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Michigan Organic
December 10, 2010

Information Request


Request for Grower Experience - Good, Bad or Ugly - with Organic Peach and Plum Production

posted on November 16, 2010 21:29

NCAT horticulture specialist Guy Ames is embarking on a comprehensive update of our ATTRA publication Organic & Low-Spray Peach Production (2003), probably also incorporating information on organic and low-spray plum production. They are interested in institutional research but also GROWER EXPERIENCE.

Because farmers (especially organic farmers) are so often conducting their own research, and because organic production of peaches and plums is so difficult, Guy is interested in what worked for growers and--just as important--what didn’t work. He is especially interested in grower experience in the humid eastern half of the U.S., but information from anywhere would be helpful.

If you are willing to talk to Guy and share your experiences and information, write him at [log in to unmask].

Source: The New Agriculture Network

USDA Seeks Comments on Organic Guidance, Dec. 2010 Issue of Vegetable Growers News

USDA is inviting public comment on draft guidance issued by the National Organic Program (NOP).

“The organic community has had to navigate some complex issues,” said Miles McEvoy, NOP’s deputy administrator. “Our goal is to provide clear guidance to ensure consistent implementation of the organic standards.”

Topics addressed include: compost and vermicompost in organic crop production; wild crop harvesting; outdoor access for organic poultry; commingling and contamination prevention in organic production and handling; and use of chlorine materials in organic production and handling.

The guidance documents, available in draft form on the NOP website at, are intended to assist those who own, manage or certify organic operations in carrying out their responsibilities by providing a uniform method for complying with the national organic standards and conducting audits and inspections. The topics covered in these documents also address recommendations issued by the USDA Office of Inspector General in a March 2010 audit report of NOP.

NOP will consider all comments submitted by Dec. 13
, before issuing final guidance for inclusion in the Program Handbook. The public can view the documents and provide comments through the preferred method at (document number AMS-NOP-10-0048), or by mail to Toni Strother, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA–AMS–NOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Room 2646 So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250–0268.

Once finalized, the guidance documents will be incorporated into the Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations, which serves as a central reference for clarification about NOP standards and best program practices. The current edition of the Program Handbook is available at, or in print upon request.

NOP will announce a notice of availability of final guidance, when available. For more information, call NOP at (202)720-3252; e-mail [log in to unmask]; or visit

*Published in The Vegetable Growers News, December Issue, Volume 44, Number 12,

Upcoming Events of Interest


The 12th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, Walking the Walk: Bold Steps Toward a Regional Food System


January 22, 2011

Where: Grayling High School, Grayling MI.

Why: The conference serves as a vehicle to promote and build a local vibrant agriculture community, to equip the small farm community with the tools to be successful, and to be a forum for the open exchange of ideas within the small farm community.

Possible Sessions of Interest:

How: Registration deadline is January 23, 2010 (Registration includes Saturday Keynote, sessions, lunch and breaks), Cost: $50 for 1st person, each additional person in the $35, and youth is $20. Sorry NO REFUNDS - Late or Walk in Registration will be charged additional $15 per person. Registration form can be found at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference web site

8th Annual Michigan Family Farms (MIFFS) Conference

When: January 15, 2011

Where: Lakeview High School, Battle Creek, MI

Why: This year’s conference is entitled “Rising to the Challenges- Local Farms, Local Food, Local Pride". Come and discuss challenges and growth opportunities for family farms. Connect with other growers and great resources, network, and learn about organic certification, hoophouses, agritourism and local markets, urban school gardening, food safety, niche marketing, alternative energy, CSAs and much more.  Don Coe of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, MI. is this year’s keynote speaker.  He will share how he transformed his vineyard into one of the most successful agritourism destinations in the state. Exhibits and displays will be set up for your enjoyment to connect you to government agencies, nonprofits and agricultural groups and organizations.

Possible Sessions of Interest Related to Organic:

*To be an exhibitor, contact MIFFS. You must be an exhibitor to sell any products or goods of any kind.

How: Registration deadline is January 7, 2010 (Registration includes keynote speaker, lunch featuring local foods, and sessions) .  Cost: $30/each for members, Adults- $35/each non members, Children- $25/each (up to 16yrs old). Register online at the MIFFS website

For more information, visit or contact the MIFFS office at (517) 432-0712 or
[log in to unmask].

MOSES 22nd Annual 2011 Organic Farming Conference

When: February 24-26, 2011

Where: The La Crosse Center, Lacrosse, WI

Why: Come enjoy an educational weekend packed with 70+ workshops, 150+ exhibitors, terrific food, entertainment, acres of food and farming books, and plenty of time and space to network.

Organic Topics Include:

How: Register by Jan 15 to save $20. Cost: Full registration $175 before Jan 15 ($195 after Jan 15). Registration is also available for Friday and Saturday only.  Print off registration form and download conference brochure at the MOSES website,

New Farm Business Partnership Opportunity

Owner of a Small Vegetable Farm is Looking for a Partner to Run the Farm Operation in 2011.

Location: 30 minutes east of Columbus near Granville, OH

About 2.5 usable acres. Additional barns, chicken coop, and some pasture with great potential for animals and a small orchard. Presently have tables at the Granville, Clintonville, and Worthington summer farmers market.

Potential Partner Experience: Experience is necessary. It would be a great opportunity for someone who has worked on farms, but does not have money to buy land and equipment to start their own. Pay would be based on profit sharing. Someone looking for a long term position would be best. There is a possibility for on-farm housing. Please send work experience and contact info to [log in to unmask].

Farming Opportunities

Farming Opportunity in SE Ohio

A couple in SE Ohio is seeking a young couple with energy to work on shares.

Land Description:

 For more information contact, [log in to unmask].


Truck for sale (farming truck) - Columbus, OH Area



If interested:
Contact Mark at (614) 358-7838. Photos available on announcement tab at


WANTED Organic Alfalfa

Seeking 60 tons of dry (no baleage) organic alfalfa with a RFV 150 or over and protein 18-22.  Large round or square preferred with delivery to Michigan. 

If anyone can supply this contact John, [log in to unmask].


Walk In Cooler for Sale - Columbus, OH

Walk in Cooler Description:


If interested: Call Josh Goodson (740)817-4098


USDA Announces Cut-Off Date for 2011 Conservation Funds

EAST LANSING, Dec. 10, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a cut-off date of Jan. 19 for 2011 financial assistance from two conservation programs. The programs provide financial assistance for implementing conservation practices and for improving wildlife habitat.

“Landowners and agricultural producers should contact their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible if they are seeking conservation financial assistance during 2011,” said State Conservationist Garry Lee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Financial assistance is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program which are administered by NRCS. Applications for both programs are accepted on a continuous basis however only applications received by the cut-off date will be ranked and considered for the current funding cycle.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance for conserving natural resources on agricultural land. The program reimburses 75 percent of the estimated cost for implementing a variety of conservation measures to conserve soil, water and air resources. Some eligible conservation measures include animal waste storage facilities, windbreaks, field residue management, prescribed grazing practices and pest management.
Landowners who want to improve wildlife habitat on their property can receive financial assistance through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. The program provides financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the estimated cost for improving wildlife habitat. Some eligible practices under the program include tree and shrub plantings, native grass and wildflower establishment and forest stand improvements.

Socially disadvantaged, limited resource and beginning farmers may be eligible for a higher rate of financial assistance and other benefits under these programs. For more information contact your local USDA Service Center or visit the NRCS-Michigan Web site at

Source: United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service
Marketing Opportunities,


First of Five Michigan Good Food Work Group Reports Has Been Released

This report provides:

Anyone working to support schools, hospitals and universities buy more of their food from in Michigan, anyone looking to understand more about the challenges and opportunities institutions have in their food purchasing, and anyone wanting to help implement the charter priorities in this arena will want to read this report.

The report, authored by Val George, Colleen Matts and Susan Schmidt with input from more than 20 work group contributors, is available for download at

The other reports in the series will be released in the following months.



Season Extension Pest Management Webinar Update

The season extension pest management webinar series is now over, here is brief update on how well it was received.  

There were 226 total online registrants from 26 states and 4 provinces.  The attendance for webinar 1 was 192, webinar 2 was 197, webinar 3 was 149, webinar 4 was 89, and webinar 5 was 69.

Each webinar had its own evaluation which is listed below.  There are a few paper surveys which have not been received or entered, but this is the majority of the feedback.  This information will be used in our IPM Summit on High Tunnels immediately following our annual meeting in March 


Vegetable Production News

The federal Court Ordered the GM Beets Planted in Defiance of the Law Must Be Removed

Federal Court Orders First-Ever Destruction of a GMO Crop Posted on November 30, 2010 by center for food safety.

Court Orders Removal of Genetically Engineered Sugar Beet Seed Crop; Finds Government and Monsanto rushed to illegally plant herbicide resistant crop.

Today Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White issued a preliminary injunction ordering the immediate destruction of hundreds of acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings planted in September after finding the seedlings had been planted in violation of federal law. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety on behalf of a coalition of farmers, consumers, and conservation groups. The lawsuit was filed on September 9, shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed it had allowed the seedlings to be planted.

The court outlined the many ways in which GE sugar beets could harm the environment and consumers, noting that containment efforts were insufficient and past contamination incidents were "too numerous" to allow the illegal crop to remain in the ground. In his court order, Judge White noted, "farmers and consumers would likely suffer harm from cross-contamination" between GE sugar beets and non-GE crops. He continued, "the legality of Defendants' conduct does not even appear to be a close question," noting that the government and Monsanto tried to circumvent his prior ruling, which made GE sugar beets illegal.

Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said, "USDA thumbed its nose at the judicial system and the public by allowing this crop to be grown without any environmental review. Herbicide resistant crops just like this have been shown to result in more toxic chemicals in our soil and water. USDA has shown no regard for the environmental laws, and we're pleased that Judge White ordered the appropriate response."

Plaintiff Center for Food Safety's Senior Staff Attorney George Kimbrell said, "Today's decision is a seminal victory for farmers and the environment and a vindication of the rule of law. The public interest has prevailed over USDA's repeated efforts to implement the unlawful demands of the biotech industry."

The plaintiffs-The Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and the Sierra Club-had immediately sought a court order to halt the planting. On September 28 Judge White ruled that USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by allowing the plantings without analyzing the potential environmental, health, and socioeconomic impacts of growing GE sugar beets. Judge White heard testimony from the parties during a three-day hearing in November before issuing today's ruling.

Monsanto created "Roundup Ready" crops to withstand its Roundup herbicide (with the active ingredient glyphosate), which it then sells to farmers together with its patented seed, for which it charges farmers a substantial "technology fee." Earlier this year, the Department of Justice announced it had opened a formal investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in Monsanto's use of such patented crops. Growing previous Roundup Ready crops such as soy, cotton, and corn have led to greater use of herbicides. It also has led to the spread of herbicide resistant weeds on millions of acres throughout the United States and other countries where such crops are grown, and contamination of conventional and organic crops, which has been costly to U.S. farmers. There is also evidence that such herbicide-resistant crops may be more susceptible to serious plant diseases.

In an earlier case the court ruled that USDA had violated NEPA by allowing the crop to be commercialized without first preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In August the court made any future planting and sale unlawful until USDA complies with federal law. (USDA has said it expects to complete an EIS in spring 2012.) But almost immediately after the ruling, USDA issued permits allowing companies to plant seedlings to produce seed for future Roundup Ready sugar beet crops, even though the crops are still illegal to grow, and no EIS has been prepared. The seed growers rushed to plant the seed crop in Oregon and Arizona, apparently hoping to outrun the legal action to stop it. In this latest case, USDA argued that the seedlings were separate from the rest of the sugar beet crop cycle and had no impact by themselves, but Judge White rejected this. He found that the law requires USDA to analyze the impacts of not only the seedlings, but the rest of the Roundup Ready sugar beet production process as well, before any part of that process can begin.

Courts have twice rescinded USDA's approval of biotech crops. The first such crop, Roundup Ready alfalfa, is also illegal to plant, based on the vacating of its deregulation in 2007 pending preparation of an EIS. Although Monsanto appealed that case all the way to the Supreme Court and the High Court set aside part of the relief granted, the full prohibition on its planting - based on the same initial remedy granted here, the vacatur - remains in place.

This case is Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, No. C10-04038 JSW (N.D. Cal. 2010).

Job Opportunities and Internships


Hyde Park Farmers' Market - Market Manager Needed

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Position Description: Seeking an energetic individual, passionate about local sustainably grown food.  The market runs every Sunday, June - October from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., on Hyde Park Square from June – September, and in the US Bank parking lot in October.  The manager is there to make sure the market runs smoothly, put out our signs, sell water & market bags, provide information, run the "market booth" displaying literature, coordinate special programs (such as chef demonstrations & tastings) and music, and help connect customers with vendors. The manager also uses Facebook and Twitter to promote the market.  This is a paid position.  The number of hours varies, depending on the individual interest and market needs.

How to Apply:
Send a resume to Mary Ida Compton at [log in to unmask] or (513) 561-1205.

Applications are Now Being Accepted for the 2011 CEFS Small Farm Unit Work Study Positions in Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems.


Goldsboro, North Carolina

Two options available:
9 month summer (February through October) and 4 month winter (February through October) apprenticeship program. During the apprenticeship, independent projects are encouraged. During the apprenticeship, independent projects are encouraged.

The three focus areas for each apprenticeship:

They offer a small stipend ($100/week), housing with access to a kitchen and the Internet. Apprentices may attend CEFS workshops free of charge and may have the opportunity to participate in the formal internship seminars.

How to Apply: The deadline for applications is January 3, 2011. Submit an email letter of interest to Steve Moore at [log in to unmask], and include the following information:

For more information visit the CEFS site, or contact

Dr. John M. O'Sullivan
Small Farm Unit Coordinator
[log in to unmask]


Steve Moore
On-Site Farm Manager
[log in to unmask]

 Sustainable Ag Project Manager Position at the Wilds

The Wilds is engaged in a Conservation Innovative Grant project, supported by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. This is a three year sustainable agriculture initiative with a key purpose of demonstrating options for "limited resource," marginal farmers/ranchers and land owners. The project will demonstrate land preparation, land
management and use options based on life cycle analysis for carbon and energy. It is intended that these options will enable the farmers/ranchers to minimize the environmental impact and cost while reviving their lands, addressing climate change adaptation by sequestering CO2, supporting biodiversity, and generating sustainable  income.

The Wilds is seeking a manager to help assist the oversight of the project and participate in its daily activities.

Typical tasks:

Requirements and Desired Abilities:

How to Apply: Apply online at (year-round employment) or by sending cover letter and resume to:


Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Human Resources

9990 Riverside Dr.

Box 400

Powell, OH 43065


Grown In Detroit Produce Marketing and Sales Coordinator

Organization: The Greening of Detroit
Location: 1418 Michigan Ave., Detroit 48216
Date Posted: December 1, 2010
Salary: $28,800 - $32,000 commensurate with experience plus benefits

Area of Focus: Food Systems, Urban Agriculture, Farmers’ Markets, Retail and
Wholesale Produce Marketing and Sales, Education, The Environment.

Organizational Description: The Greening of Detroit’s mission is to “guide and inspire the growth of a ‘greener’
Detroit through planting and educational programs, environmental leadership, advocacy, and by building community capacity.” One of the ways The Greening engages the community to achieve this mission is through urban gardening and agriculture projects. Since 2003, The Greening of Detroit has been at the forefront of an emerging movement to achieve a ‘greener’ city while transforming the food system in Detroit. Our accomplishments include working with our partners in The Garden Resource Program to provide farming resources and educational opportunities to over 15,000 urban gardeners of all ages each year in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. We operate four unique urban farms to utilize The Greening of Detroit’s urban agriculture programs as effective small-scale agricultural sites that provide community led, placebased education, and showcase production based small-farming or gardening models in Detroit.

Position Summary: The Greening of Detroit is seeking a full- time Produce Marketing and Sales Coordinator to support our Urban Agriculture Department and urban farmers participating in the Grown In Detroit cooperative who are producing fruits and vegetables for sale at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants. In 2010, Grown In Detroit sold regularly at 6 Detroit Farmers’ Markets as well as to local restaurants grossing over $50,000. This position requires an individual with strong interest in community-driven food systems and urban agriculture, the experience and willingness to work with diverse groups, and the ability to collaborate with community organizations. The Produce Marketing and Sales Coordinator reports to the Urban Farms Operation Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Additional Qualifications:

How to Apply:
Please send email of your resume and cover letter to [log in to unmask]. Use the job title as the subject line. Only potential interviewees will be contacted. Visit our website at The Greening of Detroit is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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