*Michigan Organic


*November 19, 2010*





*New Processing Tomato Variety From Monsanto*

 A new processing tomato variety from Monsanto Vegetable Seeds (**) has nematode resistance. Check
out a video about this new tomatoes variety at **.



*Bt Value: The Big Picture* *by Growing*

With nearly 40 years of proven performance in the field, Bt’s ability to
control worm pests is well known. But pest management professionals will
also tell you biorationals demand more careful management than some of their
synthetic counterparts.

*Bt Trial Data*

DiPel and XenTari are highly affordable, so the cost outlay for product is a
non issue. But what about careful management? Management means time, and
time is money. What’s the return on the total investment in Bt?

Loyal Bt users will tell you that, like most things in life, you get out
what you put in. That extra management time equates to better timed and
fewer applications, and lower populations for the balance of the season. It
means improved economics in tank mix or rotation. It means unparalleled
resistance management capabilities that extends the life of other important
chemistries. It means no residues, and the lowest alllowable re-entry
interval. It means confidence and peace of mind. While Bts have long been a
mainstay in production agriculture, adoption continues to rise due to the
unique combination of benefits Bts bring. It’s an equation especially
relevant for today’s growers: efficacy, economics, and residue management
benefits that deliver value to suppliers and buyers alike.

When evaluating Return on Investment for a program using Bts, the sum of the
parts is what makes the proposition unique. But it's their effectiveness in
other key areas, such as residue, resistance, and labor management that are
bringing bottom line benefits to more and more growers every season.

“It’s a cost-effective bioinsecticide,” says* Max Jehl*e, pest control
adviser for Sunview Vineyards in California. “Bts have improved our bottom
line because we can achieve the same thing, with the same amount of control,
with a very safe material, without all the issues.”

Jehle says that for Sunview, a key benefit is the global acceptance of
Bt-treated produce. As postharvest residue tolerances become more and more
stringent, the value of Bt goes up. “You don’t always know where your
produce is going,” he says. “When using this material, you don’t worry about
residues. Worldwide, it’s a safe material.”

*Safety Means Flexibility*
Worker safety and re-entry interval (REI) is another key benefit. Labor can
be one of the toughest things a grower has to manage, and pest pressure
doesn’t always emerge at the most convenient time. A program including Bt
can provide flexibility when many other materials can’t. Workers can get
right back in the field just four hours after a Bt application – the lowest
REI allowable by law. The same dynamic applies to late season applications
required just prior to hand harvesting.

Dr. Gary Leibee, a researcher at the University of Florida and long-time Bt
proponent, has found Bt to be especially useful in controlling diamondback
moth and cabbage loopers. For Leibee, Bt’s ability to maintain beneficials
is another benefit that enters strongly into the equation. “It really is the
perfect IPM tool,” he says,”because it only kills the caterpillars and has
no effect on predators and parasites (beneficials), which are extremely
important in keeping the populations at a low level.”

It’s true that programs including Bt often cost growers less than programs
that rely heavily exclusively on other materials, but the resistance
management benefits of Bt aren’t always directly linked to dollars and

“That’s one of the things we’re always telling our growers,” says University
of Florida Vegetable Extension Specialist Dr. Stephen Olson. “You’ve got
some new product out there but if you abuse it, you’re going to lose it.
Very quickly. If we want to keep these products as effective tools, we’ve
got to use rotation.”


 *This is not promoting any commercial formulation of BT but providing
education of how it works for educational purposes.

 New Alliance to Focus On Increasing Consumer Confidence In Ag

Today’s agriculture continues to be attacked by a number of different
groups. Unfortunately, as the majority of the U.S. public has become further
and further removed from the farm, they tend to believe the groups attacking
agriculture, according to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). This
new alliance is comprised of most of the leading national farmer- and
rancher-led agricultural organizations.

USFRA believes the actions of these groups have led a number of agricultural
organizations to fund programs that bolster the image of agriculture and
enhance public trust in our food supply. While these individual efforts have
been helpful in answering some of the criticism, there is a growing need for
all of agriculture to coordinate their messages and reach out even further
to the consuming public through consumer influencers and thought leaders.

“We in production agriculture recognize the immediate need to build consumer
trust in today’s U.S. food production system,” said newly-elected USFRA
Chairman Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We
also recognize the need to maintain and enhance the freedom of American
farmers and ranchers to operate in an economical, sustainable and
responsible manner. The sun rises today on a new, collaborative and
coordinated effort by many segments of production agriculture to tell our
great story as never before.”

At a news conference introducing the USFRA founding affiliates and board
participants, Stallman recalled a historic meeting that took place on
October 12 in St. Louis. Twenty farmer and rancher organizations in
attendance agreed to form USFRA to develop and implement a well-funded,
long-term, and coordinated public trust campaign for American agriculture.

Stallman stated the Alliance’s vision is to enhance consumer trust in
today’s U.S. food production system, to maintain and enhance the freedom of
U.S. farmers and ranchers to operate in a responsible manner, and to
strengthen collaboration with the food production, processing and
distribution systems. According to Stallman, USFRA will focus its initial
efforts on the following measurable goals:

1. Increase consumer, consumer influencer and thought leader trust and
confidence in today’s agriculture.
2. Serve as a resource to food companies on the benefits of today’s
agricultural production.
3. Work with leading health, environmental and dietary organizations to
demonstrate the benefits of today’s agricultural production.
4. Increase the role of U.S. farmers and ranchers as the voice of animal and
crop agriculture on local, state and national food issues.
“This is an exciting time for U.S. agriculture. It represents the first time
all of production agriculture has come together for a common purpose,” said
Stallman. “It won’t be easy. Changing consumer perceptions is a big
challenge. We plan to use our strategic vision to focus our energies.”

In 2011, Stallman indicated USFRA will continue to identify any current
efforts to enhance public trust in today’s agriculture already undertaken by
agriculture and food industry organizations that may fit strategically
within USFRA’s vision and goals. USFRA recognizes that many of these current
efforts have already made strides forward, and it anticipates future
successes for them.

However, USFRA also anticipates identifying gaps in the broad consumer
education efforts that exist today. It will be imperative that USFRA closes
those gaps and builds a public trust in today’s agriculture campaign that
will allow its supporting organizations to operate as needed, while still
pooling resources to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness of a consumer
influencer and thought leader campaign, said Stallman.

At this time, 23 different farmer- and rancher-led organizations –
representing nearly all aspects of agriculture – have joined the alliance to
pool resources. According to Stallman, these organizations are contributing
to the greater good of agriculture, and are participating in an organization
that will truly make a strong, positive impact on farmers and ranchers for
years to come. They are:

   - American Egg Board (AEB)
   - American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)
   - American National Cattle Women (ANCW)
   - American Sheep Industry (ASI)
   - American Soybean Association (ASA)
   - American Sugar Alliance
   - Beef Checkoff (CBB)
   - Federation of State Beef Councils (FSBC)
   - National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)
   - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
   - National Cotton Council (NCC)
   - National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
   - National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)
   - National Pork Board (NPB)
   - National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
   - Southern Peanut Producers Federation (SPPF)
   - U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY)
   - U.S. Grains Council (USGC)
   - United Egg Producers (UEP)
   - United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh)
   - United Soybean Board (USB)
   - U.S. Soybean Federation (USSF)
   - Western Growers (WGA)

 Organizations participating on the USFRA Founding Board include, in
alphabetical order, AFBF, the Beef Checkoff, Federation of State Beef

The following individuals are serving as the founding board of directors for

   - Philip Bradshaw, USB
   - Austin Brown, III, Beef Checkoff
   - Scott George, Federation of State Beef Councils
   - Gene Gregory, UEP
   - Dallas Hockman, NPPC
   - Dale Norton, NPB
   - Forrest Roberts, NCBA
   - Bart Schott, NCGA
   - Bob Stallman, AFBF
   - John Starkey, USPOULTRY

 The following USFRA Board members were elected by their peers at the
initial USFRA Board meeting on Friday, Nov. 5, to serve as the inaugural
USFRA Executive Committee:

   - Chairman – Bob Stallman, AFBF
   - Vice Chairman – Phil Bradshaw, USB
   - Secretary – Bart Schott, NCGA
   - Treasurer – Dale Norton, NPB
   - At-Large – Gene Gregory. UEP
   - At-Large – Forrest Roberts, NCBA

 Stallman said other business conducted by the USFRA Founding Board on
November 5 included approving motions to further establish USFRA as a
credible and operational entity to enable USFRA to begin the lengthy process
of realizing its vision and achieving its goals. Stallman also indicated
that participation in USFRA projects by federally-authorized checkoff
programs is pending USDA Agricultural Marketing Service approval.

*Source: National Corn Growers Association press release. Article found at <>

 *Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) **Found in Michigan; Teams Planning a
Response **by Matt Milkovich Managing Editor, Fruit Growers News


* The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), a pest of Asian origin that is already
established in many of the main fruit-producing regions of the United
States, has been found in Michigan, according to Michigan State University.*

SWD is a pest of berry crops, grapes and tree fruit, with a preference for
softer-fleshed fruit. A monitoring program for SWD found no flies this past
summer, but in late September the first flies, both male and female, were
found in traps deployed in southwest Michigan. This was well after harvest
of most fruit crops, and no pests were found in any fruit, according to MSU.

In October, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed that
SWD had been found in three counties in central Michigan: Ingham, Ionia and
An SWD Response Team made up of Michigan State University research and
Extension staff, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan fruit
commodity groups is meeting regularly to implement an Early Detection-Rapid
Response plan. This will include further monitoring in 2011.

The team is confident SWD can be managed successfully with available
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tactics. Michigan growers are well versed
in IPM techniques and will adapt quickly to address this new insect
challenge, according to MSU.

“We have been aware of SWD since it was first discovered in 2008 in
California,” said Rufus Isaacs, berry crops entomologist at MSU and the
chair of the response team. “This insect is originally from Asia but has
already been found to be invasive in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington,
Utah, Florida, the Carolinas and British Columbia. Our response team set up
300 traps in June in more than 100 fruit-growing sites and checked them
regularly. The traps were monitored the entire season with no positive finds
of SWD until late September in a few fruit farms. This is probably because
harvest was complete in July and August, so growers were no longer actively
managing pests in those fields.”

Isaacs said that because the pest was found after harvest, there was no
threat that the pest was in harvested fruit. He also noted it was found in
an area that had minimal insect management.

Because SWD has not been previously found in Michigan, it is not known if it
will survive the cold Michigan winter.

“If SWD is detected again next year, it is one more insect pest that
Michigan fruit growers will need to add to their crop management programs,”
Isaacs said. “IPM strategies will be implemented next year to help monitor
and control SWD.”

The SWD Response Team is developing educational programs for fruit growers,
including one at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in
Grand Rapids, Mich., in December. Workshops will be held this winter, to
help prepare growers the 2011 season.

For more information on SWD, visit

*Source: **Matt Milkovich Managing Editor, Fruit Growers News,*


*Saskatoons an Opportunity for Midwest Growers* by* Derrek Sigler, Assistant
Editor, Fruit Growers News*

What do saskatoons and William Shatner have in common? They both originated
in Canada. And like Shatner, saskatoons can be a very “enterprising” move
for your farm. Will you boldly go where few growers have gone before?

Saskatoons are a member of the rose family and related to the apple,
mountain ash and hawthorn. They are often compared to a blueberry, due to
appearance and nutritional composition, yet it would be more accurate to
think of them as a tiny apple, said Sarah Lutz of Saskatoon Project Midwest.
Like an apple, saskatoons have seeds, but the seeds are eaten along with the
rest of the fruit. This provides a crunchy texture, a high level of fiber
and a subtle flavor that many refer to as almond-like. The skin and flesh of
the saskatoon is firmer than many other berry fruits, causing the saskatoon
to retain its shape when cooked. The juice of the saskatoon is somewhere
between a blackberry, elderberry and blueberry.

Saskatoons are relatively new to the Midwest.

“Currently, there are about 50 acres of saskatoons planted in Michigan,”
Lutz said. “Most of those plants are three to four years old. The oldest
planting I know of is six years old. By next year there should be about
another 50 acres planted and established, with roughly 1,000 plants per

There are 20-25 growers in Michigan that have saskatoons, Lutz said. That
number is growing, thanks to the efforts of Lutz and Michigan State
University Extension (MSUE). Lutz said a lot of the credit has to go to
MSUE’s Steve Fouch, who has been a champion of the saskatoon. Lutz has seen
a lot of growers taking small steps into berry production with 1-acre plots.

“It isn’t really known if there is going to be any diseases or pest issues
with saskatoons,” Lutz said. “As of now, we haven’t had any issues and we
don’t think there will be. It does make for some cautious investment into a
new fruit, but so far it is going very well.”

What makes the saskatoon a good fruit for the future? Saskatoons beat out
blueberries in antioxidant properties, contain important nutrients such iron
and protein missing in many other berries and are lower in fat, Lutz said.
The National Cancer Institute defines antioxidants as substances that may
protect cells from the damage caused by unstable elements known as free
radicals. Antioxidants have been found to interact with and stabilize free
radicals preventing some of the damage free radicals might otherwise cause,
reducing the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and combating
obesity. Blueberries have long been considered a “super food” because of
their high antioxidant profile.

The saskatoon was an important food source for both indigenous peoples and
the early pioneers. It is also an important food source for wildlife during
the winter season. It was also used as a source of wood and a medicinal
plant. Today, saskatoons are used in pies, jams, jellies, syrups, ice cream
toppings, wine, liqueurs and flavor concentrates and baked goods. They may
be used fresh or frozen.

Saskatoon plants are hardy and can withstand cold winters and drought.
They’re easily propagated, with fragrant, showy flowers, fruit and
attractive fall foliage, according to Purdue University.

“Saskatoons are very cold hardy,” Lutz said. “They can withstand temps down
to 70 degrees below zero, as long as the plant is established.”

Sites for growing saskatoons with late spring frosts should be avoided,
according to Purdue. Saskatoons do not have high nutrition requirements,
although compost worked into the soil prior to planting will help maintain
soil moisture while the plant establishes. A well drained soil and a pH
above 6.0 is preferred, according to Purdue.

The roots should be well covered and the soil firmed around the plant.
Plants should be spaced 3 to 6 feet apart in rows, where they will grow to
form a solid hedge. During the establishment year, it is important to
control weeds around young plants.

“Saskatoons can be planted in either fall or spring,” Lutz said. “In fall,
the plant seems to use all of its energy to establish its root system. In
spring, the theory is there is less potential for winter kill, but you must
plant them before the plant emerges from dormancy.”
* Source: Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor, Fruit Growers News, *

*Michigan Hort President Tackles Issues** by Derrek Sigler, Assistant
Editor, Fruit Growers News*

When Steve Thome was a teenager, the last thing he wanted to do was run the
family farm. Now, as he prepares to take the reins as president of the
Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS), he knows farming is what he was
meant to do.

Thome Orchards, near Grand Rapids, Mich., is a family business. Steve’s
father, Harold Thome, ran the farm and still works on it, although these
days it’s more of a semi-retired role. They farm apples on roughly 115
acres, with some land rented out for cash crops. The apple varieties grown
at Thome Orchards include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Jonagold, Cameo, McIntosh, Gala,
Paula Red, Golden Supreme, Empire, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Rome.

As president, Thome wants to continue to serve the horticultural industry in
Michigan. He is also looking at furthering research opportunities with
Michigan State University (MSU) and working at expanding the reach of MSHS
with younger growers. Thome is concerned about ongoing changes in the
department structure at MSU, and especially in MSU Extension.

“That is a real question these days,” Thome said. “Are they going to
continue to change? My hope is that the hort society has some input on

One of the things Thome sees in his role as president of MSHS is the role of
Extension with growers.

“Extension is an unbiased resource for the growers,” he said. “For instance,
where I’m located, we have access to some of the best Extension agents you
could ask for. The more we as growers utilize Extension services, the better
things will go.”

Challenges that lie ahead for Michigan growers include labor issues and

“Labor is at the top of the list as far as challenges facing growers,” Thome
said. “After that, you’ve got regulations with pesticides and residues and
the GAP process still continues to stress growers. I hope that it gets
streamlined in the future.”

Thome just went through the GAP certification process himself. The first
year was a maze of paperwork, he said. The second was much smoother,
although he had to make a few adjustments. One of the biggest GAP elements
lately has been traceability. To test his traceability system, Thome
recently underwent a mock recall.

“It really wasn’t that hard for us,” he said. “Just a couple extra pieces of
paper really. We already knew from our records what apples were picked, the
date they were picked, the bin they were in, the person who picked them, the
block they were picked from and even the time of day they were picked.”

As for Thome’s harvest, last year was his biggest year ever, and this year’s
crop is down considerably from that. The blame, he said, falls on two hard
freezes in May, which they refer to as the Mother’s Day Freeze. He said they
have noticed some frost scarring on the fruit as they harvest it.

Despite the difficulty, prices seem to be pretty strong, he said.
Thome said it will be hard to determine just how much the tariffs being
imposed on apples by Mexico will affect prices and grower profits – until
the harvest is complete. The size of the crop will help determine where
growers sit, he said.

Growers have been talking about managed, or club, varieties lately. Thome
weighed in on the subject by saying he wasn’t part of any clubs, but he’s
interested to see where things go. He feels that Gala is still a very strong
variety. Honeycrisp is doing well, but is a difficult variety to grow and
manage. Cameo seems to be doing well and Jonagold is becoming a mainstay, he

“I think the Jonagold may be pushing Jonathans out a little bit.”

Thome is giving high-density growing systems a try, to see if they will work
for his orchards. He has started several blocks of tall-spindle,
high-density trees, mostly in Gala. He feels the smaller trees on dwarfing
rootstocks make things easier and more efficient, which reduces costs.

“I think it will have a definite impact on pruning,” he said. “I think that,
soon, we’ll be able to pay by the tree, as opposed to paying pruners by the
*Source: Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor, Fruit Growers News,


*Call for Applicants *

*MOSES 2010 Organic Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program- Call for

The MOSES mentoring program links new and experienced organic farmers with
similar farm types (vegetables, dairy, crops, etc.), providing an avenue for
an exchange of information.  Farmers who have been farming for just a few
years, or who are making the transition to organic agriculture are invited
to apply for the MOSES Organic Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program.
 Experienced organic farmers who are willing to mentor novice organic
farmers, by visiting their farms and taking questions throughout the year,
are also encouraged to apply.  As a participant in the program, both mentors
and mentees attend the 2011 Organic University and 2011 Organic Farming
Conference as well as the 2012 Organic Farming Conference, at no charge.
 Mentors receive a small stipend in addition to these free registrations and
mentees are asked to pay a nominal fee.

 Questions about the program can be directed to Harriet Behar, MOSES organic
specialist, 888-551-4769 or [log in to unmask] Detailed information
and applications can be found at the MOSES webpage, **.

*Upcoming Events of Interest*



*Webinar by eOrganic, Transitioning Organic Dairy Cows Off and On Pasture*


*When:* November 23, 2010, at 2 p.m. EST

*Why:* Do you feel its hard helping cows adjust to a new feed source in both
the fall and spring? Or the switch from high-quality pasture to
lower-quality stored feeds can be tricky? Rick Kersbergen* **an extension
professor at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension *will provide an
overview of rumen function and various rations. He will address the
nutritional qualities of various homegrown feeds (including grains), what
they can add to a cow’s diet, and the potential for milk production

*How:* Cost: Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is
required. Register online **.

* **Webinar by eOrganic, **Using Cover Crops to Suppress Weeds in Northeast
US Farming Systems*



*When:* December 2, 2010, at 2 p.m. EST

*Why:* Cover crops provide important benefits to Northeast croplands,
including soil and water conservation. Some growers are also finding that
cover crops can help reduce weed problems. Do you wonder which covers are
most suitable and how should they be managed to enhance weed suppression?
Then this webinar is for you.

*How: Cost:* Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is
required. Register online **.

* *
*Webinar by eOrganic, **Using Winter Killed Cover  Crops to Facilitate
Organic No-till Planting of Early Spring Vegetables

*When:* December 7, 2010 at 2 p.m. EST

*Why:* Using weed suppressing, winter killed cover crops is one potential
way to eliminate spring tillage in an organic vegetable production system.
The presenters (Mike Snow, Farm Manager, Accokeek Ecosystem Farm; Charlie
White, Sustainable Agriculture Extension Associate, Penn State Cooperative
Extension.) will discuss the challenges and successes of eliminating spring
tillage on a small-scale vegetable farm in southern Maryland. Cover crop
species, planting equipment, and crop rotations tested on the farm will be

*How:* Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is required.
Register online

* *
*Webinar by eOrganic, **Assessing Nitrogen  Contribution and Rhizobia
Diversity Associated with Winter Legume Cover Crops  in Organic Systems

*When: *December 14, 2010 at 3 p.m. EST

*Why: *This webinar is designed to deepen your understanding of how legume
cover crops, through a symbiotic relationship with beneficial soil rhizobia
bacteria, can be used to provide new nitrogen to your organic crops through
the process of nitrogen fixation. You will review the process of nitrogen
fixation, and provide recent data from our lab describing the amount of
nitrogen fixed by common and some novel cover crop legumes used in organic
agriculture. You will also briefly discuss how the diversity of rhizobia
present in the soil may impact this process. Presented by Julie Grossman an
Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil Science at North Carolina
State University specializing in organic cropping systems.

*How:* Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is required.
Register online

*Source: For further information on upcoming webinars visit eOrganic at*

 *On-line registration ends on Sunday, November 21 for The Great
LakesFruit, Vegetable EXPO


*When:* December 7-9, 2010

*Where:* DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI

*Why:* The EXPO offers informative education programs for fruit, vegetable
and greenhouse growers, and for farm marketers. This year there is 63
sessions and workshops over 3 days.

*Topics include:*

   - Fruit and vegetable commodities
   - Greenhouse production and marketing
   - Farm marketing ideas and issues
   - General topics of special interest to growers

Along with the numerous educational programs a Trade Show is offered during
the EXPO. This includes 400 exhibitors covering four acres of exhibit space
in one hall. To see list of exhibitors visit:*.*
How:* Register on-line or download the EXPO registration form at* **On-line registration ends on Sunday,
November 21.

*Great** Lakes Expo Features Organic Educational Sessions: Thursday Dec. 9,


*ATTENTION ORGANIC FARMERS*! *Special Thursday Registration Fee of $35 is
available for admission to the trade show and education sessions.* This is
good for Thursday ONLY.  Thursdays spotlights organic educational sessions
on organic vegetable production, current issues in organic fruit, Farmers
Markets and Organic Opportunities: Extending the Season on the Farm and at
the Market. The trade show will be open from 8a.m.-1p.m Thursday-only
registration does not include the free subscription offers that are included
with the regular registration fees. It also does not include membership in
the Michigan State Horticultural Society of the Michigan Vegetables.

* *

*Registration is limited! Great Lakes EXPO Farm Market Bus Tour*


When:* Monday, Dec. 6, 2010

*Where: *Grand Rapids, Mich. Departing from the Amway Grand Plaza

*Why: *Come enjoy a day-long tour as you visit farm markets in the Grand
Rapids area and experience farm marketing and agri-tourism at its best.
 The stops include:* Opportunity to engage with other farm marketers as you
share ideas, explore opportunities and discuss strategies during the one-day
tour. Michigan Stave University Extension will serve as tour hosts and will
share current research projects and help foster new ideas and implementation

   -  Critter Barn, Zeeland, MI
   -  Lubber's Family Market, Grand Rapids
   -  Moelker Orchards & Farm Market, Grand Rapids
   -  Post Family Farms, Hudsonville, MI
   -  Vander Mill Cider Mill & Winery, Spring Lake, MI
   -  Wells Orchard, Grand Rapids, MI

*How:* Cost: $149 (Includes transportation to all farm markets, lunch and
snacks.)  Use the registration form for the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and
Farm Market EXPO to register for the Farm Market Bus Tour *The registration fee for the farm market
bus tour is for the tour only*. There are separate registration fees for the
Great Lakes EXPO's education program and trade show.

More Information: Visit or call
616-887-9008, ext. 121.*

*REGISTRATION LIMITED! Great Lakes EXPO** Greenhouse Bus Tour


*When: *December 9, 2010

*Where: *Departing The Devos Place convention site at 8:30 a.m. and
returning around 3:00 p.m.

*Why: *Join other greenhouse growers on this tour to see energy-efficient,
mechanized operations that grow high-quality plants for the market place.

Four of West Michigan's leading greenhouse firms will be visited on the
Greenhouse Bus Tour

   - Dewinter's Western Sky Range, Hudsonville, MI
   - Bosgraaf Greenhouse, Hudsonville, MI
   - Micandy Gardens, Hudsonville, MI
   - Henry Mast Greenhouses,  Byron Center, MI

*How:* Cost: $79.00 per person, which includes transportation to the
greenhouses stops, lunch, and refreshments. *The registration fee for the
greenhouse bus tour is for the tour only*. There are separate registration
fees for the Great Lakes EXPO's education program and trade show.
Registration is limited! Register online at the GLEXPO site **.

More Information: Visit ** or call
Thomas Dudek, MSU Extension- Ottawa County at: (616) 994-4580.


*Upcoming Beef Webinar Series: Considerations for Marketing Beef Locally*

*Session 1: *(December 14, 2010) *Consumer Trends* featuring Allen Williams,
Tallgrass Beef and Kerry Smith, USDA Ag Marketing Services.

*Session 2:* (January 11, 2011) *Meat Inspection, Beef Carcass Breakdown, and
Value Beef Cuts* featuring Jeannine Schweihofer, MSUE.

*Session 3:* (February 8, 2011) *Introduction to Beef Quality Terminology &
Beef Pricing *featuring Jeannine Schweihofer, Kevin Gould, and Jerry
Lindquist MSUE. What are they looking for? Michigan Packer Panel

*Session 4:* (March 15, 2011) *Producer Success Stories:*

   - Kentucky Cooperative – Bob Perry, University of Kentucky
   - Michigan Beef Producers Selling Direct – PanelResources for Producers:
   An Introduction to the MSU Product Center - Brenda Reau, MSUE

*Host Sites Include (For more details*

   - Lapeer County MSUE
   - St. Joseph County MSUE
   - Gladwin County MSUE
   - Lake City MSU Experiment Station
   -  Ionia Interm School District
   - Monroe County MSUE
   - Delta County MSUE
   - Ontanogan County
   - Personal Computer - Your Location

*How to Register: **Registrations due December 7, 2010*. *Cost:* $15/session
or all 4 sessions for $50. No refunds available after December 7. Print off
registration form at **. *Send Registrations to: *Carla
McLachlan1290 Anthony Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824.

 *Creating Michigan Culinary Destinations, *Michigan's First Conference on
Culinary Tourism

 *When: January 10, 2011*


*Where: *Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing, MI


*Why:* "Foodies" often plan their travel experiences around authentic,
educational and entertaining food and beverage experiences. Come learn how
you can tap into the growing Culinary Tourism segment of the travel market.
The conference will provide opportunities to interact and form partnerships
among food producers, chefs, restaurateurs, visitor bureaus, wineries,
breweries, tour operators, hotels, and others wanting to market their
business as a culinary destination. Lunch speaker: Ari Weinzweig, CEO and
co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI.

 *How:* *Early Registration Rate is $50 ($75 after Dec. 22*) and includes
continental breakfast, lunch and a closing reception. Registration is
limited to 150 registrants. Visit for conference details and
online registration.) 677-0503, F

ax: (734) 677-2407

 Midwest Fruit IPM Course for consultants, extension agents and NRCS staff

In-depth course offered to train new Fruit IPM coaches and consultants to
fill a growing need in the Midwest. Please read the brochure for the Midwest
Fruit IPM Course<>scheduled
to begin January 2011 for more information. Seeking participants
who can attend four sessions.

*Part 1*, held in Madison, WI from January 10-14, will cover the basics of
Fruit IPM in the Midwest, business planning, and the NRCS conservation
programs requiring IPM plans. During *Part 2* participants will attend the
Michigan State Tree Fruit School; held from January 24-26 in Hickory
Corners, Michigan. In *Part 3*, held at various farms in Wisconsin June
22-24, participants will gain experience in the field with growers and learn
about biocontrols; effective use of spray equipment, and early season pests
and diseases.* Part 4*, held at various farms in Wisconsin July 13-15, will
provide participants with more field experiences with late season pests and
diseases as well as extensive work on writing IPM plans for both growers and

Seeking candidates with flexible schedules that will allow them to fully
participate in all sessions. Candidates should be professionals with crop
consulting experience. Candidates should be interested in gaining knowledge
that they will then apply in the field. This knowledge will include the
skills necessary to assist farmers in implementing IPM on their farms as
well as the ability to write IPM plans for farmers and NRCS Conservation
Programs (EQIP and CAP). Interested in individuals who are crop consultants
interested in expanding their services to include fruit; new Fruit IPM
consultants, County Conservationists; and Extension and NRCS field staff.
 *How to register:  **Cost:* $100, some meals, lodging, and course material
is provided depending on the session (see the brochure for more
)*. Course is limited to 20 participants on a first come, first served
basis. No on-site registration permitted. *Print off registration brochure
at *
For more information contact Jane Kleven 608-262-5200, [log in to unmask]
 or Regina Hirsch 608-265-3637, [log in to unmask]

Event announcement found at the New Agriculture Network web site **.


*Educational Resources



* a Great Educational Resource*


*Check out for:*

*News on: *

   - Industry
   - Fruit
   - Vegetables

*Production Information on:*

   - Crop Protection
   - Organic
   - Nutrition
   - Food Safety
   - Irrigation
   - Traceability

*Marketing on:

   - Farmers Market
   - Wholesale

*Also Featuring: Events, Growers Reorganization and an Opinion column. *




*Part-time Organic Educator for the Ohio Ecological Farm Association*


*Location: *Columbus, OH (may involve occasional travel)

*Position Description:* The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association are
seeking a part-time (25 hours/week) Organic Educator beginning in February
of 2011. The Organic Educator will be responsible for providing direct
technical assistance to organic farmers with various levels of experience
and for developing and implementing educational programming work (workshops,
webinars, field days) focusing on organic production. The Organic Educator
reports to the Education Program Director.

*Salary:* $15-$16/hr (depending on qualifications). Benefits include health
insurance, sick leave, and paid time off.   .

 *Responsibilities of the position include:*

   - Help organic and aspiring organic farmers by answering questions and
   providing informational resources
   - Design and implement various organic education programs, including
   workshops and webinars
   - Design and administer OEFFA’s summer farm tours series
   - Facilitate a farmer-to-farmer knowledge network to connect farmers with
   information needs to those who can help them
   - Serve as liaison between OEFFA and various other organizations,
   including OSU-Extension’s Sustainable Agriculture Team, NRCS, OPGMA, and
   - Coordinate OEFFA’s apprenticeship program
   - Provide occasional contributions to OEFFA’s newsletter
   - Assist with publicity of OEFFA’s programs
   - Oversee organic production content on the OEFFA website
   - As needed, assist in writing grants for organic education programs

*Qualifications:*  Seeking someone with both the education and the
experience to outstandingly perform the duties of this position. Interested
in an individual who has deep personal knowledge of organic production, is
adept at locating appropriate information resources, has an appreciation
both for farmer knowledge and a respect for scientific research, and who
also has the administrative and organizational skills to successfully
develop, promote, and implement formal educational programs.

*Qualifications include:***

   - Background and experience  in organic crop or horticultural production
   is essential; additional background in organic livestock production highly
   - Minimally, a B.S. or B.A. in natural sciences, environmental education,
   agriculture, or related area.
   - A highly dependable understanding of the National Organic standards.
   - Proven excellent oral and written communication skills.
   - Previous experience in a non-profit setting.
   - Previous experience working with farmers.
   - The ability to work well with OEFFA personnel, members, and the public.

   - Flexibility and openness in dealing with changing events and
   - Organization, planning, and project management skills.

*How to Apply:* Applications consist of cover letter, resume, and names of
three references (indicate relationship). Electronically submitted
applications (preferred) should be addressed to
Carol Goland, Executive Director, and submitted to *[log in to unmask]*,  or
mail your application to Carol Goland, OEFFA, 41 Croswell, Columbus, OH
43214. For questions, contact Carol Goland at 614.421‐2022.  Review of
applications will begin on Dec. 28, with interviews to be held early
January.   Candidates should be prepared to begin by February 10, 2011.


 * Graduate Assistantship in Department of Horticulture at Purdue University

 A graduate assistantship (Ph.D.) is available for a student interested in
studying organic vegetable production in the Department of Horticulture at
Purdue University.  Research will focus on the relationship between
soil-improving management practices and tomato varieties on plant health and
productivity.  The research is part of a larger multidisciplinary project,
so the selected student should be prepared to interact with a diverse group
of faculty and students from multiple departments within the College of
Agriculture. Applicants should have a strong academic record, prior field
and lab experience, and a demonstrated interest in organic and sustainable

For more information about this opportunity, contact Lori Hoagland, via
e-mail ([log in to unmask]). Please provide a cover letter outlining
research interests, professional goals and prior experience; a resume or CV,
contact information for least 3 references.

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