Hey there, Listers:
This continuing jaw-jacking about "did-too-did-not" and "defining organic" is pretty silly. We each have our personal ideas about organics, but there are the NOP and certifying agency parameters as well. Part of a significant problem up here in the U.P. is the plethora of 'fake' organics, including fake certificates, labels and just plain false assertions about what is or isn't 'organic'.
Now stop and think. The Michigan Organic List is topical and edited by none other than our Sparty-Land, MSU land grant entity. It was designed to be informational; not a hierarchical ranking or value assessed list of events, products, papers, etc. So, while it's an informational resource, it also from time to time includes items from sources that are of questionable worth. So do many of the agricultural print and online resource sites. Do I believe everything in 'Acres'. 'Wisconsin Farmer', 'Organic Broadcaster' or the other publications? No. Are ads all for materials and devices that will work as described? I doubt it. So come on, and while it sucked big time to see 'Monsanto' looming at us in the latest newsletter, it's hardly worth the philosophical drivel that's been generated.
Michigan State has funded the newsletter through the Mott Foundation, I think. It's sad, but our august land-grant institution is merely a shell of what it could be, and yes, it's still currying favor from big ag', CAFO's and the chemical industry. But, there's a crack in the wall of the servitude to these things, and stuff like the Organic List is the light streaming in...the crack will get bigger, trust me. States like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Maine and even the Dakotas have realized the facts about being supportive of local food and crop production, consumer direct marketing, value-added farm products and yes, organics. Michigan's future is agriculture, and diverse, small farms. But, some of the "big kids" haven't figured that out yet or don't want to leave the cushy confines of sucking up to big ag' industry. But, it's changing. Folks like Vicki Morrone are to be supported for their efforts. If
UW-Madison can change, so can East Lansing. As John Dutcher said about Extension and small ag' years ago, "If we lead, they will follow. " Yes. Let's work on making it happen. Let's go on putting Michigan on the national map for things like the organic hop growers, craft organic brewing, outstanding veggie production, adoption of grass-based dairying, world class cheeses from Zingerman's, more organic fruit, and all of us clamoring for clean air and water, and restoring the lands the auto industry polluted.
If people can start an organic dairy in Detroit, and work for organic market gardens in Flint, can't we put our energies into supporting every dang organic effort that's happening in Michigan?
Recently, I attended and spoke at the NOSB meeting in Madison, WI. Near me, others were gathering and as they mentioned their locales, I heard them say, "Listen, just write off Michigan. They're in a mess and can't do anything." It made me sad and angry, and I did speak with them. Write off Michigan? Nope. Not when I see new farmers, more markets, better quality and even information from MSU.
If we lead, they will follow. 'Nuf said.
Yours on the up trail,
If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html