*Michigan Organic Listserv*
* *
*August 5, 2010*

* *
*Research for Organic Farmers*
* *
*Cherry leaf spot and the need for postharvest fungicide applications in
this early harvest season by Nikki Rothwell, NWMHRS and George Sundin, Plant
Pathology Michigan State University.*
* *
* *
*What are some post-harvest management strategies for cherry leaf spot?*

With the cherry season behind us for 2010, growers have inquired about
post-harvest management strategy for cherry leaf spot (CLS). In a typical
year, we harvest tart cherries in mid-July to mid-August, and a post-harvest
fungicide spray is applied within a week of harvest. The intent for this
spray is to prevent early defoliation that can lead to reduction in tree
winter hardiness, diminished fruit set the following year, and result in
poor fruit quality in future seasons. These post-harvest applications are
commonly sprayed mid- to late-August, which in most years is effective
enough to prevent premature leaf loss in September. In the case of 2010,
much of the tart cherry harvest was finished by early July, which leaves
almost an extra month to manage for cherry leaf spot. The following
guidelines should help growers when making their post-harvest cherry leaf
spot management decisions.

First, all growers should have made the “typical” chlorothalonil application
just after harvest. If the orchard was clean or fairly clean up until this
point, this spray will keep the leaves protected until the first of August.
Further fungicide applications will be warranted if conditions remain wet
and warm. Long periods of warm, dry weather will keep the cherry leaf spot
fungus in check.

Under cherry leaf spot-conducive conditions, a second post-harvest fungicide
application in early August will further protect the leaves until
mid-August, the traditional timing for the post-harvest spray. Again, if the
orchards do not already show signs of cherry leaf spot, this second
post-harvest application should protect foliage through to September, and
because the cherry leaf spot fungus grows slowly, the pathogen will not have
adequate time to move through its life cycle and result in premature
defoliation. On the other hand, if an orchard is already showing signs of
leaf drop at this time, a third fungicide application may be warranted at
the end of August. Additionally, if conditions in August are wet and warm,
even clean orchards may need another fungicide application. Because there
are many formulations of chlorothaloni available, growers should check the
label for the maximum allowable limit for the season.
* *
*Read article online at the MSU Fruit CAT Alert newsletter, *** <>

*Gearing Up for Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) by Tom Burfield*
* *
*Is traceability important to you?*

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) is administered by the Produce
Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association and Canadian Produce
Marketing Association. It’s designed to help the industry maximize the
effectiveness of current trace back procedures, while developing a
standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of
traceability systems for the future,” according to the PTI action plan.

In 2008, an industry wide steering committee came up with an action plan
that sets a series of seven implementation milestones. These specific time
goals for launching various stages of a trace back program that if all goes
according to plan will enable any case of produce to be traced from grower
to retailer by 2012.

Some growers have decided to hold off until the government develops a final
* *
*To read entire article visit: The Grower, **

*A Ripe Market by Renee Stern *
* *
*Interested in the benefits of selling locally to schools?*

Now is the time for growers to start thinking about jumping on the Farm to
School band wagon. Congress is weighing funding proposals and the U.S.
Department of Ag is expected to streamline the program.

Rodney Taylor, director of nutritional services at Riverside (Calif.)
Unified School District, offers a full-meal all-you-can-eat salad bar in 29
of the district’s 31 elementary schools, and prepared salads for
middle-school and high-school cafeterias. Over five years, sales from the
initial three participating growers have risen from $10,000 each to

The St. Paul Public Schools’ farm-to-school program revolves around fall
harvests, as local produce drops off by December, despite drawing from a
200-mile circle that includes parts of North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and
Iowa. The 5-year-old program started small, with Minnesota apples, and now
includes corn, broccoli, potatoes, onions, cranberries, turnips, butternut
squash and grape tomatoes.

*To read more on Farm to School visit: The Grower, **

*Report shows possible link to ADHD and organophosphates by Derrek Sigler,
Vegetable Growers News*
* *
*Organophosphates found in commercially grown fruit and vegetables may be
linked to ADHD.*

A study released early May, 2010 in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American
Academy of Pediatrics, says there is evidence showing that organophosphates
might add to children having an increased risk of Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study suggested that children exposed to
organophosphates that may be found in trace amounts on commercially grown
fruit and vegetables are more likely to have ADHD than children with less

ADHD is a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention and
focusing on tasks. According to, one who suffers from ADHD also
tends to act without thinking, and has trouble sitting still. Researchers
working on the study tested the levels of pesticide byproducts in the urine
of 1,139 children from across the United States.

According to the USDA, organophosphate refers to a group of insecticides
acting on the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. The term is often used to
describe any organic phosphorus-containing compound, especially when dealing
with neurotoxic compounds.

“Children with higher urinary dialkyl phosphate concentrations, especially
dimethyl alkylphosphate (DMAP) concentrations, were more likely to be
diagnosed as having ADHD,” the report said.

However, the report limits itself. “These findings support the hypothesis
that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among United States
children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed
to establish whether this association is causal,” it said.

What that says is the researchers who conducted the study found enough
evidence to support an idea. Now they need to conduct more testing to see
how valid the idea is.

Exposure to the pesticides, known as organophosphates, has been linked to
behavioral and cognitive problems in children in the past, but previous
studies have focused on communities of farm workers and other high-risk
populations. This study is the first to examine the effects of exposure in
the population at large.

The reaction from growers has been somewhat skeptical.

“When I talked to my growers about the report, they all had the same
response,” said Amy Irish-Brown, Michigan State University Extension
Educator - Tree Fruit IPM Programs. “Growers have been scaling back the use
of organophosphates for over the past ten years. How does the report reflect
that? Why don’t growers children all have ADHD?”

The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) issued a response showing
concern for the welfare of children as well as the growers.

“The NABC feels it is important to note that as an industry that strives to
deliver a healthy and nutritious product to the consumer, we agree that this
is an important area of concern and encourage additional studies in this
area,” the statement said. “More research needs to be done to determine
cause and effect before any causal relationship can be established.”

Robert Krieger from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) provided
an additional statement to the NABC response. Krieger is a pesticide
scientist and currently heads the Personal Chemical Exposure Program at UCR.
His work was cited in the report.

“It would be a mistake to conclude that a urine breakdown product of
organophosphorous pesticides found on fresh fruits and vegetables caused
ADHD,” Krieger said. “In fact, the authors clearly state their study does
not conclusively find that association. As a toxicologist, I first want
consumers to know that the breakdown products (DAPs) found in urine as part
of this study are not pesticides and they are not toxic on produce.”

*This article was published in the Vegetable Growers News August Issue, ***<>

* *
*Biodegradable mulch can solve plastic waste problem by Matt Milkovich,
Vegetable Growers News*
* *
*Biodegradable mulch film does the job of plastic mulch film without the
harmful environmental effects.*

Vegetable and berry growers use acres and acres of plastic mulch film to
protect and shepherd their crops. After harvest, the vast majority of that
plastic gets thrown away or plowed into the field – methods that are
time-consuming, expensive and bad for the environment.

They’re also, unfortunately, the only real options at this point. Burning
used agricultural plastic is illegal in most states. Recycling programs are
few and far between. Most recycling companies don’t want to deal with
plastic mulch, anyway. It’s dirty, tangled and made from material they don’t
consider profitable.

This leaves growers in an unenviable position. They need plastic mulch film,
but there’s no good way to get rid of it.

So, what’s a grower to do?

Biodegradable mulch film might be a realistic option. It’s a niche market,
but it’s growing in popularity.

According to Mike Orzolek, professor of vegetable crops and a plasticulture
specialist at Penn State, interest in biodegradable mulch film is spreading
from Europe to North America, and a handful of companies are taking
advantage of the new opportunity.

The main limitations to more widespread use of biodegradable mulch, at this
point, are cost and durability, Orzolek said.

Biodegradable mulch is more expensive than the standard plastic kind. That
will make a lot of growers think twice before buying it. The price could go
down in five or 10 years, but it will never be as cheap as standard plastic
mulch, he said.

But the extra cost of biodegradable mulch is offset, somewhat, by the fact
that growers won’t have to pay their workers to roll it up or plow it under
and won’t have to pay landfill tipping fees, he said.

Orzolek admitted that most U.S. growers probably wouldn’t see the new
technology as the answer to their problems. He predicted that, at most,
one-fourth of small fruit and vegetable growers might end up using
biodegradable mulch. The only way U.S. growers would make a major shift
toward biodegradable is if the federal government told them they couldn’t
use standard plastic mulch anymore, he said.

Durability is another question mark. Orzolek would hate to have a grower
purchase biodegradable mulch, put it in the field, then watch it fall apart
before the crop is ready for harvest.


Telles, a joint marketing venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels
Midland Co. (ADM), will launch its Mirel biodegradable mulch film into the
worldwide commercial market next year. The company has performed field
trials and testing in several countries over the last few years, and is
getting lots of interest from growers, said Peter Kelly, Telles’ business
development manager.

According to, Mirel resins are biodegradable plastics made
from sugar. They will biodegrade in natural soil and water environments,
home composting systems and industrial composting facilities. Mulch film
made with Mirel resins can be tilled into the soil, where the resins
biodegrade naturally.

Mirel is produced at a plant constructed by ADM in Clinton, Iowa. In April,
the plant started ramping up production of Mirel bio-based and biodegradable
plastic, according to the website.

Telles is developing other agricultural applications for the Mirel
technology, as well. Items include drip irrigation, silage wrap for hay,
heavy “ag bags” for animal feed and fertilizers, bail wrap for laying turf
sod and ground covers for roadside tree plantings, according to

Mirel’s big advantage over normal plastic mulch is that you don’t have to
remove it from the field. You can plow it into the ground when you’re done
with it, where it becomes a food source for microbes. As the microbes eat
the mulch, it biodegrades into the soil, Kelly said.

Durability is a challenge. Climates vary, but growers need their crops
protected from seed to harvest no matter where they grow, and they need the
mulch to last for weeks, or months, at a time. After a lot of testing and
trials, Mirel mulches can meet those needs, he said.

Orzolek has been studying Mirel mulch film for about five years at a Penn
State research facility, and he said it looks “pretty good.” There aren’t
many weed problems, and other studies have confirmed that there’s no
difference in yields when comparing Mirel to standard plastic mulch.

If you till used standard mulch into the soil, you’ll find pieces of it
there for years afterward. If you till used Mirel mulch into the soil, it’s
all gone within two months, he said.


BioTelo mulch film is another option.

Dubois Agrinovation has distributed BioTelo in North America for about five
years. The biodegradable mulch is manufactured by Novamont, an Italian

According to Dubois Agrinovation’s website: “BioTelo mulch film, made of
mater-bi, a corn starch-based raw material, is compostable and
biodegradable. Temperature, humidity and microorganisms in the ground
transform BioTelo into water, carbon dioxide and biomass. It leaves no toxic
residues in the ground and you save on removal, recycling and landfill
costs. This biodegradable mulch has the same mechanical and physical
characteristics as plastic mulch, without the negative impact on the

BioTelo is certified organic in Quebec (where Dubois Agrinovation is based),
but is not certified in the other Canadian provinces, or in the United
States. Dubois is hoping to change that, said Eric Menard, the company’s
business development manager.

In U.S. organic production, the use of plastic mulch is approved, but not
the use of biodegradable mulch. That doesn’t make much sense, especially
since standard mulch takes hundreds of years to degrade in the soil – not
exactly environmentally friendly. If biodegradable mulch were certified
organic, it would be good for organic growers (it’s perfect for weed
control) and would expand the market for the mulch, Menard said.

Right now, about 750 acres in the United States and Canada are covered with
BioTelo mulch film. The number of customers is growing, especially in
Northeastern states like New York and Vermont. There are about 250 acres in
Pennsylvania. It’s popular with Amish growers, he said.

However, BioTelo costs twice as much as standard plastic mulch, sometimes
more. But if you calculate the opportunity cost – less time and money spent
removing used plastic mulch, more time and money spent planting cash crops –
the disparity doesn’t look so big, Menard said.

*This article was published in the Vegetable Growers News August Issue, ***<>

*Calcined Clay by Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador, OMRI Review Program Manager*
* *
*What is the calcination process and what kinds of other materials are

*Q:* Many organic growers are asking to use calcined clay in their
transplant media, but I’m not sure whether it would be compliant for use in
organic production. What is the calcination process and what kinds of other
materials are calcined?
* *
*A:* The term “Calcination” refers to the treatment of a mineral product at
a very high temperature up to 1200 degrees centigrade.  The word “calcined”
is derived from the process of converting calcium carbonate (limestone) to
calcium oxide (quicklime).  However, the calcination process is used on a
variety of mineral products, such as clay and diatomaceous earth.
Calcination is used mainly to cause a loss of moisture, reduction or
oxidation, and for decomposition of carbonates.   The high heat treatment of
such minerals can result in either a synthetic or nonsynthetic input,
depending on several factors.  These include the raw mineral being treated
and the level of heat being employed.  Intense heating of kaolin clay, for
example, drives off all hydration and yields a bright, anhydrous clay
product in which in individual clay fragments fuse together.  The calcined
clay is then used as filler in transplant media for its outstanding water
and nutrient retention capacity.  The organic grower should be aware
however, of possible intermediate steps in the process that would create a
synthetic calcined mineral.  Clearly, the calcination of limestone results
in quicklime, a prohibited substance.  Calcined clay however, may be heated
and pulverized just to the point of driving off all moisture but not
creating a synthetic substance.  This basic manufacturing process would not
create a synthetic material.  Some calcined clays however, are pelletized,
and during the pelletization process, come into contact with prohibited
substances such as ammonia gas or synthetic binders such as carboxyly methyl
calluslose, polyvinyl alcohol, or hydroxyethyl cellulose.  Organic growers
wanting to use calcined mineral products should check with their certifier
prior to use.

*Sno Pac (Organic Food Business) Stays True To its Roots by Mike Hughlett,
Star Tribune*
* *
*Sno Pac Foods has stayed independent even as big players took over much of
the organic food business*

In recent years, organic food has become big business, dominated by publicly
traded packaged food companies like Golden Valley-based General Mills Inc.,
a fact that some devoted organic consumers aren't keen on. But Sno Pac has
stuck to its roots: It's family-owned and based in farm country, something
many organic brands can't claim. The company was organic long before organic
became trendy, eschewing the use of herbicides and pesticides since the

While it's certainly not some quaint farmstead -- it counts its revenue in
millions of dollars -- it's a business that captures an ethos prized by more
hard-core organic consumers. It's a relatively small company that primarily
uses local foods grown on local farms.

Would they sell? But Pete Gengler, the company's president, always says no.

"I get calls all the time," Gengler said. "But I pretty much tell them we're
doing our own thing. Sno Pac's thing is farming, as well as food processing
and distributing. It leases or rents about 2,500 acres of farmland, mostly
in southern Minnesota and Iowa. It also contracts with farmers who together
tend another 1,000 acres. And it buys fruits and vegetables -- blueberries
from Michigan, cranberries from Wisconsin -- which it freezes and sells
under its brand.

To read article online and view images visit: Star Tribune,

* *
*NEWS for Organic Farmers and Enthusiasts*
* *
*Conservation Reserve Program Offers Pollinators Habitat Incentives*

New rules passed by the USDA now offer incentives for the establishment of
pollinator habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The
limited time program sign-up, which opens today to new enrollments, provides
one of the largest pollinator conservation opportunities ever in the United

The CRP program, first established in 1985, is the largest private landowner
conservation effort in the United States with up to 32 million acres
eligible for enrollment through the USDA's Farm Service Agency. Program
participants take highly erodible land out of crop million acres eligible
for enrollment through the USDA's Farm Service Agency. Program participants
take highly erodible land out of crop production, and establish permanent
vegetation to protect topsoil and provide wildlife cover. Contracts which
run 10 to 15 years provide annual rental payments on enrolled land, and
cost-share assistance for establishing vegetative cover.

New rules which go into effect today offer priority ranking for land
enrollments that include pollinator-friendly wildflowers and shrubs. Under
the current CRP enrollment system, landowners who want to participate are
ranked to prioritize enrollments that offer the most conservation benefits.
To receive a higher score on the pollinator ranking criteria, participating
farmers must plant at least 10% of the CRP acres in wildflower parcels (or
at least one acre for CRP enrollments less than 10 acres in size).

The addition of a pollinator habitat incentive for CRP has been promoted by
numerous wildlife and pollinator conservation groups in recent years, and
the new ranking system now offers one of the largest potential habitat
creation opportunities of its kind ever for native bees, butterflies, and
managed honey bees, all of which have experienced significant decline in
recent years due to habitat loss and other factors.

In developing the new CRP technical requirements, the USDA's Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) worked closely with Dr. Marla Spivak,
a leading honey bee researcher based at the University of Minnesota, and the
California-based advocacy group, Partners for Sustainable Pollination. Now,
as the enrollment period for new CRP contracts begins, the NRCS is working
with the non-profit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to develop
wildflower seeding recommendations for states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,
Illinois, Indiana, and Oregon. Those recommendations will focus on selecting
native wildflower species that are abundant pollen and nectar sources, and
that are most likely to thrive in their respective regions.

Rural landowners who are interested in more information about CRP, including
the current sign-up period which ends August 27th, should contact their
local Farm Service Agency office.

United States Department of Agriculture

Michigan Farm Service Agency

3001 Coolidge Rd, Suite 350

East Lansing, Mi. 48823-6321


Office hours M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ES

*Animal Welfare Approved Announces 2011 Good Husbandry Grants*
* *
*Call for projects to improve farm animal welfare with a concentration on
three areas: increased outdoor access, improved genetics and improved
slaughter facilities.*

Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to announce that it will offer a third
year of Good Husbandry Grants. AWA is seeking proposals for projects to
improve farm animal welfare with a concentration on three areas: increased
outdoor access, improved genetics and improved slaughter facilities. Animal
Welfare Approved is a free third party certification for independent family
farms raising animals humanely, outdoors on pasture or range. Current Animal
Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program are
eligible for grants of up to $5,000. Farmers may apply for certification and
for a grant simultaneously. Slaughter plants working with AWA farms are also
eligible to apply but should contact Grants Coordinator Emily Lancaster to
discuss proposed projects before submitting a proposal. Examples of projects
funded in previous cycles include mobile housing, a mobile processing unit,
infrastructure to facilitate humane handling and breeding stock adapted to
pasture-based management.

The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2010. Guidelines, FAQ's, project
profiles and an application form are available at <> or by
contacting Emily Lancaster at 919.428.1641 or
[log in to unmask]

*2011 Good Husbandry Grant Highlights*

*Funding Priorities*: 1) Genetics: (listed in order of priority) poultry,
hog, dairy and other ruminants, with priority given to projects which share
genetics among multiple farms; 2) Outdoor Access (specifically mobile
housing); and 3) Welfare Improvements in the Slaughter Process

*Eligible Costs:* (including but not limited to) design fees; contractor
costs (skilled labor only-i.e., an electrician or plumber); materials;
slaughter equipment; new mobile housing; or incubators

*Application:* Project proposals will only be considered if presented on an
Animal Welfare Approved grant application form, available online at <>. There
are separate applications for farms and slaughter plants; please use the
appropriate form for your operation

*Deadline for Proposals: October 1, 2010*
*Late Blight Management on Organic Farms (e-organic): 2010 Webinar Available
Free Online *
* *
*Learn how to identify symptoms of late blight (a devastating disease of
tomatoes and potatoes).*

Late blight is a devastating disease of tomatoes and potatoes. It is highly
contagious, and easily spreads from farm to farm and garden to garden. Learn
how to identify disease symptoms, including black stem lesions, water-soaked
leaf lesions with yellow borders, and bronze/black fruit lesions; destroy
plants immediately if late blight is the likely culprit. Post images of
suspected plants on this site for diagnostic assistance.

e-organic (on The national Extension website, extension) has an informative
webinar about late blight, its diagnosis and management in organic cropping

* *
*Understanding and Controlling Late Blight of Tomatoes and Potatoes in the
Home Garden Webinar (Rutgers University), Available Free Online*
*Learn to control late blight of potatoes and tomatoes.*

The understanding and controlling Late blight of potato and tomato in the
home garden' Webinar from Rutgers, Cornell and Penn State University from
Tuesday July 13, 2010 is now available to view and listen to on-line at under the webinar/presentation button. The Q&A session
is also available in .pdf format.


*USDA Offers Transition Incentives Program (TIP)*

*TIP bill encourages retired or retiring owners or operators to transition
their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.*

The Transition Incentives Program (TIP) is a new program under the
Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill. The bill encourages retired or
retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or
socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Producers who want to apply for
the TIP can start signing up now. If all program requirements are met, TIP
provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two
additional years after the date of the expiration of the CRP contract,
provided the transition is not to a family member.

For more information visit ATTRA:

* *
*Vendors/Farmers Wanted for the Growing Connections Conference and Harvest
* *
*When:* September 19, 2010
* *
*Where:* Birmingham, MI
* *
*Why:* We are proud to celebrate our tenth year for this “Growing
Connections Festival”.  As a tax deductible, non-profit organization, we are
continuing to stress healthy alternatives to today’s modern health issues
and the over processed, genetically modified, and chemically processed
foods.  We take a stand for health, wellness and in supporting Michigan’s
organic farmers and merchants.   We expect an incredible variety of
merchants, farmers, and businesses to fill the marketplace area.  We will
have huge tents to protect the event and we expect a robust crowd of
thousands of attendees from across the state and beyond that plan to attend
the conferences and festival.  (We do this every year with incredible
* *
*How:* To register as a vendor/farmer visit:

*Michigan 2010 Certified Wheat and Rye Directory Now Available*

This is a great resource for certified wheat and rye. If you’re looking for
untreated seed this is the source for you. Quantity of seed is not limited.
This directory includes both organic and conventional varieties and

List of certified organic seed producers:

   - DKB Farm & Services, Lapeer County (22 acres) AC Mountain white wheat.
   - DKB Farm & Services, Lapeer County (15 acres) Hopewell red wheat.
   - Richard Stuckey, Gratiot County (9 acres) AC Mountain white wheat.
   - Organic Bean & Grain, Tuscola County (37 acres) Coral white wheat.

For more information visit, (517) 332-9301 or
[log in to unmask]


The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) Newsletter Now Available
* *
*About MIFMA*

The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) was started in 2006 as a
statewide association to promote local food consumption in Michigan by
connecting more farmers to consumers through farmers markets. Michigan Food
& Farming Systems (MIFFS) received a grant from Project for Public Spaces to
work with key partners at Michigan State University to develop MIFMA.

In June 2006, Dru Montri was hired as project director of MIFMA to
collaborate with partners and coordinate the efforts of building the
association with an overall objective of aiding in the success of Michigan
farmers markets. After months of planning and visioning, MIFMA held its
membership kick-off on April 20, 2007.

*Mission:* MIFMA advances farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace
for local food and farm products.

*Vision:* MIFMA places farmers markets at the forefront of the local food
movement and works to ensure all residents have access to healthy, locally
grown food and that Michigan farmers markets receive policy support.
* *
*Check out the August issue of the MIFMA E-Newsletter online* at The new
four-page spread is full of great info for farmers market managers and

* *
*EVENTS for Organic Farmers and Enthusiasts*
* *
*Edible Flint Food Garden Tour 2010*

*When:* August 12, 2010, Check-in and food for the tour will begin at 4:30pm
at the Flint Farmers Market. Buses and bicycles will depart at 5:30pm.

*Where:* Flint Farmers’ Market, 420 East Boulevard Drive. Flint, MI

*Why:* Tour participants will meet local food producers, including some who
are growing food year round and raising bees and chickens. They will also
see, firsthand, how local residents of all ages are transforming community
concerns, such as vacant land, into valuable neighborhood assets.

*How:* The tour is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To
Register contact Natalie Pruett by August 9, 2010 by calling 810-257-3088
ext. 541 or by e-mail at [log in to unmask] Donations will be
accepted and will be used to support food gardening efforts in Flint. To
view flier visit: under the Event Tab.

 *Entrepreneurial Farm Tour to Western Michigan*

*When:* August 25-26, 2010
*Where:* Please call the Gratiot MSU-Extension office at 989-875-5233 for

*Why:*  This year’s tour will showcase farm families who have successfully
explored and seized opportunities to enhance the profitability of their
operations.  The stops will feature sustainable farming systems, diversified
enterprises, organic operations, livestock for specialty markets,
farmer-owned retail markets, cooperative ventures, value-added enterprises,
and direct marketing strategies, as well as many other examples of how
family farmers are finding ways to be more profitable while enjoying it as
well.  Stops are tentatively scheduled for on farm cheese making, tree fruit
production, sheep and poultry operations, large scale vegetables,
blueberries, deer farm, tree farm, on-farm ethanol operation, and soybean

*How:* This tour is sponsored by MSU Extension, Project GREEEN, NCR-SARE,
Greenstone Farm Credit Service, and SunOpta. The cost will be reasonable
($50 or less). Please call the Gratiot MSU-Extension office at 989-875-5233
for details and to sign up by August 16, 2010.

*Purdue Forage Day*

*When:* September 2, 2010, from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

*Where:* Agronomy Center for Research and Education, and the Animal Sciences
Research and Education Center, Purdue University. For the complete agenda
visit, under the EVENT tab.

*Why:* Featuring education and equipment demonstrations (Rain or Shine).
Come learn about how to keep forages productive. Pesticide applicator
recertification is a component of this day. With topics on

   - Weed Management
   - Insect Management
   - Disease Management
   - Fertility Management

 A tradeshow is available during lunch. Also offered is a in-field forage
harvest demonstration coordinated by David Trotter, Clark County Extension

*How:* Event is free of charge. No registration necessary.

*Purdue Forage Management Training Workshop*

*Subject matter at this event is not the same as Purdue Forage Day. More
hands-on instruction is a part of this training.*
* *
*When:* September 2, 2010, from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

*Where:* Check in at Beck Agricultural Center, Purdue University

*Why:* Topics of interest include:

   -  Selecting Quality Seed?
   - Seed Calibration
   - Attributes of Different Forage Species
   - Making Quality Hay and Silage
   -  Problematic Weeds and Their Control
   - Appraising Hay and Pasture

*How:* Cost: $80. Registration can occur at the DTC web site

*KBS Agriculture Field Day*

*When:* September 8, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

*Where:*  KBS Farming Systems Center, 9702 N. 40th Street (corner of 40th
St. and B Ave.)Hickory Corners, MI 49060
* *
*Why:* Farmers, Agribusiness professionals, Extension Educators, and anyone
else interested in sustainable agriculture and bioenery research are welcome
to attend. Morning tour includes visits to KBS field crops and pasture based
dairy. Afternoon tours highlight their sustainable bioenergy research. Enjoy
a BBQ lunch and research poster session. Posters highlighting research from
Michigan farmers, MSU Extension educators, and KBS graduate students and
post-docs. To view agenda visit under the event

*How:* Event is free of charge. Any questions, contact Julie Doll at
[log in to unmask] or 269-671-2266. Free admission to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
on Sept. 8 for field day participants.

* *
*Growing Connections Conference and Harvest Festival*

*When:* September 19, 2010
* *
*Where:* Birmingham, MI

*Why:* We are proud to celebrate our tenth year for this “Growing
Connections Festival”. As a tax deductible, non-profit organization, we are
continuing to stress healthy alternatives to today’s modern health issues
and the over processed, genetically modified, and chemically processed
foods. We take a stand for health, wellness and in supporting Michigan’s
organic farmers and merchants.   We expect an incredible variety of
merchants, farmers, and businesses to fill the marketplace area. We will
have huge tents to protect the event and we expect a robust crowd of
thousands of attendees from across the state and beyond that plan to attend
the conferences and festival. (We do this every year with incredible

*How:* Cost: All Day Registration (No Lunch) $45, AM Session Only (No Lunch)
$30, PM Session Only (No Lunch) $30, All Day Registration (With Lunch) $55,
AM or PM Session (With Lunch) $40.00. Register online at


*It Takes a Region - 2010: A Working Conference To Build Our Northeast Food

*When:*  November 12-13, 2010, Pre-conference trainings on November 11
* *
*Where*:  Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, Albany, NY

*Why:* Don't miss it! This year, we'll build from the success of NESAWG's
2009 "It Takes a Region" conference.  Once again, we'll look at exciting
efforts underway in our region -- including alternative supply chain
networks, food system assessments, regional planning, infrastructure
initiatives, and policy advocacy. We'll move our work forward and address
pressing new issues in work groups, listening sessions, topical break-outs
and open networking.  We’ll continue to explore scale, size, geography and
cross-sector partnerships.  Watch for new features this year!

* *
Scholarships and NESAWG member rates available. You may link to online
registration via BE A CONFERENCE SPONSOR: sponsor
funds go toward scholarships so everyone can participate. Contact Kathy
Ruhf [log in to unmask] for more information.

*Job Opportunities in Organic*

*Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)*
* *
*Bob Scowcroft is stepping down from the Organic Farming Research Foundation
in 2011 and OFRF launching our search for their next Executive Director.*

*Ideal Candidate:* OFRF is seeking a strategic leader with a significant
personal or vocational passion for organic farming systems, and an
understanding of its global significance and multifunctional appeal. He/she
must be able to both lead and partner with a collaborative staff team who
bring a breadth of experience in fundraising, policy, communications, grant
making, finance, and technology. A proven track record in attracting and
sustaining public and private funding, informed political insights,
strategic vision, and effective collaboration to achieve commonly held goals
are essential for this position. The incoming Executive Director will bring
authenticity, financial savvy, and integrity to their work. This is a
full-time, exempt position based in Santa Cruz, California - the heart of
organic farming country with access to several farmers markets, fine art and
music venues, quality restaurants, the Pacific Ocean and redwood forests.
* *
*To view full job announcement visit the OFRF web page*

*Start date:* First quarter of 2011

*Deadline:* September 13, 2010 or until position is filled.

*Compensation:* Competitive salary and benefits and the opportunity to lead
a highly respected organization. There are limited funds available for

*Confidential Application Process:* E-mail (Word or PDF document) cover
letter summarizing interest, qualifications, and compensation requirements
along with a current resume to: [log in to unmask] with
“OFRF ED Search” in subject field. Resumes must be accompanied by a cover
letter or the candidate will not be considered.

Inquiries from candidates are welcomed and should be directed to Margaret
Donohoe, leadership transition consultant at (408) 979-0572.

*Director, Food Initiative for United Way for Southeastern Michigan*

* *
*There is no deadline for this position, it’s open until filled.*

*Position Title:* Director, Food Initiative

*Reporting to:* Vice President Community Investments , Basic Needs &
Financial Stability Impact Areas

*Location:* Detroit, Michigan

*The Company:* United Way for Southeastern Michigan

*Position:* The Director, Food Initiative is a new position that was created
as a part of the agenda for change’s basic needs strategy to help address
the overwhelming demand for food and a desire to help bring about lasting
change to support this issue.


   -  Manage the Food Initiative within the broad context of the regional
   and national landscape.
   -  Build community and partner relationships to enhance UWSEM’s reach
   within the private sector, nonprofit organizations, labor community and
   individuals engaged in hunger efforts – to collaboratively improve food
   systems and access to food for food insecure populations in the region.
   - Work with the VP of Public Policy to support national policies to
   expand access to food for vulnerable populations, including state and
   federal regulations and laws that aim to reduce domestic hunger.
   - Be the primary representative for the Food Initiative with respect to
   media relations, by participating in interviews and all other media type
   - Work with Fund Development team to ensure there are sustainable
   resource developments and fund development activities
   - Create a clear and concise message telling the Initiative’s story.
   - Further develop and execute strategic plan, revenue generation and
   public policy efforts related to the food work.
   -  Manage overall program operations including a cross-functional team of


   -  Ability to advocate for advancing the established goals of the Food
   -  Experience in program transformation or reform with measurable
   -  Have strategic and political skills to position UWSEM as a leading
   authority on the overall food crisis in Southeast Michigan.
   - Ability to work effectively with a strong board of industry experts.
   - Thinks long term, stretching horizons and challenging imaginations to
   develop an image of how United Way and the community should work, creating a
   vision that captures minds and energizes others to commit to the vision.
   - Experience on various governing boards or with governmental agencies.
   - Knowledge of issues around access to food and food systems development
   would be beneficial.
   - Ability to listen well, draw out people’s interests and concerns,
   communicate and build strong relationships with diverse stakeholders.
   -  Build strategic partnerships with external providers to improve the
   range and effectiveness of the food delivery system.
   - Ability to manage people around an issue to meet the strategic goals of
   the work.


   - A minimum of ten years of total experience is required. Experience in
   nonprofit or a comparable field would be beneficial.  Additionally,
   experience in public policy and/or food systems development is also desired.
   - A BA/BS in business, public policy or related field.  An advanced
   degree in government affairs, law, political science, public policy, social
   work or a related field is strongly preferred.
   - Demonstrated success in leadership and partnership development, as well
   as effectively leading community change and growth.
   - The ability to conduct fund development, as well as experience in
   marketing and public relations to successfully engage stakeholders,
   including foundations, business partners, policy makers, media and
   - Significant state and/or federal government issue advocacy, or
   legislative experience is critic
   - Strong written and oral communication skills, ease in public speaking,
   enthusiasm and excitement to publicly represent UWSEM and the food work is
   an important part of this position.
   - The successful candidate will demonstrate personal qualities that
   include integrity, commitment to UWSEM's mission with regard to the food
   work and the ability to inspire and motivate.


   - A competitive compensation package is offered.

*How to apply:* Send a resume and cover letter to [log in to unmask]

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