*Dear, Mich-Organic Listserv readers: The information offered in the
Michigan Organic Listserv is for your information and not necessarily
endorsed by Michigan State University.*

*Michigan Organic*
*December 17, 2010*



*Upcoming Events of Interest*



*8th Annual* *Michigan** Family Farms (MIFFS) Conference, **Registration
deadline is January 7, 2010*

*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:*

   - *Becoming Organically Certified: Steps and Strategies* - Vicki Morrone,
   C.S. Mott Group at MSU; Lee & Laurie Arboreal, Eaters’ Guild Farm and CSA -
   Getting an organic certification for your farm isn’t always easy, even if
   you’re already using organic growing methods. Check out some steps and
   strategies to successfully getting that certification.
   - *Food Safety: It Matters *- Shelly Hartmann, True Blue Farms*- *Food
   safety is a hot topic in agriculture right now, for large and small
farmsalike. Learn how it affects your operation and how to get GAP
   - *SARE Grant Writing *– Dale Mutch, Dean Bass, MSU Extension - Preparing
   a Farmer/Rancher Grant Learn to prepare a Sustainable Agriculture Research
   and Education (SARE) proposal to do research, marketing or demonstration
   projects on your farm.
   - *Hoophouses: Economic Realities and Cost-Share Opportunities* - Dr.
   John Biernbaum, Adam Montri, MSU Dept. of Horticulture; Steve Law, USDA NRCS
   - It takes more than cost-sharing and discounts for a hoophouse to make you
   money. Learn how to be successful and who can help you get there.
   - *Hoophouses: Talking about Structures* - Dr. John Biernbaum and Adam
   Montri, MSU Dept. of Horticulture - Thinking about adding a hoophouse to
   your farm and expanding your growing season? This is the place to start.
   Learn about structures themselves here.
   - *And Much More!*

*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]


*The 12th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, **Registration
deadline is January 23, 2010*

When: *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:*

   - *Sustainable, Organic, Green, Fresh and Natural:  Does the Emperor Have
   Clothes?* - Melinda Hemmelgarn- A greenwashing expose.  Come spruce up
   your green vocabulary and learn how to make true earth-friendly food
   - *Legislation, Laws, Regulations and What They May Mean to Your Farm –
   GAP Part 1* -  Elaine Brown (click on name to see presentation) and
   Colleen Collier Bess (click on name to see presentation) – So you think you
   know what Good Agriculture Practices are, but do you know what “flavors” are
   being asked for?  An overview of the program, and first hand discussions
   with a USDA GAP auditor.
   - *Sustainable Hops Production in the Great Lakes Region *– Rob Sirrine –
   Hops are a novel crop with plenty of potential to be grown in Michigan.
   This talk will provide participants with information needed to grown and
   market hops in Michigan.
   - *Our Farm Experience with GAP - GAP Part 2 - Grower Pane*l- How the
   program has both positively and negatively affected us.  Working with your
   retailer to make the program work for both of you.
   - *Farm to School: * A Great Opportunity in Your Community – Renee
   DeWindt, Kristen Misiak - Hear from two food service directors about their
   experiences with Farm to School, and how you as a farmer can partner with
   your local school.  You’ll hear a broad perspective of what is possible in
   various schools, how farmers can help develop the partnership, and what
   challenges you and your school may have to overcome.
   - *Local Food Funding and Entrepreneur Opportunities* - Susan Loney &
   Shelly Fuller - Emerging business opportunities in support of the Food &
   Farming Network in Northern Michigan, available support services and
   funding options.
   - *And Much More! **.*

*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


*32nd Annual Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association Conference 2011,
Online Registration Open!*


* *

*When: *February 19-20, 2011

*Where:* Granville Middle and High Schools, Granville, OH


*Why: *This year’s event will feature keynote speakers Joan Dye Gussow and
Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens. Plus over 70 informative, hands-on workshops;
a trade show; a fun and educational kids’ conference; locally-sourced and
organic homemade meals; a child care area; and Saturday evening


*Workshop topics including*: season extension, growing brambles, dairy
farming, pastured livestock and poultry, maple syruping, hiring and managing
farm employees, cover crops, renewable energy, farm insurance, agriculture
policy and activism, weed control, growing mushrooms, growing and marketing
grains, school gardens, farm recordkeeping, growing garlic, meat goats,
homemade dyes, farm to school, eating seasonally, green building, pest
management, business branding, pricing for profitability, organic apple
growing, beekeeping, ecological parenting, flower production, mob grazing,
internet marketing, soil fertility, and food co-ops. *Upcoming detailed
descriptions of workshops are coming soon*, **.


*Pre-Conference*: This year's event will also feature a one-day
pre-conference titled *The ABCs of CSAs. *This workshop will provide
guidance for farmers interested in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
including information on the challenges and benefits of CSAs, planning,
record-keeping, membership recruitment and management, and more. The
pre-conference will take place on *Friday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m.* in Granville, Ohio.

*Additional Features:* The conference will also feature a kid’s conference
offering a variety of exciting workshops for children ages 6-12; a playroom
for children under 6; a book signing by Joan Dye Gussow and *The Contrary
Farmer*, Gene Logsdon; an exhibit hall offering an interesting array
of* *information,
products, services and resources that relate to sustainable agriculture; a
non-denominational Sunday service; and Saturday evening entertainment
provided by the Back Porch Swing Band.



   - Full Adult Conference Registration $90 members/$130 non-members
   - Full Student Conference Registration $55 member/480 non-member
   - Saturday* Only *$65 member/$90 non-member
   - Sunday *Only *$65 member/$90 non-member
   - Kids/$17 per kid per day

*How:* To register or for more information about the conference, including
maps, directions, workshops, speakers, and a schedule, go to or contact Renee Hunt at (614)
421-2022 Ext. 205 or [log in to unmask] Last year’s conference sold out, so
early registration is encouraged to guarantee a spot.

*OEFFA Conference Exhibitor Registration Open, Special Price Ends January 7,


*Cost: *$385 (non-profits $325)


   - One 10x10 exhibit space with covered  table and 2 chairs
   - Two conference registrations
   - Saturday’s lunch, Saturday’s dinner and Sunday’s lunch
   - One quarter page ad in the conference program
   - One year OEFFA membership
   - Optional electricity for the exhibit space

*How:* Register online, go to *
*. *Special **Price Ends January 7, 2010.*

* *

*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:*

   - Healthy Soils
   - Field Crops
   - Market Farming
   - Livestock
   - Marketing & Business
   - Download conference brochure
<>for detailed information on

*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,

*Food Safety News*

*House Passes Senate Food Safety Bill with FY 11 Appropriations*


On Wednesday, December 8, the House passed a combined Continuing
Resolution-Food Safety bill by a vote of 212-206.  All Republicans and 35
Democrats voted no.

The Continuing Resolution (CR) would fund all government functions for the
remainder of the current fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, 2011.
The current short-term CR expires December 18.

The Food Safety bill is nearly identical to the bill the Senate passed last
week, with the only differences relating to language about user fees.

To read the full press release, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Coalition website: *

*Child Nutrition Act Includes Organic Pilot Program*


The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 passed by Congress includes a $10
million Organic Pilot Program, reports the Organic Trade Association. Under
the Organic Pilot Program, competitive grants favoring socially
disadvantaged schools will be offered for schools to increase organic
offerings in their meal programs. Because the Organic Pilot Program is not
mandatory, the Appropriations Committee will decide on funding for the
program. In addition to the Organic Pilot Program, the bill includes a $40
million Farm-to-School Program. This mandatory funding will provide a robust
competitive grant and technical assistance program in the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to increase the use of local foods from small- and medium-sized
farms in schools.

To read the full press release visit the Organic Trade Association website:



*Fruit Production News*




*Organic Tree Fruit Growers Get Together, **by Matt Milkovich, Fruit Growers


Not only is it possible to grow organic tree fruit commercially in the humid
Midwest, there’s actually a big demand for it. More organic growers are
needed, though, and those that exist could always use more knowledge.

That’s where the Organic Tree Fruit Association (OTFA) comes in. A group of
several dozen growers in the Midwest, the association focuses on education,
research and advocacy for commercial organic tree fruit production, said
Jackie Hoch, the association’s president.

With her husband, Harry Hoch, Jackie runs Hoch Orchard and Gardens, a
certified organic fruit farm in the southeast corner of Minnesota. She gave
a brief history of OTFA.

A few years ago, Deirdre Birmingham, an aspiring organic tree fruit grower
from Wisconsin, posted a notice at the annual conference of the Midwest
Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). She was looking for
others interested in growing organic tree fruit. The group that responded to
her notice became the Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network, a listserv
that now has more than 700 members worldwide, Jackie said.

Three years ago, a group of growers within the network decided to form an
association with more specific goals, one focused on the needs of those who
produce organic tree fruit as a business. That was the birth of OTFA.

The association now has more than 50 members, most of them either certified
organic or in transition. Their farms and orchards range across the Midwest,
from Missouri and Minnesota to Michigan. Such a vast geographic spread makes
it difficult, but beneficial, for the members to get together, Jackie said.

As for OTFA’s three main focus areas – education, research and advocacy –
the association has nailed down the first category pretty well, but has some
work to do with the last two, she said.

OTFA works closely with MOSES, university and Extension personnel to meet
its goals. It publishes a quarterly newsletter called Just Picked; it
organizes educational events every year, where experienced growers and
researchers share information on all aspects of organic tree fruit
production – from growing techniques to dealing with paperwork (the
association plans to host a seminar during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable
& Farm Market EXPO this month). OTFA members are actively seeking university
and Extension research projects to host on their farms, according to Jackie.

OTFA members meet every February during MOSES’ annual conference in La
Crosse, Wis. They also organize at least two summer tours every year.
Members have to pay annual dues, she said.

As the owners of an organic orchard, Jackie and her husband know firsthand
that markets are hungry for organic tree fruit. Their entire operation
became certified this year, from their 45 acres of fruit to their on-farm
processing, packing and distributing facilities, which produce cider, juice,
sauces, jellies and preserves for the wholesale market.

The Hochs grow berries, cherries, plums, apricots and grapes, but their main
crop is apples. They grow more than 50 varieties, according to their
orchard’s website.

Jackie thinks her orchard is healthier using certified organic growing
techniques – but that’s just an observation. She can’t prove it
scientifically, she said.

They decided to go fully organic three years ago, and became completely
certified this year. It wasn’t just a philosophical decision. They were
convinced the transition could work for them financially, and it has. They
don’t need off-farm jobs anymore to support themselves (they even have a
daughter in college), she said.

In fact, they’re not even close to fulfilling the demand for organic fruit
that’s out there. Jackie isn’t sure how big organic tree fruit farming can
be in the Midwest, but she said there’s plenty of room for growth.

*Source:* Fruit Growers News by *Matt Milkovich, ***

* *

*Feedback Wanted*



*Feedback Wanted on eOrganic webinar “Assessing Nitrogen Contribution and
Rhizobia Diversity Associated with Winter Legume Cover Crops in Organic


For those of you who participated in the eOrganic webinar “*Assessing
Nitrogen Contribution and Rhizobia Diversity Associated with Winter Legume
Cover Crops in Organic Systems*.” your feedback is crucial.  Your input will
help eOrganic to continue sponsoring and improving these events. Please take
1-2 minutes to complete a short, anonymous survey about the webinar.

To begin, click on the URL below or paste it into your browser:

The recording of the presentation will be posted within the coming week on
our website at under Archived


*Vegetable Production News*


* *

*Judge Orders GM Sugar Beets Removed from Ground*


A federal judge has halted an attempt to grow banned genetically modified
sugar beets in the United States.

The herbicide-tolerant beets represent a whopping 95% of the sugar beets
sold in the US and about half of the sugar. The were first brought to the
market in 2007 but last August the DC-based Center for Food Safety and other
advocacy organizations successfully sued to ban the beets, pointing out that
an environmental impact statement has not yet been completed, as US law

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nevertheless allowed
farmers to plant “stecklings” of Roundup Ready Beets, which include a gene
conferring tolerance to glyphosate, a herbicide. Stecklings don’t grow up to
be beets for sale themselves, but after a fall growing season, a winter
spent in storage, and a spring growing season they produce plants that make
seed. The USDA argued that the fall steckling planting was separate from the
rest of the sugar beet production cycle, and that the decision about whether
to allow the stecklings to be replanted in spring or whether to allow the
seeds to be sold could be made later.

Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White disagreed, and on 30 November
ordered that the all the Roundup Ready beet stecklings be destroyed, citing
“significant risk that the plantings pursuant to the permits will cause
environmental harm.” In particular, the judge was worried about the
“contamination” of other related species, including table beets and chard,
with the glyphosphate tolerance gene through cross-pollination. Destroying
the stecklings in question will affect the 2012 sugar beet crop.

“This is a groundbreaking victory—pun intended—for farmers and for the
environment,” says George Kimbrell, senior staff attorney at the Center for
Food Safety.

The stecklings don’t have to be dug up just yet, however. Judge White has
put off the day of de-beeting until 6 December, in the expectation that
defendants will file for a stay pending appeal of his verdict.

Indeed, Monsanto has already announced it will appeal the ruling, which it
says “overlooked the factual evidence presented that no harm would be caused
by these plantings.”

Meanwhile the USDA is accepting comments until 6 December on an
environmental assessment examining whether the beets should be granted a
"partial deregulation" pending a full environmental impact statement.

*Source:* blogs,

*Grant Opportunities*


*Conservation Innovation Grants, **Pre-proposal due Dec 28, 2010 **


*Description:* The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is
announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate
the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and

*Who can apply:* Applications are accepted from all 50 States, Caribbean
Area, and the Pacific Islands Area.

*Award:* NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this
program in FY 2011 will be approximately $25 million. Applications are
requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or
individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects
between 1 and 3 years in duration. Funds will be awarded through a two-phase
nationwide competitive grants process which will include a pre-proposal for
all applications, and a full proposal package only for competitively
selected pre-proposal applications.

*Due Date:* *Applications for the pre-proposal phase must be received
byDecember 28, 2010.
*  Notification of selected pre-proposal applications will be
announced by *January
17, 2011*. Selected applicants will then be required to submit a full
proposal package to the NRCS National Headquarters by 4 p.m. EST, on *March
4, 2011*.

For more information on this grant visit The National Conservation Service
Website: **.

*Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), **Deadline January 10, 2010*


*Description:* The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a voluntary
conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns
in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities;
and improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

*Eligibility: *A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers
determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights
basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations
and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at

 CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and
non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and
Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all
producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic

*How to apply:* An application may be submitted at any time during the year.
Applications received by *January 7, 2011* will be ranked for 2011 funding.
 Applications are funded for five year contracts, **.

*Job Opportunities*




*Part-time Bookkeeper/Office Manager at Ohio Ecological Food and Farm
Association (OEFFA)*

*Job Description:* The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has an
opening for a part-time Bookkeeper who will also be responsible for office
management in our Columbus office. The bookkeeper is supervised by our CPA

*Hours:* 15 hours/week, with the understanding that at certain times of year
additional hours may be needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the

*Compensation:* $12-$13.50/hr, depending on experience.

*Specific Bookkeeping Responsibilities *

   - Full charge bookkeeping using QuickBooks
   - Oversee timesheet, payroll, and expense reimbursement processes with
   payroll service provider

*General Office Responsibilities *

   - Oversee office systems: phones, security, computers, etc.
   - Coordinate supply orders and oversee other office purchases
   - Maintain Board of Director meeting files
   - Manage special projects as requested by the Accountant or Executive

*Human Resources Responsibilities *

   - Manage employee benefits, working both with employees and vendors
   - Coordinate completion of new employee forms and enroll employees in
   benefit plans
   - Maintain personnel files
   - Support Executive Director with appropriate human resource related

*Qualifications: *

   - A high level of expertise using QuickBooks software; strong skills in
   other applications, especially Excel
   - A four-year degree in Business Administration or Accounting or a
   related field is preferred; at minimum a two-year Associates degree is
   - Human resources experience is of special interest
   - Strong oral and written communication skills; demonstrated
   professionalism in written correspondence
   - High degree of integrity, particularly in managing confidential
   - Impeccable attention to detail
   - Passion for the work, mission and values of the Ohio Ecological Food
   and Farm Association, helping to create healthful and ecologically
   responsible food and farm systems that benefit family farmers, the
   environment, and those who eat.

*To apply:* Applications consist of cover letter, résumé, and names and
contact information for three references (please indicate their relationship
to you). Electronically submitted applications (preferred) should be sent to
*[log in to unmask]*, or mail your application to OEFFA Bookkeeper
Position, 41 Croswell Rd, Columbus, OH 43214. We anticipate the successful
candidate will begin in their new position immediately after the first of
the year.

* *

*Southfield** Farmer Market Manager, **Deadline December 29, 2010.*

* *

*Position Description:* The Southfield Farmer’s Market (“SFM”), going into
its 4th year of operation, is seeking an experienced market manager with
excellent leadership skills.  This is a contractual paid position, depending
on experience, and does not include any benefits.  The manager will be
responsible for the daily operations of the market. The position will
require approximately 25 hours a week. Hours of operation are Thursday’s
between 10 am until 7 pm.   Ideal candidate will have farmer’s market
experience and report to the Executive Director of the Southfield Downtown
Development Authority (SDDA).

*Responsibilities (will include but are not limited to the following):*

   - Recruit and retain all vendors, specifically produce vendors
   - Ensure vendors participation
   - Decide location of each vendor
   - Ensure vendors adhere to market rules
   - Interact with the public and respond to questions, provide information
   and represent the SDDA in a professional manner
   - Deal with all dispute resolutions
   - Collect market fees and maintain accurate, complete records of
   financial transactions
   - Recruit train market volunteers
   - Identify alternative funding, i.e. grants and sponsorships
   - Maintain all social and webpage communications
   - Develop planned emergency procedures
   - Develop systems to accept EBT, Credit Cards, etc
   - Work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition
   Assistance Program, Project FRESH and other federal/state programs
   - All other activities assigned by the SDDA Executive Director


   - Self-motivated

   - Dependable and Creative
   - Strong inter-personal skills

   - Flexible
   - Excellent financial and operations background
   - Event Management experience a plus
   - Detailed oriented
   - Good management skills

*To apply:* Send qualifications and salary requirements to
[log in to unmask] by *December 29, 2010.*

* *

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