efficient.
Using productive farmland to grow crops for food
instead of fuel is more energy efficient, Michigan State University
scientists concluded, after poring over 17 years’ worth of data to help
settle the food versus fuel debate. "It's 36 percent more efficient to
grow grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya Gelfand, an MSU
postdoctoral researcher. "The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave
half the leftover stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation
and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half." Other studies have
looked at energy efficiencies for crops over shorter time periods, but
this MSU study is the first to consider energy balances of an entire
cropping system over many years. The results are published in the April
19 online issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=115x242784
Business Plan for Season Extension with Hoophouses by David Conner
David Conner, Assistant Professor with the C.S.
Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU has developed a model
business plan for hoophouses. The goal is to create a model which a
prospective farmer may use to create his or her own business plan, which
the farmer can use to obtain credit to purchase one and to guide its
successful use. The plan is based on results of research and knowledge
gleaned from outreach efforts, in collaboration with MSU colleagues
including Mike Hamm, Adam Montri, John Biernbaum and Kurt Waldman.
A copy of the plan is available at: http://www.mottgroup.msu.edu/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NgeFE8B%2bsCY%3d&tabid=150
David would appreciate any feedback on the plan,
particularly how if it is used by farmers. You may email him at [log in to unmask].
Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Annie’s brand products offer a Sustainable
Agriculture Scholarship program, which they award $50,000 in
scholarships each year to deserving students. Sustainable and organic
agriculture is the root of their philosophy. They believe that healthy
soils and healthy farms are the foundations for healthy foods, which
help make healthy people.
The application period for the 2010/2011 school
year has closed. Applications for the 2011/2012 school year will be
available in Fall 2010.
Among the list of 2010/20111 scholarship winners is
Brendan Sinclair a Michigan State University received $10,000. Brendan
is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and Agroecology, who also
works on the Student Organic Farm. He is a part of the Ecological Food
and Farm Stewardship, a student organization that raises awareness about
eating sustainably and the importance of eating locally grown organic
food in alignment with the seasons.
To see the complete list of recipients and read
more about the scholarship program visit http://www.annies.com/sustainable_agriculture_scholarship.
Are you a budding entrepreneurial but would like
some more help starting your businesses? The Michigan Small Business and
Technology Development Center at GVSU is offering 58 courses this month
alone, and most are FREE.
Classes range from Pre-Business Research and the
Fundamentals of Starting a Business to more in-depth classes in finance,
legal issues, customer service, marketing and sales. There’s even a
class called Product Development 101: Transforming Good Ideas into
To view classes offered visit http://www.misbtdc.net/events.aspx.
Extension Reports Available
New articles published in the MSU Vegetable CAT
Alert newsletter. See what’s happening in your neck of the woods in
terms of the weather and crop report. Visit the webpage, http://ipmnews.msu.edu/vegetable/
to read the articles. The pdf is also available.
- SW Michigan Research and
Extension Center regional report for June 30
- Grand Rapids Area regional
report for June 3
- Oceana County
regional report for June 30
- Macomb, Lapeer, St. Clair counties regional report
for June 30
- SE Michigan: Monroe,
Washtenaw, Wayne, and Lenawee counties regional report for June 30
Organic Tree Fruit Certification Fact Sheet Now
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education
Service (MOSES) have just released an “Organic Tree Fruit Certification”
fact sheet (available in pdf). The publication is free and available at
Whether you are transitioning, planting a new
orchard or renovating and old one, there are similar issues you will
need to address in order to grow and market tree fruit. Organic
certification opens up new marketing opportunities for growers who use
organic management. Consumer demand for tree fruit that is organically
certified and locally grown is on the rise. This publication will help
you address these issues.
Topics of interest include:
- Planting stock and seeds
- Pest disease management
- Production inputs
- Post harvest handling, valued
You can also find
additional information on organic certification at www.michiganorganic.msu.edu
under the organic certification tab.
Court Ruling in Monsanto Case is Victory for Center for Food Safety
The Center for Food Safety today celebrated the
United States Supreme Court's decision in Monsanto vs. Geerston Farms,
the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the Supreme
Court. Although the High Court decision reverses parts of the lower
courts' rulings, the judgment holds that a vacatur bars the planting of
Monsanto's Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation
occurs. It is a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the Farmers
and Consumers it represents. The decision today means that the selling
and planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa is illegal. The ban on the crop
will remain in place until a full and adequate EIS is prepared by USDA
and they officially deregulate the crop.
To read full press release visit: http://www.mosesorganic.org/attachments/news/news6.21gmocourtrule.pdf
or check out the announcement tab at www.michiganorganic.msu.edu
Sure All Workers Get the Same Gap Orientation by Phil Tocco, Michigan
There are certain things a farm worker needs to
know, whether it’s the proper way to wash their hands or where the first
aid kit is. This can all be covered using a Good Agriculture Practice
Manual (GAPs). In this article you will learn some helpful tips to
orientate your farm workers to good health practices at the beginning of
the season. To read entire article visit www.michiganorganic.msu.edu
under the food safety tab.
Local Foods Dinner at Westwind
When: July 14, 2010, from
Where: Westwind Milling Company, 8572 Silver Lake
Road, Linden, MI 48451-8302,
Why: Dinner will feature fresh organic, Michigan
grown summer foods. Dinner includes steamed greens with lemon and a
fresh caesar salad made with buttercrunch lettuce, Hill's cheese &
Al-Mar's bacon. The main course will be a stir fry of baby carrots, baby
beets snow peas & dill mixed with our own spelt pasta. Dessert will
be strawberry shortcake with spelt biscuits, Calder's whipped cream and
strawberry sauce from Ware Farm's strawberries.
After dinner, Dr. Acox will discuss the health
benefits of chiropractics, its effects on the nervous system and general
well being. Bring a friend, as he will show people how to find and
manipulate trigger points for the most health benefit to an individual.
How: Cost is $15 each. Call and send in a check in
advance to reserve a spot. Westwind Milling Company, 8572 Silver Lake
Road, Linden, MI 48451-8302, (810) 735-9192.
Calibration Clinic available at MSU's Ag Expo
July 21, 2010, from 8:30-12:30 p.m.
Where: Crop and Soil Science Research, Intersection
of Beaumont Rd and Mt. Hope Rd
Why: MSU instructors and industry representatives
will be presenting the latest methods on calibrating spraying equipment.
The clinic will include a demonstration of how to determine sprayer
output, use of electronic controls and how much pesticide needs to be
used. Refreshments will be served. Earn 4 recertification credits in
core (private or commercial) or in categories 1A or 1B.
How: Cost is $50. To register, visit www.pested.msu.edu
or contact Carolyn Lewis at (517)884-0392. Register by July 19 to
reserve your seat. For more information, contact John Stone via phone
(517)353-5134 or email: [log in to unmask].
Michigan Garden Plant Tour
When: August 2-13, 2010
8 sites around Michigan (visit http://planttour.hrt.msu.edu to view map of sites)
Why: Come enjoy the seventh annual Michigan Garden
Plant Tour, a coordinated open house of leading young ornamental plant
producers and Michigan State University. There are eight participating
Tour sites during the 2-week period (visit http://planttour.hrt.msu.edu
to view map of sites). Expect to see impressive displays of flowering
plant material, including all of the commercial brands of annuals,
perennials, and shrubs. Take a day trip to visit a couple of sites, or
complete the entire loop for the full tour. Visit http://planttour.hrt.msu.edu
to view the map to help locate the sites and plan your route.
How: The Michigan Garden Plant Tour is completely
free, but growers would appreciate a call ahead to know you'll be
coming. For more information on the Michigan Garden Plant Tour, please
contact Tour coordinators Jennifer Sweet (517) 355-5191 x1339 or Erik
Runkle (517) 355-5191 x1350.
Agriculture Network Urban Bus and Bike Tour
When: August 5, 2010
Where: All tours start at the
Catherine Ferguson Academy (2750 Selden in Detroit.) Sign in begins at
5pm and the tour starts sharply at 6pm.
Why: This year’s tour will highlight a selection of
prosperous, innovative, and visually stunning gardens and farms that
are contributing to the new food system through bio‐intensive urban
agriculture and commerce between local restaurants and farmer’s markets.
The Garden Resource Program Collaborative (GRPC) works to support the
emergence of a new, sustainable food system in Detroit through a network
of more than 517 backyard gardens, 244 community gardens, and 46 school
gardens. The GRPC facilitates resources, education, and training of
urban gardeners, farmers, and community leaders through a variety of
The bicycle tour will “weave through gardens
located in the Cass Corridor, Woodbridge, and Greater Corktown.” At the
end of the tour will be locally-grown food and refreshments created by
local chefs! And for those that can’t make it August 5th, there is a
Garden Bike Tour on August 15th just south of the border. It’s part of
Windsor’s 2nd Annual Summer Harvest Festival. (via Bike Windsor)
How: Register ahead of time by contacting Ashley
Atkinson at (313) 237‐8736 or via email at [log in to unmask].
The tour fee is a sliding scale from $1 to $20 which offsets costs and
helps “grow Detroit’s agricultural movement.”
Press Release: http://www.m-bike.org/blog/2009/08/02/urban-agriculture-bike-tours
MSU Garden Plant Showcase
When: August 10, 2010,
from 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Where: Michigan State
Why: You’ll hear the
latest on new annuals and perennials, see unbiased garden performance of
ornamentals, and hear directly from many of the breading companies
about their favorite plants.
In addition to the walking through the trial
gardens, hear presentations from MSU faculty and staff about
top-performing plants. New for 2010: Representatives from many of the
major breeding companies, including Ball Horticulture, Benary, Danziger,
Dummen, Floranova, Paul Ecke Ranch, Plug Connection, Proven Winners,
and Sakata, will present highlights of some of their favorite new
introductions and proven performers. Below is the tentative program.
Stay tuned for registration information.
How: The MSU showcase requires advance
registration. Cost: $42 per person (received by July 30) or $52 per
person (received after July 30), Registration fee includes, coffee,
lunch, parking, 1 trial booklet, and program), plus $5 per copy for
additional trial booklets. Visit http://planttour.hrt.msu.edu/showcas
to download registration form and view tentative schedule. Any
Phone: (517) 355-5191
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Certification Cost Share Available to Michigan Certified Organic
Farmers & Processors
If you are a certified organic farmer and this is
your first or 15th year of certification then you are eligible for cost
share from the US government. These funds are available through the US
Farm Bill. A farmer can receive up to 75% of the cost of certification
with a maximum of $750 dollars. To receive this payment, you just need
to complete a one page form with basic information, send a copy of your
certification and a copy of your payment receipt. Upon verification of
eligibility you will be sent a check. Please be sure to send in all
needed info to assure your application is promptly processed.
The cost share that is available through the 2008
Farm Bill will be available to all organic certified farmers. The
purpose of these funds is to help offset the cost of certification paid
by farmers. This service is being administered by Michigan Organic Food
and Farming Alliance this year. Due to budget cuts the Michigan
Department of Agriculture will not be providing this service but they
will oversee the work conducted by MOFFA non-profit 501-3c organization.
Perspective farmers and processors eligible for the
cost share will be sent an application through the US mail. Certified
organic Michigan farmers who do not receive a letter can also apply by
accessing the form through the MOFFA web site (www.MOFFA.org) or
calling MOFFA to have an application sent to you (248-262-6826). The
time line for applications will be from August 4 through September 2,
2010. It is important to send in all needed documents with the completed
form as there will not be adequate time to do follow up due to the
short window of time.
your input for the 2011 MOFFA Organic Conference
Whether you are organic farmer or an organic food
advocate the Michigan Organic Food and Farming Alliance Conference
committee is seeking your input. Please tell us topics you would like to
have presented at the next conference which will be on March 5, 2011 at
the Kellogg Conference Center, East Lansing, MI. Do you know of a
speaker that you have enjoyed in the past and would like to hear again?
Please send us their contact information. Send your ideas to [log in to unmask]
. We look forward to your input and a chance to serve you well.