November 19, 2010
New Processing Tomato Variety From Monsanto
A new processing tomato variety from Monsanto Vegetable Seeds (http://www.monsanto.com/Pages/default.aspx) has nematode resistance. Check out a video about this new tomatoes variety at http://growingproduce.com/gptv/?vid=214.
Bt Value: The Big Picture by Growing Produce.com
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 Jehle, 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 cents.
“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 Councils, NCBA, NCGA, NPB, NPPC, USPOULTRY, UEP and USB.
The following individuals are serving as the founding board of directors for USFRA:
- 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 http://www.growingproduce.com.
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 Genesee.
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 http://www.ipm.msu.edu/SWD.htm.
Source: Matt Milkovich Managing Editor, Fruit Growers News, http://fruitgrowersnews.com/
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 acre.”
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, http://fruitgrowersnews.com/
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 that.”
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 regulations.
“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 said.
“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 hour.”Source: Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor, Fruit Growers News, http://fruitgrowersnews.com/
Call for Applicants
MOSES 2010 Organic Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program- Call for Participants
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]" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]. Detailed information and applications can be found at the MOSES webpage, http://www.mosesorganic.org/mentoring.html.
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 trade-offs.
How: Cost: Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is required. Register online https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/561404880.
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 https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/872344817.
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 discussed.
How: Free of Charge. Space is limited. Advance registration is required. Register online https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/622639321.
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 https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/880297808.
Source: For further information on upcoming webinars visit eOrganic at http://www.extension.org/article/25242.
On-line registration ends on Sunday, November 21 for The Great Lakes Fruit, 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.
- 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: http://www.glexpo.com/exhibit.php.
How: Register on-line or download the EXPO registration form at http://www.glexpo.com/index.php. On-line registration ends on Sunday, November 21.
Great Lakes Expo Features Organic Educational Sessions: Thursday Dec. 9, 2010
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. Great
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 plans.
- 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 http://www.glexpo.com/index.php. 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 http://bustour.greatamericanpublish.com 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 http://www.glexpo.com/index.php.
More Information: Visit http://www.flor.hrt.msu.edu/expo-tour 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 http://beef.msu.edu/):
- 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 http://beef.msu.edu/. 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 http://www.michiganwines.com/CulinaryTourism 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 NRCS.
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 details). Course is limited to 20 participants on a first come, first served basis. No on-site registration permitted. Print off registration brochure at http://www.new-ag.msu.edu/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EV%2bnFFcGNWE%3d&tabid=37.
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 http://www.new-ag.msu.edu/.
GrowingProduce.com a Great Educational Resource
Check out GrowingProduce.com for:
Production Information on:
- Crop Protection
- Food Safety
- Farmers Market
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 others
- 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.
- Background and experience in organic crop or horticultural production is essential; additional background in organic livestock production highly desirable.
- 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 priorities.
- 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 STUDENT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
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 agriculture.
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. 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