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Michigan Organic 


January 11, 2011






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:

   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 farms alike. Learn how it affects your operation and how to get GAP certified.

   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! http://www.miffs.org/mffc/2011/2011MFFCbrochure.pdf.


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


How: Cost: $30/each for members, Adults- $35/each non members, Children- $25/each (up to 16yrs old). Pre-Registration Ended but Walk ins are accepted, most likely there will lunch available too! (Registration includes keynote speaker, local foods, and sessions). 



Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference Registration Open! 


When: January 21-22, 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.


Friday will feature keynote speaker Karen Lubbers, whose six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1993. The journey that followed led their family from main stream America to the pursuit of sustainable agriculture. Karen will recount their journey and share the provocative lessons learned along the way.


Saturday will feature keynote speaker is David Kline, a farmer, naturalist, and writer. He and his family farm 120 acres and operate a 45-cow organic dairy near Mt. Hope, Ohio. David is the author of three books, Great Possessions (1990), Scratching the Woodchuck (1997), and Letters from Larksong. Also stay and enjoy the numerous educational break-out sessions.


Possible Sessions of Interest:

   CSA Financials: the Open Book Test - Nic Welty, Jim Schwantes – 9 Bean Rows and Sweeter Song farms will open their books for an in depth look at the key financial documents used by these CSAs to evaluate the success and profitability. Beginning farmers or seasoned veterans will both benefit by using a CEO’s framework to forecast and sustain growth for your CSA.

   Resources for Beginning Farmers - MI Young Farming Association - Representatives from the Michigan Young Farmers Coalition, ISLAND and Michigan Land Use Institute’s Get Farming program will share educational and networking resources along with opportunities for training, development and support for our newest crop of farmers.

   Sustainable Hops Production in the Great Lakes RegionRob Sirrine Hops are a novel crop with plenty of potential to be grown in Michigan.This talk will provide participants with information needed to grow andmarket hops in Michigan.

   Early to Market: Affordable Season Extension Structures for the Small Farm - Craig Schaaf - Craig will explain several types of inexpensive, homemade season extension structures that small farmers and home gardeners can use to produce vegetables

   And much more!http://mismallfarmconf.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/onepageregistration20111.pdf 


How: Registration deadline is January 12, 2011, Cost: $50 for 1st person, each additional person in the $35, and youth is $20. Sorry NO REFUNDS - Late or On-Site Saturday Registration is an additional $20/person does not guarantee lunch availability. On-Site Registration Cash or Check ONLY. Registration form can be found at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference web site http://smallfarmconference.com/.



Agriculture’s Conference on the Environment

When: January 27, 2011

Where: The Lansing Center, Lansing, MI

Why: This conference will help farmers seeking to improve their farming operations while protecting the environment. You will have chance to learn about how measuring carbon on the farm can have a positive effect on both the environment and the bottom line.

This year’s keynote speakers are Dr. Bill Beranek, President, Indiana Environmental Institute and Charlie Arnot, Chief Executive Officer, the Center for Food Integrity.

Key topics Include:

   Changing Environmental Regulations Farm Policy

   Developing Efficiencies to increase Profitability

   Legislative, Food Safety & Economic Impacts

   Managing Inputs to Maximize Profit

   Reducing Farm Energy Costs to Increase Profitability

   And Much More http://www.maeap.org/ace/schedule

How: COST: $50 by January 17 ($25 for students) $75 after January 17 and at the door. All fees include lunch and refreshments. Register online or print and mail form at http://www.maeap.org/ace/registration.



2nd Annual Growing Our Food Systems Conference



When: February 2, 2011, from 9 a.m.- 4p.m.


Where: S. Washington Office Complex (Old National Guard Armory), 2500 S. Washington, Lansing, MI


Why: The Greater Lansing Food Band, and varies area partners have come together to provide a one day conference for people who grow, produce, process, market, distribute, prepare or eat food. Whether you are just beginning or have been involved with food you whole life, come join the conversation. 


How: COST: $10 Sliding Scale (Includes Lunch). For more information or to register, visit www.greaterlansingfoodbank.org or call 517-853-7800. 




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 entertainment.


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 details on workshops are coming soon, http://www.oeffa.us/oeffa/pdfs/conference2011_web.pdf.


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 http://www.oeffa.org/conference2011.php 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.




 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 and mingle.


Organic Topics Include:

   Healthy Soils

   Field Crops

   Market Farming


   Marketing & Business

   Download conference brochure for detailed information on topics.


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, www.mosesorganic.org.






Practical Farmers of Iowa “Farminar” FREE Series


What’s a Farminar?: An interactive seminar broadcast over the internet with information slide show, and audio presentation on farming topics. 90-minute farminars feature topics of interest to farmers. Why not get together at a community center with other farmers and co-participate!!


2011 Winter Farminar Schedule:

   Tuesday, January 11, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Growing in High Tunnels” with Adam Montri and Sara Hanson

   Tuesday, January 25, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Tomatoes Inside and Out” with Andrew Knafel, Matthew Patterson and Jennie Smith

   Tuesday, February 8, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Farm Fresh Eggs, Handlers Licenses and Profitability” with Tai Johnson-Spratt and Theresa Gould

   Tuesday, February 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Organic Cucurbit Production” with Glenn Drowns and Ben Saunders


How:  COST: Free of Charge, Must registeronline, http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/e57133717/event/registration.html?preview=false




Ingham County MSUE Annual Crop and Pest Update


When: January 19, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Where: Monsanto Research Barn at 474 S. Onondaga Rd., Mason.


Why: Come here updates on nutrient management, Insects, nematode and sudden death syndrome, corn and soybean. 


How: COST:  $20 (if you need the weed control guide and the pest control guide they can be purchased at the site on the day of the event). RUP and CCA credits are pending. If you have any further questions call George Silva at 517-543-2310. To register call [log in to unmask] or call Connie at 517-676-7292.





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