Michigan Organic Listserv

September 2, 2010

*Organic News Articles*

*Balanced' ecosystems seen in organic ag better at controlling pests*

by David Crowder Washington State University.

*More balanced animal and plant communities typical of organic farms work
better at fighting pests and growing a better plant.*

The researchers looked at insect pests and their natural enemies in potatoes
and found organic crops had more balanced insect populations in which no one
species of insect has a chance to dominate. And in test plots, the crops
with the more balanced insect populations grew better.

"I think 'balance' is a good term," says David Crowder, a post-doctorate
research associate in entomology at Washington State University. "When the
species are balanced, at least in our experiments, they're able to fulfill
their roles in a more harmonious fashion."

Crowder and colleagues here and at the University of Georgia use the term
"evenness" to describe the relatively equal abundance of different species
in an ecosystem. Conservation efforts more typically concentrate on species
richness—the number of individual species—or the loss of individual species.
Crowder's paper is one of only a few to address the issue. It is the first
the first to look at animal and fungal communities and at multiple points in
the food chain.

The researchers say their results strengthen the argument that both richness
and evenness need to be considered in restoring an ecosystem. The paper also
highlights insect predator and prey relationships at a time when the potato
industry and large French fry customers like McDonald's and Wendy's are
being pushed to consider the ecological sustainability of different
pest-control practices.

Conventional pest-management on farms often leads to biological communities
dominated by a few species. Looking at conventional and organic potato farms
in central Washington State's Columbia Basin, Crowder found that the
evenness of natural pests differed drastically between the two types of
farms. In the conventional fields, one species might account for four out of
five insects. In the organic fields, the most abundant species accounted for
as little as 38 percent of a field's insect predators and enemies.

Using field enclosures on Washington State University's Pullman campus,
Crowder recreated those conditions using potato plants, Colorado potato
beetles, four insect species and three soil pathogens that attack the
beetles. When the predators and pathogens had similar numbers, says Crowder,
"we would get significantly less potato beetles at the end of the

"In turn," he adds, "we'd get bigger plants."

Crowder says he is unsure why species evenness was lower in conventional
crops. It could be from different types of fertilization or from
insecticides killing some natural enemies more than others.

Article can be found online at:

*USDA bars organic certifier from operating in China*

by The Organic & Non-GMO Report July/August 2010

The National Organic Program has barred an organic certifier from operating
in China for at least one year after an audit revealed conflicts of interest
with the Chinese government.

NOP said that Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) had Chinese
government employees, not independent inspectors, performing inspections at
state-owned organic farms.

OCIA was one of USDA’s 4top organic inspectors in China, responsible for
certifying US bound fruits, vegetables, rice and other products from about
231 farms and processors.

OCIA can apply for reaccreditation as an NOP certifying agent in China after
one year and must hire inspectors independent of the Chinese government.

In a statement, OCIA said “OCIA respects the decision of the National
Organic Program and would like to thank the NOP for their willingness to
work with OCIA through this process. Although OCIA appealed the findings of
the NOP, we recognize that conflict of interest concerns can bring into
question the entire certification process of an accredited certifier by the
organic industry and by the general public.” (SOURCE: Vance Publishing)

*Article can be found online at:*

*Heavy rains hamper organic grain production in Midwest*

by The Organic & Non-GMO Report July/August 2010

Heavy rain in the Upper Midwest and Eastern Cornbelt has hampered organic
farming, causing serious weed problems and damaging some crops. Crops
further east saw drier weather which depleted soil moisture. Organic grain
and feed prices in the Upper Midwest were steady with light demand
throughout June. Stored supplies of organic wheat totaled 973 bushels, up
48% from last year. Organic feed corn prices were $4.15 to $5.00 per bushel,
while organic food-grade soybean prices were $21.00 to $23.00 per bushel and
feed grade soybeans were $16.15 to $17.10 per bushel. Organic grain prices
in the Eastern Cornbelt were steady with light demand on moderate offerings.
Prices for organic feed corn were $4.75 to $5.79 per bushel, while feed-grad
soybeans were $16.20 to $17.00 per bushel.

*What is MIFMA? (The Michigan Farmers Market Association)*

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. MIFMA’s
mission is to advance farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace for
local food and farm products. Their vision is to place 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.

To learn more about MIFMA visit:

Below is a article written for MIFMA’s August 2010 Newsletter by Kathryn
Colasanti, CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems.

*A Vision for Good Food in Michigan*

By Kathryn Colasanti, CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food System

The Michigan Good Food Charter reemphasizing our local and regional food
systems and by promoting “good food” – food that is healthy, green, fair and

As farmers market managers, vendors and advocates, you know intimately the
impact that building up a local food system can have in supporting farmers
and creating new opportunities for residents to find fresh, healthy food.
The Michigan Good Food Charter is intended to strengthen these connections
by reemphasizing our local and regional food systems and by promoting “good
food” – food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.

While Michigan grows an amazing array of fruits, vegetables and other foods,
59 percent of our residents still live in places with inadequate access to
healthy food. And while there is growing interest in local foods, we are
still losing too many farms and are still failing to provide a reasonable
income to too many farmers, who must support themselves through off-farm

If we really want Michigan to be a place where our people are healthy and
our communities are prosperous, we need to enact policies that assure all
Michiganders have access to good food and all Michigan farmers and food
businesses have opportunities to be profitable. The Michigan Good Food
Charter lays out a vision, a series of goals, and a set of specific policy
priorities to get us there.

Many of these policy priorities could support farmers markets, including:

Maximizing public benefit programs by supporting matching programs like
Detroit’s “Double-Up Food Bucks” and encouraging foundations to assist with
funding to enable more farmers markets to accept Bridge Cards.

Urging local officials to include farmers markets in comprehensive planning
and zoning.

Establishing food business districts that would enable farmers markets to
locate near other food based businesses and foster a hub of economic
activity connecting farmers, buyers, processors and retailers.

Committing additional resources to increasing the number of farmers markets
in under served areas.

Creating a Michigan Food and Farming Corps program, similar to Americorps,
that would enable recent graduates or others interested in serving their
community to help develop or expand farmers markets.

Highlighting farmers markets, and other Michigan food and agriculture
places, in state marketing and tourism promotion efforts.

Ensuring that Michigan’s food- and agriculture related laws and regulations
do not create unnecessary transaction costs and regulatory burdens on
low-risk businesses, like many farmers market vendors.

Whether you are a farmers market manager, market vendor or community
advocate, you can advance the vision of the Michigan Good Food Charter.

You can familiarize yourself with the charter at and
then talk to candidates in your district or officials in your city about the
priorities that are important to you.

You can sign the Resolution of Support form at as an
individual, farm or market. Several farmers markets have already done this!

You can register for our upcoming webinar (September 7th noon-1pm) on how to
take the charter to state and local decision makers and signup for the
FoodSpeak listserv to stay up-to-date on other opportunities. See

You can request copies of the Michigan Good Food charter or executive
summary to hand out to customers at your market, link to from your website or organize citizens in your
community to discuss how to make the charter priorities a reality where you

Let’s work together to create a system based on good food in Michigan and
achieve a healthier, more prosperous and more equitable state!

For more information, contact Kathryn Colasanti at 517-353-0642 or
[log in to unmask]

*Current News Articles for Cover Crop & Vegetable Production*

*Alfalfa- A crop for hay or building soil*

This is a crop that can be grown on a field for hay, pasture, or even as a
cover crop. If land will not be used for crop production for more than a
single season-alfalfa can be grown, harvested a couple times, then turned
into the soil (probably a couple of passes) a season prior to planting (need
at least 3 weeks for crop to break down prior to planting). Alfalfa is a
perennial crop that does well in Michigan and the seed is readily available.
It is a legume so it “fixes” nitrogen. It provides a good cover for weed
competition and has deep roots to help mine nutrients, mellow soil as well
as produce nitrogen through nitrogen fixation.  The table offered in this
report is also available on the Michigan organic web site ( It contains data on alfalfa varieties as well
as red clover and rye-all good crops for multi purpose use.

*Summer Seeding Alfalfa
*by Phil Kaatz, Michigan State University Extension

Opportunities for planting alfalfa typically are done in the early spring or
during the summer. The following recommendations are the result of research
done at Michigan State University. Successful summer seedings can be
established, however, timely seeding is important.

As you plan your new alfalfa seedings, consider the following basic

Select the appropriate alfalfa variety for your soil and management system.
Improved varieties have been tested by Michigan State University to provide
information on yield, persistence, and forage quality as the primary
considerations for highly productive stands. Improved varieties can yield up
to 144% of public varieties such as Vernal. For details, refer to MSU

Consider the options for diseases and insects based on variety selection.
Potato Leaf hopper (PLH) is an insect that reduces alfalfa yield each year
in Michigan. The use of insecticides to control PLH at thresholds is
recommended or another alternative is to plant PLH resistant varieties.

Soil testing should be required. Alfalfa is well adapted to soils that are
well drained and have good moisture retention. The time and money spent to
collect soil for testing can quickly be recovered in savings on fertilizer
or lime and improve productivity. If lime is needed, start working the lime
into the field 6 months before seeding. If this isn’t possible, try to apply
half of the lime at seedbed preparation and half at planting. Either method
is better than waiting to apply lime after the seeding has been planted.
Alfalfa has an optimum soil pH of 6.8 but will grow at soil pH 6.0 with
reduced yields.

Examine the conventional methods for seeding (plowing and tillage before
drilling) before choosing no-till (drilling seeds directly into sod). In
either case the results can be excellent, but it takes planning. In some
cases, you’ll need to work the field a full season ahead of planting. Brush
and weeds such as quackgrass should be dealt with using treatments of
herbicide and/or tillage the year before you seed. Plow and work the field
to destroy weeds before seeding, especially to kill quackgrass. If
necessary, use an herbicide such as Roundup, following the label directions
on rates and waiting time before seeding.

For summer seedings, seed between July 15 and August 1 in northern regions
of Michigan and August to August 15 in southern regions. If the weather late
in the summer is very dry, wait until next spring. It’s important for the
young seedlings to have adequate moisture for continued growth into the
early fall period to insure good winter hardiness.

Seedings should be shallow. To establish a pasture or hayfield, use a drill
that places the grass and legume seeds not more than ¼ to ½ inch below the
surface. On most soils you’ll need to pack the surface with press wheels, a
roller or a cultipacker. On small acreage, much of the equipment used to
establish lawns can be used to seed pastures or hay fields.

The use of a cover crop such as oats should not be used in summer seedings
because of strong competition for water and nutrients. Alfalfa should not be
seeded with wheat in the fall because of the danger of winter injury.

Taking the time to plan and implement these steps prior to planting can
provide the opportunity for long-lived alfalfa stands. Many Michigan farmers
are faced with equipment, land and labor costs that are increasing
exponentially, while the value of the products sold off the farm gain
slowly, hold or decline. Increasing the profit margin requires good
management and improved varieties to increase yields.

Summer Seeding Alfalfa was published in The Crop Connection (A MSUE Greater
Thumb Area Ag Team

*Lessons from the 2010 Wheat Season*
by Martian Nagelkirk, Michigan State University Extension

Before this year’s wheat crop is put to bed, it may be a good idea to jot
down the experiences from yet another unique season. While this is best done
on an individual field or farm basis, this observer can offer some
suggestions, albeit only one person’s perspective

Relative to wheat performance there were two factors that stole 10 or more
bushels of yield on many, if not most, acres. The first is last fall’s
delayed planting. Granted, there is little one can do where the preceding
crop is slow to mature. However, the fact remains that yield potential tends
to slip approximately a bushel for every day planting is delayed into

The other significant drag on this season’s grain yields were leaf diseases.
In the spring, Powdery Mildew became aggressive where there were thick
stands of a susceptible variety. Thanks to some warm and dry weather in mid
May, the disease was largely arrested and rarely advanced up unto the flag
leaf. Because of this, the yield loss to mildew may have been limited to 2
to 6 bushels an acre. The other disease that was a factor in all Thumb wheat
fields was Leaf Blotch. It thrived under the relatively warm and damp
conditions following Memorial Day and readily made its way up unto the flag
leaf. In fact, in some fields it continued to climb to the head causing
Glume Blotch. This single disease, plus a sprinkling of leaf rust and
striped rust probably caused yield losses in the neighborhood of 10 to 15
bushels per acre where untreated.

Foliar fungicides made a significant difference. Although they cannot rescue
all the bushels that are lost from any disease, they can significantly
protect some of the yield. Grossly generalizing the results from one trial
near Sandusky, a single application of a strobilurin or triazole fungicide
at full-tillering resulted in a yield advantage of approximately 5 bushels;
applied at flag leaf resulted in a 3.5 bushel advantage; and applied at
flowering resulted in a 6 bushel advantage. In a second trial where
fungicides were applied across several varieties, the average yield
increases were twice that of the first trial. The lesson being, fungicides
can make a significant difference to the bottom line in years where foliar
diseases are abundant.

Another lesson (or reminder) from the 2010 season was that predicting
Fusarium Head Blight is still extremely difficult. During early flowering,
the weather was warm and dry prompting many to forego the use of a fungicide
on white wheat. This concurred with the national scab model. Unfortunately,
the weather soon took on a damp pattern encouraging flag leaf diseases and,
especially where flowering began following Memorial Day, some Head Scab. The
experience here is a reminder that Head Scab predictions need to incorporate
a weather forecast and that disease development happens very quickly once
the weather environment favors the pathogens.

There is cause for optimism as one looks to the 2011 wheat season. Besides a
boost in crop price, a timely planting is much more likely this fall and the
experience of this year’s disease challenges should serve growers well in
managing the new crop.

Lessons from the 2010 Wheat Season was published in The Crop Connection (A
MSUE Greater Thumb Area Ag Team Publication)

*Celery leaf tier are present*
by Zsofia Szendrei, Entomology

Celery Leaf Tier Moths are on the rise. The larva attacks many species of
cultivated flowers, weeds and vegetables including beets, spinach, beans as
well as celery.

Over the last month growers, consultants and agronomists have called to
report large numbers of the celery leaf tier moth throughout the state. They
noticed the moths rising up in great numbers as they moved through fields.
The little moths are everywhere, since the larvae of the celery leaf tier
attack many species of cultivated flowers, weeds and vegetables including
beets, spinach, beans and celery. This insect is not a pest of soybeans or
corn. Another generation will occur in fall, closer to harvest. As a larva,
this insect is a small, greenish-yellow and three-quarters of an inch-long
caterpillar that lives in the upper leaves of plants. It gets its name from
rolling and then tying together the leaves with silk in order to make a
protective shelter. Small larvae feed on leaves, but as they grow, they move
to the upper portions of the petiole. Adult celery leaf tier resembles
European corn borer on first look, except that it is smaller and has a
“snout” mouthpart appearance. Photos can be viewed at this website: Its wingspan is about 0.75 inch
compared to the European corn borer’s at 1.0 to 1.25 inch wingspan.

Petiole damage looks like cutworm or looper damage with circular depressions
and hollowed out tissue. Tied leaves, webbing and the presence of the larvae
are contaminants at harvest. Small larvae can be controlled with BT
products, but larger larvae may be more difficult to control. Because this
pest is sporadic (meaning that it only occurs in large numbers in some years
and not in others), there is no treatment threshold developed specifically
for Michigan. According to a recommendation from Virginia Tech, the
following treatments threshold is recommended: at five different locations
in a field inspect 20 plants for larvae on a weekly basis. Treatment is
warranted if there are more than four weeks before harvest and there are two
or more larvae per 100 plants. (

Article can be found online in the MSU Vegetable CAT Alert newsletter

*Cold Frames *

*Start gardening early and keep on growing later in the season with a simple
soil warmer you can build yourself.*

You might think that the growing season has a finite beginning and end: the
last frost in spring and the first frost in fall. But, in fact, many
gardeners try to start planting and harvesting when frost still threatens.
With a simple cold frame, you can extend your season by a month or more on
either end—in some climates, you can grow right through the winter with one.
A cold frame is an ideal place to gradually acclimate tomato or pepper
seedlings grown indoors to conditions outside.
**What is a cold frame?* Nothing more than four walls to trap heat and
shelter plants, and a transparent lid that admits light. You can make the
walls from any sturdy material—plywood, concrete, even bales of hay. An old
window works perfectly as a lid, but you can also use Plexiglas or plastic
sheeting tacked to a frame.

The lid's size usually determines the dimensions of the cold frame. Still,
you'll want it to be larger than 2 by 4 feet to make it worth your while;
you don't want it much larger than 3 by 6 feet, so that you can reach all
the plants inside. Build the back 4 to 6 inches higher than the front to
maximize the amount of light that reaches the plants inside and to allow
water or melting snow to drain off the top easily.

*The best site for your cold frame*, according to Rodale's All-New
Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, is a south-facing, sunny spot with good
drainage and some protection from the wind. Ideally, the site should get
full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. You can set up a cold frame
permanently in your garden, or make one that you put away when you're not
using it.

Before you set up a cold frame in a permanent spot, dig out the top 3 or 4
inches of soil inside the frame and replace it with a layer of coarse
gravel. Then put 6 inches of topsoil back. This will ensure good drainage.

You can grow cold-frame plants in pots, flats or, if you're growing just one
type of plant (say, salad greens) plant right in the soil.

*The key to using a cold frame successfully is paying attention to the
temperature*—and the trick is in keeping it cool rather than warm. The
temperature inside the cold frame should stay below 75 degrees F for summer
plants, below 60 degrees for plants that normally grow in spring and fall.
The way to keep temperatures cool inside a cold frame is to lift the lid. A
good rule of thumb: when outdoor temperatures are above 40 degrees, prop
open the lid 6 inches; when the outdoor temps clear 50 degrees F, remove the
lid. Be sure to restore the lid in late afternoon to trap the heat inside
for the cool night. You can also buy automatic venting devices in some
gardening catalogs.

On frigid nights, the plants inside the cold frame may need a little extra
protection to keep from freezing. Most heat escapes through the glass, so
pile insulation on top. You can use old blankets, straw, newspaper or
whatever is handy. Snow insulates well, too, but brush heavy snow off the
glass so it doesn't break.

Cold Frame article can be found online at:*,7518,s1-5-19-106-1-1-2,00.html*

*Michigan Regional Reports Available on Vegetable Production, August 25,

The MSU Crop Advisory Team Vegetable Alerts (CAT Alerts) Regional Reports
are out for the following areas. In these reports you will find information
on weather, growth stages, small and tree fruits. To view reports visit:

   - Grand Rapids Area
   - Macomb, Lapeer, St. Clair Counties
   - SW Michigan Research and Extension Center

*Resources on Organic Farming*

*The new Cornell Soil Health Assessment Training Manual is now available

The purpose of this manual is to provide an overview of the concept of soil
health. It provides guidelines on how to conduct in field qualitative and
quantitative soil health assessment. It includes a how-to guide for proper
soil sampling, an overview of laboratory methods used to assess the health
status of soil, the soil health report and their interpretation, and
identifies management strategies for improving soil health based on measured

The Cornell Soil Health Assessment Training Manual can be found in pdf
format at under the Soil Building and Compost
Tab. Or visit the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences web page

*Job Opportunities

*Nutrition Education Project Coordinator at Springport Public Schools*

*Position:*  Nutrition Education Project Coordinator

*Description: * Springport Public Schools is seeking a candidate for the
position of Program Coordinator to manage Springport’s Nutrition Education
through Gardening program.  The Coordinator’s responsibilities in this area
will include:

   -          Serve as grant administrator and prepare monthly fiscal
   -          Manage and maintain accurate financial records
   -          Work as a cooperative team member in the Springport
   Agriscience Program
   -          Coordinate closely with the Michigan Nutrition Network Project
   -          Coordinate closely with the nutrition education teacher
   -          Assist nutrition education teacher with food demonstrations
   -          Coordinate and create a monthly nutrition education newsletter
   as well as bulletin boards, posters, and  displays
   -          Coordinate district-wide nutrition education programming for
   staff and students within the grant guidelines
   -          Plan, promote, and implement a summer garden day camp to teach
   nutrition education
   -          Seek additional grant funding necessary for carrying out the
   -          Any other duties appropriate to the fulfillment of the grant

Qualifications: * This is an excellent opportunity for the ideal candidate
with a combination of education and/or experience in agriculture and/or
nutrition and/or education.

   -          Bachelors Degree or equivalent work experience in community
   food systems, food policy or agriculture and natural       resources
   -          Experience in gardening, horticulture, greenhouse management
   -          Experience working with students
   -          Detail-oriented and well organized
   -          Self-motivated, hard working and dependable
   -          Experience grant writing and fundraising
   -          Experience managing and maintaining a budget

Anticipated Salary and Benefit Package:* $60,000 (Based on an academic year,
plus 2 days/week throughout the summer months)
Apply to: *    Randall Cook, Superintendent

                   Springport Public Schools

                   300 W. Main Street

                   Springport, MI 49284

* Growing Hope is seeking an Outreach & Volunteerism Manager*

Position Title:* Outreach & Volunteerism Manager
Organization:* Growing Hope is a grassroots non-profit organization
dedicated to empowering individuals, groups and communities through
community gardening and increasing access to healthy food.
Position Description:* Growing Hope is seeking an experienced and dedicated
full-time manager to oversee the Outreach, Volunteerism, and Communications
at Growing Hope. This position will both oversee inquiries (volunteers,
program participants, partners, et al) to the organization and manage
external communications. This includes management of the organizational
website, publications, e-newsletters, social networking, program & event
promotion, educational signage, press relations, and outreach at community
events. S/he will oversee the utilization of volunteers throughout the
organization, focusing on effective volunteer training, retention and
evaluation of volunteer efforts/impact, and tracking. S/he will be a lead in
targeted and ongoing community assessment and gathering stakeholder
feedback, and may serve as an organizational liaison in local and regional
coalitions, including some involved in public policy. S/he may also oversee
implementation of social enterprise strategies. This person will be
responsible for supervision of Americorps*VISTA members, seasonal/temporary
staff and interns, and volunteers.

*Qualified candidates will exhibit the following:*

   -          Highly skilled communicator (oral, written), experience
   working with people from diverse backgrounds and comfortable
   -          communicating in person, by phone, email, in front of groups,
   and to a variety of audiences
   -          Strong organizational and management skills, including
   excellent follow-through.
   -          Passion for Growing Hope’s mission and work. Dedication to
   working as a member of and in partnership with diverse communities.
   -          Project management expertise; experience with database
   -          Volunteer management/coordination experience;
   Supervision/management experience of people at a variety of skill levels
   -          Experience in nonprofit and community-based organizations;
   community organizing experience a plus
   -          Visual design skills including comfort with Adobe design
   programs; website editing experience (html not necessary, though)
   -          Demonstrated ability to develop systems for and oversee
   extensive tracking, documentation, & evaluation efforts
   -          Proactive, self-learner who can see the big picture and
   anticipate organizational needs
   -          Experience in coordinating and leading teams, including with
   -          Ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously, and make
   quick decisions
   -          Experience in organic gardening/farming, nutrition,
   sustainability, and community food systems.
   -          Desire to encourage local community members to share ideas,
   talents and resources.
   -          Comfort in use of computers (Mac & PC) and technology on a
   daily basis.
   -          Willingness to adapt to changing organizational conditions and
   extremely limited resources.
   -          Creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness and positive
   -          Flexibility to work non-traditional hours, including evening
   and weekends as scheduled
   -          Some preference given to Ypsilanti-area residents [or those
   willing to relocate to and engage in the Ypsilanti community.

*Compensation: * Mid-$30K’s, partial benefits available
To apply: *Resume & 2 page cover letter, complete with references, to Amanda
Edmonds, Executive Director at [log in to unmask] Samples of written or
visual work also welcome, though not required. Position open until filled.

*National Service AmeriCorps*VISTA Positions At Growing Hope and Local
Partners in Washtenaw County, Michigan*
Position Overview:* Growing Hope is currently recruiting applicants for
VISTA positions for 12-month terms of service, to begin in November 2010 and
run through November 2011. However, prospective members who are willing to
commit to a two-year term of service will be given some preference. Growing
Hope is a community-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to help
people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy
local food systems.

*To Apply:*:There are two steps to the application, and until both are
completed, we will not review your application.

*1)* Go to to enter the Americorps online
application website. Create your online Americorps application. Once
completed, you still need to submit your application to Growing Hope. Do a
search for Michigan and Growing Hope you’ll find us among the results—from
there you should be able to submit the application to us. Note: until your
references have completed their sections describing you on the Americorps
website, your application is not complete.
2)* Submit a resume and 2-page letter describing your interests and
qualifications by September 10th, 2010 at the latest—but applications will
be reviewed and selections made on a rolling basis, so it is helpful to get
yours completed right away. Electronic applications encouraged; please email
(as attachments) to [log in to unmask] If mailing, please send materials
to Growing Hope, PO BOX 980129, Ypsilanti, MI, 48198, or drop off at our
office at 32 North Washington, Suite 11, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. After
receiving materials and completing online application above, applicants will
need to be available for interviews in person or by phone (in-person
preferred). Please read on for position areas, and specify in your letter
which position( s) you are interested in, and how your qualifications match
that/those position description(s).

*Vista Position Descriptions:*

*Volunteer Coordinator:* The Volunteer Coordinator will work to recruit,
implement, and retain volunteers for Growing Hope and its programs, with an
emphasis on building volunteer capacity and retaining volunteers from our
target audiences. This VISTA will work with other Growing Hope staff to
implement effective volunteer opportunities in Growing Hope’s programming.
Strong interpersonal and outreach skills are a must, as are organizational
and management skills.
Youth & Education Coordinator:* This VISTA will work to spread the word
about Growing Hope in the community, growing the next generation of healthy
eaters and gardeners, with a focus on youth and young adult programming in
schools, after school, through youth volunteerism and internships, et al.
This VISTA member must have experience leading children and youth in
classroom and other settings, and be able to balance a flexible attitude
with the necessary structure and discipline for documentation and planning.
This member also helps develop and maintain partners and collaborations with
other youth-serving organizations. Among the dynamic programs this position
works with are Seed2Plate—middle school after school clubs—and teen interns
who act as peer educators.

*Farmers’ Market & Food Stamp Outreach Coordinator:* Work to build capacity
of a five-year old urban farmers market in Downtown Ypsilanti with a focus
on increasing access to healthy food for community members, while mentoring
other markets in the area to begin to accept food stamps/EBT. Beyond general
management duties, primary emphasis will be on recruitment of and outreach
to low-income community members, including Project FRESH participants, EBT
consumers, seniors, and youth. The Market Manager will also work to build
the capacity of volunteers, interns, and others to create a sustainable
market. During non-market season, Market Manager will take leadership in
other Growing Hope health & nutrition initiatives and being a peer mentor to
other markets.
Community Organizer & Community Health Organizer:* Up to two positions will
be recruited. These VISTA members will expand community-based garden peer
education, develop organizational models for community & school garden
development and partnership, facilitate our training program for community
garden organizing, and work heavily with volunteers. The health organizer
will work to fulfill outreach and other strategic organizing objectives of
the Ypsilanti Health Coalition, by developing information-sharing resources
and being a strong presence throughout the Ypsilanti community—public health
or social background preferred for this slot. Both VISTA members in these
roles need to be exceptionally skilled at relationship building and follow
through, to support developing and new gardens and teams of garden planners.
Public speaking, comfort in communicating with many audiences in a variety
of settings, and excellent follow through are essential. Experience in
community organizing and outreach are also key.
Organic Farm & Garden Manager: *This VISTA member will work to develop
Growing Hope’s new urban demonstration farm & garden by organizing and
leading volunteers to carry out the work. The goal of this position is to
both develop the infrastructure of the new site and to set up appropriate
tracking, management, and evaluation systems so that the farm can be
effectively and efficiently managed by volunteers and used as a community
training space. This position will also expand the educational signage and
opportunities as the site develops. A farm in the city means more than just
growing food—it means keeping a site to good neighborly standards,
prioritizing volunteer training, organizing logistics of site development,
managing community relations for the site as people drop in, and serving on
the site development team. This position may be involved with the
development of job training programs for future urban farmers, both youth
and adults. Farming & gardening experience required, as well as a high
degree of self-directedness, proactive communication skills, a high degree
of organization, and creative resourcefulness.*

Urban Agriculture Social Enterprise Coordinator:* This VISTA member will
work to expand Growing Hope’s social enterprise efforts, from business
planning and thorough documentation, to marketing, to carrying out plans for
earning revenue in ways that also further the organization’s mission.
Specifically, it will involve expanding our raised bed kit programs
(including leading volunteers and training employees in how to build the
kits), overseeing the development of a market garden growers co-operative,
and coordinating plant sales. It will be a balance of planning, research,
and marketing with hands-on work building, growing, and selling. Skills in
carpentry & gardening/farming are important, coupled with strong
inter-personal skills and a business-savvy mind.
Local Partner Positions:* The following positions will be housed at and
supervised by partner organizations, though all VISTA members will do some
joint community projects and training:
Living Stones Community Farm Executive Assistant:* Living Stones Community
Farm is a faith-based non-profit social enterprise which provides training
and support to Washtenaw County residence newly released from prison or
jail, by providing vocational training in urban organic agriculture. This
VISTA will promote LSC through social media networking, sales to area
restaurants, and local farmers markets, and develop and initiate a CSA
program in Spring of 2011. She / he will coordinate volunteer opportunities
involving area residents, as well as those enrolled in the Washtenaw County
Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative (MPRI). The VISTA will also assist on
days we have community workshops, events, and fundraisers, as well as
occasional farm workdays, and administrative tasks. She/ he will also be
involved in grant and collaboration development with area organizations and

Edible Avalon Program Assistant: *Edible Avalon is an urban gardening
program through Avalon Housing, a non-profit affordable, supportive housing
provider. The VISTA member will assist in program planning and
implementation, coordinating with the program leader and team of on-site
volunteers. The position also includes work involving our community center
based food pantries. Edible Avalon is much more than a gardening initiative
– it also provides educational opportunities for our tenants around health,
nutrition, cooking skills and food preservation. Strong inter-personal
skills are required as the VISTA member will be directly working with our
tenants, neighbors and volunteers.
Benefits: *

   -          Monthly Stipend of $909.00
   -          Medical Insurance
   -          Child care assistance
   -          Educational ($4,725) or cash award ($1,200) at end of term
   -          Training before and during service term; Opportunities to
   build resume

*Expectation of Service: *AmeriCorps*VISTA members serve full-time, for one
year with varying work schedules. VISTA members are not allowed to be in
school or have other employment during their term of service. VISTA members
may be eligible for Food Stamps, child care subsidies, or other forms of
public assistance.

*QUESTIONS?* More information about Growing Hope is available at More information about VISTA and other Corporation for
National and Community Service programs see Additional
questions about Growing Hope or these positions, please call us at
734-786-8401 or email [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>t

*Growing Hope Center Development Intern*

Growing Hope seeks a volunteer (unpaid) Development Intern for 10-20
hours/week to help us gain the material and financial support to build our
demonstration sustainable urban farm. The Growing Hope Center will house the
organization's offices in a green remodel of an old house, and the 1.4 urban
Ypsilanti property around the house is being developed into a demonstration
urban garden & farm.

This intern will write and submit proposals for donation of products,
services, and sponsorships that will bring the Growing Hope Center to
fruition, crafting each as appropriate for the prospective donor. S/he will
make cold calls and follow up calls to companies and service providers. S/he
will research online and also visit stores, manufacturers, and other
demonstration green buildings or gatherings (e.g. green remodeler’s
convention, etc) to identify prospective donors and talk about the project.
She/he will ensure proper documentation, follow-up, and recognition is done
for any products, services, or sponsorships secured.

   -          Knowledge of green building, organic gardening/farming
   -          Excellent writing & verbal communication skills
   -          Ability to talk about (with training) and represent Growing
   -          Thorough follow through
   -          Fast learner, adaptable
   -          Attention to detail
   -          Ability to make cold calls and visits to stores,
   manufacturers, and over phone
   -          High level of professionalism
   -          Ability to work independently
   -          Web-saavy
   -          Previous work in grant or proposal writing, marketing, and/or
   nonprofits a plus

Ideally, candidate is available on Fridays from 8:30-10 am to attend site
planning team meetings. This intern will work mostly independently, but be
available for meetings on site and in the office at pre-determined times. At
least some availability during the business day/business week is a must to
return relevant calls and emails; other work can occur outside of normal
business hours. Minimum commitment: 6 months from start date, which is the
earliest date available by the selected person.

*To apply:* Please submit resume & cover letter to: Amanda Edmonds,
Executive Director at [log in to unmask] Open until filled.

*Policy Program Organizer, Organic Farming Research Foundation*
Location:* Santa Cruz, CA
Posted: *August 31, 2010
Application Deadline:* September 21, 2010
Compensation:* Competitive salary and retirement and health benefits for
non-profit position in Central California. This is a full-time, exempt
position located in Santa Cruz, CA.

*Job Description*: OFRF seeks a Policy Program Organizer (PPO) to develop
and implement OFRF's grassroots advocacy strategy to effect policy change,
primarily at the federal level. An integral member of the policy team, the
PPO ensures that organic family farmers participate in the policy process.
OFRF is gearing up for its 2012 Farm Bill campaign, and the PPO will be
responsible for building our national network and strategically engaging
organic family farmers throughout the farm bill debate. The Policy Program
Organizer is a full-time, exempt position based in Santa Cruz, CA -- 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.

*Job Responsibilities*:

   -          Develop and implement the grassroots organizing strategy to
   complement and forward OFRF's policy platform, under the supervision of the
   Senior Policy Analyst.
   -          Work with OFRF staff as appropriate to ensure synergistic
   impact of achieving OFRF's strategic goals.
   -          Coordinate, manage, and build OFRF's network of more than
   2,500 organic farmer advocates.
   -          Work with and mobilize a network of grass-top partners and
   organic advocacy organizations at the regional and state levels.
   -          Identify and work with farmer advocates in key states,
   regions, and Congressional districts on specific tactics to advance OFRF's
   policy goals and agenda.
   -          Plan farmer advocate trainings, workshops, and Washington,
   - Congressional office visits.
   -          In coordination with OFRF's Communications team, produce
   action alerts, policy updates, presentations, and other written educational
   materials to be posted on OFRF's website and/or circulated to our grassroots
   network and partner grass-top groups.
   -          Represent OFRF at grower conferences and meetings.
   -          Maintain and update policy contacts in OFRF's database.
   -          Oversee a seasonal intern.
   -          Some travel, weekends, and evenings as necessary.

*Qualifications: *

   -          Minimum three years organizing experience on public policy
   campaigns and online organizing experience strongly desired.
   -          Experience developing and implementing grassroots advocacy
   campaigns and strategies
   -          Experience developing communications and written products for
   grassroots advocacy
   -          Excellent writing, speaking, and communication skills
   -          Strong interpersonal skills
   -          Experience working with and coordinating electronic grassroots
   advocacy networks
   -          Experience working with and as part of national coalitions
   -          Ability to work independently and as part of a team
   -          Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, under
   pressure, and with shifting priorities
   -          Working knowledge of the federal policy process, with
   background in federal agriculture and/or environmental policy preferred
   -          Experience with HTML editing software, databases, and email
   marketing software preferred
   -          Bachelor's degree preferred
   -          Experience working on a farm or with farmers preferred

*To apply:* please send a resume, cover letter, the contact information for
three references, and three short, advocacy related writing samples (no more
than two pages each) to [log in to unmask] with "Policy Program Organizer
Application" in the subject line. Electronic applications only. Incomplete
applications will not be
 considered. No phone calls please.

*Policy Intern, Organic Farming Research Foundation

*Location:* Washington, D.C.

*Posted: *August 30, 2010
Application Deadline:* Applications accepted on a rolling basis until
 position is filled.
Compensation*: Modest stipend
Job Description:* The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) seeks a
Policy Intern to support our policy program activities in our Washington,
D.C., office. This fall, OFRF is gearing up for its 2012 Farm Bill campaign,
and the Policy Intern will be responsible for certain policy-oriented
research projects relevant to the development of that campaign.
Additionally, the Policy Intern will support general policy program
activities and have the opportunity to attend meetings, events, and hearings
on Capitol Hill, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and at other
Desired qualifications:*

   - Interest in organic agriculture policy
   - Strong writing and analytical skills
   - Good research skills
   -  Ability to complete assignments
   -  Self-motivated and ability to work independently
   -  Basic knowledge of public policy process
   -  Understanding of expectations of a professional work environment

**To apply*, please send a cover letter, a resume, and a writing
sample [log in to unmask]
with "Policy Intern Application" in the subject line. Electronic
applications only. No phone calls please. Incomplete applications will not
be considered.

*Opportunities for Farmers


*Organic Cost Share Application Due September 15, 2010*

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. ( <>).

To qualify for this cost-share program, organic growers must be certified by
a USDA accredited organic certification agency. The program authorizes a
payment of 75% of the certification costs, up to $750. Growers must provide
a copy of their organic certification dated between October 1, 2009 and
September 15, 2010, and a receipt for payment for certification. MOFFA will
confirm these documents with organic certifiers, then send the check for a
percentage of the cost of certification to those applicants who qualify.

*How to apply: *Michigan farmers can apply by accessing the application form
through ** or the MOFFA web site
or calling MOFFA to have an application sent to you (248-262-6826). *The
deadline for applications September 15, 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.

*2010 Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals*

DEADLINE for PROPOSALS: December 2, 2010
*WHO: *Any farmer/rancher or group of farmers/ranchers who farm or operate a
ranch in the North Central Region may apply. The North Central Region
consists of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

*WHAT: *NCR-SARE has allocated about $400,000 for the 2010 Farmer/Rancher
Grant Program. Competitive grants of up to $6,000 are available for
individual farmers and ranchers, and grants up to $18,000 are available for
groups of three or more farmers from separate operations who are interested
in exploring sustainable agriculture. NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grants provide
opportunities for farmers and ranchers to use Sustainable Agriculture
practices and their own innovative ideas to solve problems on the farm or
ranch, and to share their ideas with others.

Since the start of  the Farmer/Rancher Grant Program in 1992, over 700
grants have been awarded to farmers and ranchers studying topics such as
holistic management, rotational grazing, livestock and crop production
systems, waste management, weed control, alternative uses for CRP land,
biological weed and pest control, organic farming, marketing, quality of
life issues, water quality, and soil conservation.

*HOW:* Download grants application at

For more information or to receive a hard copy or e-mail file of the
application, contact:

North Central Region SARE

c/o Lincoln University

900 Leslie Blvd, South Campus Bldg, Rm 101

Jefferson City MO 65101

Phone: 573-681-5545

Email: [log in to unmask]

*New One-time Market Opportunity in Grand Rapids Michigan*

*10 vendors from the extended Grand Rapids area to sell at festival!*

On Saturday, October 2nd, Calvin College in Grand Rapids is putting on a
food-themed festival where primarily students of all classes at Calvin, as
well as faculty, staff, and Grand Rapids community members come together to
engage in conversation about food. The focus is specifically on promoting
just and local food choices.

One part of this festival is a mini-farmers market brought to campus, and
currently, there is a need for 10 vendors from the extended Grand Rapids
area to sell their product at this festival. This will be the third year,
which has in the past been quite successful and a lot of fun. It gives many
first-time farmers market shoppers exposure to this type of shopping, and
will give vendors exposure to a great pool of potential customers. So by
participating, you will not only make some sales, but also make a difference
in the lives of students by taking part in their education on just and local
consumption patterns.

If you are a farm or other farmers market vendor from the West Michigan area
and interested in more information on participating in this unique, fun
event, please contact Emma at [log in to unmask]

*Gotta Farm in Akron, OH is for lease*

The Franchis of Gotta Farm are moving to California at the end of the month.
Ben has seasonal work on an organic farm, and Nika will be setting up her
bread business at their new location.

Gotta Farm is for lease. They are renters, and the property is managed
through Century 21 Twin Oaks. They have six months left on the lease. It
would be ideal if they could find someone to take over the lease, and take
over the nascent farming operation.

The property consists of: 2-bedroom house, 2 full baths, nice kitchen,
fireplaces upstairs and downstairs,  hardwood floors in living/dining area
and hall, picture windows overlooking property, walk-out basement level with
den/office area and 2-car garage. House is electric heat (heat pump) and
central air. Possibility of supplementing with wood heat.

2-3/4 acres with small barn (formerly for 2 horses) with electricity and
water line, about half an acre front and side yard, huge yard behind with 2
garden spots, one 36'x36' fenced, the other 25x50 unfenced (yes, the deer
ate everything). 1 acre+ of woods, much in ravine land. Most of the property
is surrounded by Sand Run metro park's Schumacher Run area..  Great hiking
and mushrooming in the woods. Plenty of room for chickens and rabbits.
Facilities sufficient for 2 sheep, subject to Akron Health Dept. permit.

The rent is $900/mo plus utilities. The electric bill averages about $300 a
month, but that includes Nika's commercial bread baking, large freezer,
second fridge, and our grown kids coming over to do their laundry :) Akron
City water/sewer/trash is another $75 a month. There is no gas service
available here.

The property is at 1666 Cuyahoga Street, Akron, OH 44313. *Please give Ben a
call at 330-920-1115 for more info.*

*Events for Organic Farmers and Enthusiasts*

*4th Annual D-Town Harvest Festival

*When*: September 25, 2010, from 12-6 p.m.

*Where:* D-Town Farm - 2 acre model urban farm located in Rouge Park in
Northwestern Detroit.
Why:* Come hear keynote speaker: Andrea King Collier. She has been writing
and speaking about health and health policy issues for the past 20 years.
Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, The
Lansing State Journal and the Post-Tribune.  Also enjoy:

   -          Free Health Screenings
   -          Children’s Activities
   -          Hands-on Learnshops
   -          Farm Tours
   -          Buy Fresh Local Food

How:* Cost: Free of Charge. For more information visit: or call (313)-300-4347.

*Homegrown Festival 2010 at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market*

*When:* Saturday September 11, 2010, from 6-11 p.m.

*Where:* Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Why:* Come celebrate Ann Arbors Food, farms and community! Chefs are working
with nearby farms to create affordable tasting portions of the best of our
region's harvest. There will be dozens of local libations (beer, wine, mead
and hard cider) for grown-ups to enjoy. Project Grow will be back with their
astounding heirloom tomato tasting - over 50 varieties to try.  Other
attractions include kids activities include mural arts and music-making, a
huge silent auction, a "Know Your Farmer" farm stand, dozens of artisan
vendors, and a fantastic lineup of music.
How:* Entry to the Festival is FREE, and food and drink are available to
purchase. For more information on the festival visit:

*2010 Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference*

*When:* November 1-3, 2010
Where:* Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont
Why:* Come celebrate farm women's accomplishments and help us set the stage
for further success.
The conference will feature:*

   - Farm-based workshops and tours.
   - Intensive skill-building sessions.
   - Engaging speakers and practical workshops.
   - Small-group, round table discussions with other farmers.
   - Locally grown food that showcases the bounty of the season.

*How:* Registration opens September 7. Cost:  Range between $100 and $150,
depending on the conference options you select. Early registration discounts
are available through September 30. Sign up to receive email updates about
the conference at:
Visit and click on "2010 Women in Sustainable Agriculture
Conference" in the green "Quick Links" box for more information. For
questions, please email [log in to unmask]

*Making it in Michigan specialty food show and conference*

*When: *October 26, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where:* The Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI

*Why:* This is the one day that every entrepreneur, producer, buyer and
processor in food and agricultural businesses needs to attend. In the
morning come hear keynote speaker Harvey Hartman, Founder, Chairman & CEO
 of The  Hartman Group,  Inc. Harvey   is  a nationally recognized  expert
 on  American  cultural change  and  the consumer  activities  that  impact
 daily  business  products and services. Product Center awards will be
presented to those succeeding in product development. In the afternoon
breakout sessions learn how to market, develop, and make your product safe.
The day concludes with a Marketplace Trade show giving participants an
opportunity for one-on-one time with the Product Center Team and business
development resource providers.
How: *Cost: $60 per person   Registration includes continental breakfast and
walking lunch during Trade Show.  Register online:

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