Michigan Organic Listserv News –July 27, 2011

The information shared in this listserv is not endorsed by Michigan State University.

Organic Agriculture and Certification

Hey Certified Organic Farmers-Time to get ready for Cost-share!

This year the USDA Cost share will be managed by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). If you have applied in the past you will recall that there is a deadline just barely after last harvest, and in some cases NOT yet after harvest!! So it’s time to get ready…


So if you would like to apply-it’s time to get the paperwork in order!!

Remember you can receive up to 75% of what you paid in certification fees (for only USDA NOP certification)  and user fees with a max of $750.00.

You will need a copy of your CURRENT certification certificate, all fees incurred during the period from Oct 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011 and receipt of your payment to the certification agency in order to complete the Cost Share Application.


You will be receiving an application packet in the mail by AUGUST 1 from MDARD. Names and addresses of organic farmers and those in the process have been collected from all of the USDA NOP organic certification agencies in the U.S.


Note that the expenses that are covered in USDA Cost Share include the cost to have your farm certified and user fees. Note that membership fees to the Certification Agency are not allowed to be included in Cost Share.


·         So if you have not been inspected yet try and have it completed VERY SOON (so you can have your paper work for the application).

·         If you have been inspected for this year and certified, make sure you have paid your fees to the certification agency (in full) and get your certificate.



More to follow.

All the Best,

Vicki Morrone (in communication with MDARD)

[log in to unmask]


Comments Due Thursday on Controversial Food Safety Plan

The last chance for public comment on the USDA's Leafy Green Marketing Agreement is this Thursday, July 28.

Corporate agribusiness wants to tell the rest of us how to farm, and shut anyone out of the market who does not follow their one-size-fits-all “food safety” standards for leafy green vegetables. The USDA is supporting their plan -- which will allow a committee of industry representatives, lobbyists and other officials to write a set of so-called food safety standards for the entire leafy green farming community.

Sustainable organic and local growers who take different approaches to food safety will likely be shut out of the market when handlers/buyers refuse their buy their crops. The voices of consumers united with farmers has power and you need to speak. Please go to Cornucopia's action alert for help crafting your public comments for submittal to the USDA.


Is supporting your local farmer by visiting your farmers market, CSA, food coop, or other local food source important to you? Seeking your comments on a proposed rule.

Well, this is an exceptional opportunity to make sure your local farmers have the resources they need to continue to grow the local food economy.

All you have to do is write a short note today – and you can make a big difference for local and regional food systems all across this country.

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) is asking the public to comment on a proposed rule that, if adopted, would direct Farm Credit System lending associations to be more responsive to the credit needs of small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers producing for local and regional food markets.

The Farm Credit Administration is the federally chartered agency that oversees the nationwide network of locally-controlled and borrower-owned cooperative lending associations that make up the Farm Credit System (FCS). FCS supplies nearly 40% of all U.S. farm financing and has the capacity to provide millions of dollars in capital and technical assistance to local food producers, and to leverage other sources of capital for the task of rebuilding our local and regional food system infrastructure.

Ask the FCA to adopt this new rule and bring badly needed capital to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers producing for the local and regional market.

Thank you for taking action for our local food sources!

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


University works on pilot beef traceability program

High Plains Journal/Midwest Ag http://www.hpj.com/archives/2011/jul11/jul25/0707MethodsforTrackingBeefs.cfm?title=University%20works%20on%20pilot%20beef%20traceability%20program


So if this technology works to track beef, there is no reason it cannot work to trace cases of vegetables, fruit or other animal products. Traceability is an important piece to organic certification and food safety  (and getting certified for both) . This technology could be useful not just to large farms but even modest size farms, given the SmartPhone technology is accessible by many more than in the past years.

A new pilot beef traceability program being conducted at Michigan State University was successful where a quick barcode scan with your smart phone can tell you the exact animal RFID number, grade, age, breed of the animal, certification, etc, and the local farm picture where your steak originated using the ScoringAg.com database and labeling system.

The Food and Drug Administration's new Food Safety Modernization Act rule went into effect on July 3, and all food, feed, ingredients, and beverages have to be labeled and tracked, with data stored for two years if a recall is ever necessary. Researcher Dan Buskirk, Ph.D., MSU animal science associate professor, wanted to continue improving the system by continuing the traceability of information with data exchange beyond just the processor and the retailer for added value to the consumer and restaurants.

Buskirk said that translating RFID ear tags to a barcode-enabled database, then to pieces or retail packages of beef that can be labeled with a smartphone-readable 2D barcode, and tracing it back to the farm and the individual animal became possible with ScoringAg.com. The UNIX web-based database system has had 2D Data Matrix phone/camera technology since 2004.

Buskirk, who has been working with the Michigan RFID tagging program since its inception, was looking for a way to expand its value when fellow animal science assistant professor Jason Rowntree began working on a new project to utilize MSU-raised beef cattle in MSU restaurants and cafeterias. It quickly became clear that MSU Culinary Services, a department of MSU Residential and Hospitality Services, a partner in the project that oversees the food products used throughout campus, was interested in not only locally sourced beef, but also the potential for full traceability of beef from the farm to the plate.

The successful pilot for the local beef project will also serve as the pilot program for Buskirk and his MSU team to begin putting the pieces in place to trace beef all the way to the consumer and for the required FSMA rule from FDA. He is working with William Kanitz, president of ScoringAg, and its team members Donald Tomkinson of ATS for hardware labeling equipment and Robert Brubacher, cattle expert and representative of ScoringAg, to perfect the technology of data collection and identify any other challenges for implementing it for smartphone usage.

The researchers now know that consumers will be able to scan the barcode at a kiosk in the grocery store or restaurant, or by individual package or by using a smartphone app. The information on the package also can be retrieved by entering the SSI-EID traceback code from a home computer using the food search engine at www.traceback.com or a smartphone app, or by taking a photo of the 2D barcode; this links the consumer to information about the farm of origin, product, its management practices and similar types of information. The database used for this application is ScoringAg's UNIX system. The test with harvested animals and barcode labeling equipment at the packing plant was successful.

The consumer can then see exactly where the beef came from, exactly what farming practices were used on the farm, whether they were grass-fed, grain-fed, or hormone free cattle, and see a picture of that animal or farm with certifications that are currently happening there.


Ideas and Resources

Farmers Can Pay Back Hoop House Loan by Distributing Food


This is a new loan program to build a new hoophouse. Read on to learn of a unique way to pay back the loan, through distribution of produce grown in the hoophouse or farm-Now that is what I call REAL GREEEN payback!


EAST LANSING, MICH – Is it really possible to have fresh salad greens all year round? Can you really get Michigan grown tomatoes in June or July? The answer is yes! Many Michigan

farmers are meeting the growing demand for locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables by

using season extension techniques such as hoop houses to help them lengthen their growing


A hoop house is a passive solar greenhouse that extends the production season for warm and

cool-season crops and permits winter harvesting of cold-tolerant vegetables. Hoop

houses can also help a farmer increase their revenue. A recent study by Michigan State

University found that, on average, an inexperienced hoop house grower selling at a farmers

market can earn $1.60 per square foot per year. 1

The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), in partnership with the C.S. Mott Group

for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University (MSU) and the MSU Student

Organic Farm, is facilitating a program designed to help more farmers extend their growing

season and strengthen the farmers markets where they sell their produce. The program is

funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will make hoop house loans available to farmers

selling at farmers markets that participate in food assistance programs. The program plans to

distribute $500,000 over a three year period to farmers seeking to install hoop houses,

including approximately $175,000 in 2011.


Through this loan program, farmers will “pay off” their zero-interest loan by distributing fresh

produce equal to the value of their loan principal to individuals using food assistance benefits

at farmers markets. For example, if a loan amount of $5,000 is requested, a seasonal vendor

who participates in a market for six months each year will need to distribute food valued at

$41.67 each week to food assistance clients in order to pay back the loan principal within the

five year loan period. Farmers must meet certain requirements to qualify and must be a seasonal vendor at one of the four farmers markets participating in 2011: the Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market, the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market, the Lapeer Farmers’ Market, and the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market.


In order to be considered for this loan program, farmers must complete an application and

submit it with supporting documents by Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. Applications will

be reviewed and announcements will be made by September 15, 2011.

For more information contact Amanda Segar at 517-432-3381 or [log in to unmask].




Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Contact: Craig Chase,
[log in to unmask], (319) 238-2997; Laura Miller, [log in to unmask], (515) 294-5272
AMES, Iowa – The Fruit and Vegetable Working Group, a community of practice within the Value Chain Partnerships program, has developed a new online tool to help vegetable growers construct efficient wash stations. The detailed designs, based on wash stations used at One Step at a Time Gardens near Kanawha, offer a low-cost option for small farmers to improve the safety and quality of their produce.

Tim Landgraf and Jan Libbey, owners of One Step at a Time Gardens, recently hosted a field day to show how they use an open-air packing and processing system to prepare produce for their 128-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprise. A simple system of sinks and drying stations beneath an overhead roof allows them to process eight acres of vegetables for sale.  

Tim Landgraf developed design plans to help other vegetable growers build this system, with illustrations by Andrew Landgraf of GenX7 Design. Food safety precautions are built into the design, such as separate sinks for hand washing and vegetable washing. Materials to build the open-air wash station can be purchased for a little under $1,000.

The document also presents design plans for a second, upgraded wash station enclosed in a commercially available hoophouse with a poured cement floor. The hoophouse design offers higher throughputs of vegetables and, if heated, allows a longer season of operation. However, it requires more labor and skill to construct, and materials cost roughly $20,000.
Detailed instructions, material lists and 3-D drawings for both wash stations are available on the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s website at

The Fruit and Vegetable Working group, which began in 2007, also funded another web-based tool to help producers address growing interest in food safety. The Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool offers information to help producers with food-handling decisions for all types of vegetable crops. It was developed by Chris Blanchard, who operates a successful produce farm near Decorah. The tool is available at

Doorganics produce service brings local farmers market to doorsteps

Not your run-of-the-mill marketing idea!

Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 8:00 AM

By Ursula Zerilli | The Grand Rapids Press MLive.com

GRAND RAPIDS — Libby and Paul Stuit’s jam-packed schedules leave them little time to enjoy the local farmers market.

Mike Hughes suffered the same problem until last week when he launched his new produce-delivery company, Doorganics, 4028 West River Drive NE.

“We don’t have time to get to farmers markets so when we saw this, it was like we could bring the farmers market to us,” said Libby Stuit, 30.

Frustrations including not having time to stop by a local farmers market and a lack of local produce in grocery stores inspired Hughes’ business concept.

“The last thing I want to do is compete with the farmers markets,” said Hughes, 30, an employee benefits consulting partner at Coleman Dugan & Hughes in Grand Rapids. “I just think there’s a large number of people that would love to support local food. They just need someone to make it easier for them.”

Hughes said 15 people registered for the produce-delivery service the first day it opened and that number nearly doubled by its first delivery on Wednesday.

Doorganics will primarily be an online store where customers can sign up to receive a bin filled with produce from Ingraberg Farm near Rockford once a week or every other week.

The bins have been tested to trap cool air from re-freezable cooler packs and the delivery workers drop off the produce after 2 p.m. — after peak heat hours — in case the homeowner is not home to store the goods.

Besides connecting farmers and customers, Hughes said he was interested in the sustainability aspect of the business and the importance of locals consuming local food, even those vegetables not commonly purchased or cooked.

Every week a less-common produce item is included in the bin and a recipe is posted online for people to reference when they prepare it. This week, the unique produce items were kale, swiss chard and kohlrabi, a root vegetable.

Mike Lundberg, of the family-owned Ingraberg Farm, said kohlrabi is delicious, as he listed about five ways to prepare it. He said the farm would help customers find fun ways to cook new produce.

“I thought that was cool because it shows us how to try new things that we never tried before in a very convenient way. You find out a week ahead of time so it helps me meal plan,” Stuit said.

Lundberg said some farmers, including his family, had started thinking about a similar system a decade ago, before the “movement” of eating healthier and using more local foods was in full swing. He said more people, like Hughes, are becoming interested in sustainable solutions such as consuming local produce.

Produce home-delivery services are popping up in urban areas, but Doorganics is the first in Grand Rapids.

“We like to be part of ground-breaking things. This gives farmers another avenue to get rid of our stuff,” said Lundberg. “We believe it’s going to be a priority and it will be taking place eventually at all farms. We should utilize West Michigan for all that is has to offer rather than getting things from California, or food that has been on trucks for days.”

Hughes is already in talks with other farmers interested in getting on board with Doorganics.

Cythia Price, the Greater Grand Rapid Food Systems Council chair, said Hughes’ produce-delivery system is an “advanced” solution to some kinks in the community-supported agriculture model.

“A big complaint in community supported agriculture is you pay a flat fee upfront but this is paid for week-to-week, so this is tweaking it for the better,” Price said. “I have been promoting door-to-door delivery for years ... . It’s a great to hear it’s happening in West Michigan.”

A small delivery bin — which holds eight to 10 items and feeds two to three people a week, costs $29. A larger bin for four to five people runs $49 a week. Visit DoorganicsGR.com for more information.

The 2012 Farm Bill Debate Begins
Kick-off Hearing Held in Michigan; Next Field Hearing to Take Place in Wichita, KS on August 25

Posted by Udi Lazimy, July 21, 2011


It's not every day, or even every year, that we have the opportunity to shape federal legislation that sets the direction of agriculture in the U.S. Every five years, Congress takes up the Farm Bill, and the preliminary debate for the 2012 Farm Bill has just begun. This discussion began with the first Farm Bill field hearing held in Michigan on May 31.

The 2008 Farm Bill contained important provisions that advance organic farming, including programs for organic research, certification cost share, and conservation. Supporters of organic are needed in full force at upcoming 2012 Farm Bill hearings to let Congressional decision makers know how crucual these and other organic initiatives are to the health of people, land, and our economic future.

Senator Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee presided at the Michigan kick-off briefing. A diverse crowd attended the hearing, including organic farmers and supporters. Kristen Holt, President of Quality Assurance International, provided an excellent profile of Michigan's organic farming sector, showcasing its accelerating growth and subsequent benefits to the state’s agricultural economy.

OFRF submitted testimony urging Congress to maintain and build upon the key programs from the 2008 Farm Bill that support organic farmers. 

Members of Congress will continue to hold 2012 Farm Bill hearings and listening sessions in their districts. Members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees are currently reaching out into their constituents to gauge the opinions and interests of farmers, consumers, business leaders, and researchers.

The Senate Agriculture Committee’s next scheduled field hearing is in Wichita, KS, on August 25.  Other members of the agriculture committees are scheduling round tables and listening sessions throughout the country, and it’s important for organic advocates to attend and engage policy makers.

Stay Tuned!
To date, a complete schedule of upcoming Farm Bill hearings has not yet been posted. We’ll continue to share information about Farm Bill field hearings and listening sessions as this information becomes available. We will also share information with members of our
Organic Farmers Action Network who live in the regions where the hearings are being held. Join OFAN now to get our latest updates!

Please contact Udi Lazimy, Policy Program Organizer, [log in to unmask], to share information about your experience at a field hearing or listening session and to notify us when you find out about a hearing in your area.

Great Resource to Link with IPM (Integrated pest management) resources.

There are many newsletters created by researchers and educators (including framers) that have good and relevant information but who has time to find them, get their WEB address and then visit them. The State of  Minnesota’s educator Bill Hutchinson from his newsletter, Veg Edge, offers us a map of the North Central region with links to the over XX newsletters that are about insect identification and management. Most of these are targeted at sustainable farming but includes information appropriate to organic farmers. Also the Michigan Organic Exchange is included, which is targeted to organic farmers. Here is the link if you care to check it out as a possible resource that you save as a “bookmark” on your internet browser:  http://www.vegedge.umn.edu/ . I hope that you can take a few minutes and visit the site, as it could come in handy when you are needing quick information on vegetable pests.


Managing apple maggots with insecticides

Apple maggot adult flight may increase over the next few weeks due to recent weather conditions and moist soils.

Published July 25, 2011

John Wise, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology

Low levels of apple maggot adult emergence have been detected at the MSU Trevor Nichols Research Center in Fennville, Mich., for the last five weeks. But with the hot weather conditions and moist soils, we can expect increased flight in future weeks.

To see recommended treatments and explanation please visit : http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/managing_apple_maggots_with_insecticides


Tracing food one step forward

Do you know who receives all the produce you grow? A mock recall can be a good test of your recordkeeping system and provide valuable feedback on where you need to improve even if you are not “Food Safety Certified”.

Published July 26, 2011 By: Phil Tocco, Michigan State University Extension

Once you have implemented a traceback protocol and recordkeeping system, the next step is to actually test how well it works. A mock recall is the true test of all the hard work of putting together an effective traceback protocol.

The goal of a mock recall is to be able to trace back a container of produce from the store or packer to the field it was picked from and then alert any other recipients of that produce that corrective action may need to be taken on produce that was picked from that field or block on that date.

Arrange for one of your buyers to give you two random container numbers and fax you the tags. Trace the numbers back to the harvest date and field they came from as well as any production practices, such as the irrigation sources used to irrigate the field throughout the growing season, that were used on that field and when they were used. It’s also important to find the harvest crew that was used to harvest the container number.

The second part of the recall process is to alert other recipients of the produce from that field on that harvest date. You’ll want to make a list of all buyers that were sent produce from that field on that date. As part of the mock recall, call each of these buyers and let them know you are conducting a mock recall and let them know the container numbers that came from the same field on the same date as the containers that were implicated. You should use this experience to help you adjust your record keeping system if you had trouble finding the buyer’s information or sources of harvest.

Remember that you have to specify what needs to be done with the produce in the event of an actual foodborne illness outbreak in your plan. In addition, you need to record that you conducted a mock audit.

If you have specific questions about mock audits or have difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm, contact the Agrifood Safety Work Group at [log in to unmask] or 517-788-4292 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              517-788-4292      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. To obtain a factsheet on mock audits, ask for guidance document AFSM008-01.


Promiseland Livestock Withdraws Appeal, Suspension of Organic Certification Effective July 28

NOP Organic Insider News

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2011- Suspension of Promiseland Livestock's organic certification will become effective on July 28, 2011, representing a victory for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect the integrity of the USDA organic label. 

"We are pleased about the outcome, not only on behalf of the agency but for organic consumers as well," said AMS Acting Administrator David Shipman. "We've remained committed to the principle of organic integrity so that consumers can continue to trust the USDA organic label, and our diligence in this long battle has paid off. The organic standards are rigorous; all certified operations are expected to adhere to them."

USDA originally issued its decision to suspend Promiseland's organic certification last year, citing the company's repeated withholding of records from authorized agents that would have allowed them to conduct audits of the company's facilities. 

On Oct. 25, 2010, the USDA announced a judicial officer ruling to uphold the suspension of Promiseland's organic certification. The decision by the judicial officer followed a series of hearings between Promiseland and the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA, during which the Nebraska-based company appealed their suspension and eventually filed a federal lawsuit to halt the suspension of its organic certification. On Dec. 2, 2010, Promiseland filed a motion requesting a stay of the decision and order on the grounds that the company was preparing an appeal of the decision in U.S. District Court. 

The company eventually withdrew the motion late last month. Concurrently, last week's unopposed motion to lift the stay effectuates the suspension of Promiseland's organic certification for violating the Organic Foods Production Act and the governing organic regulations. During the five-year suspension, Promiseland Livestock is prohibited from representing their products as organic.


Agriculture Fun and Educational Events


Dairy Webinar next Thursday

eOrganic [[log in to unmask]]

There's still time to register for tomorrow’s webinar TOMORROW on Stockpiling Forages to Extend the Grazing Season on your Organic Dairy, presented by Laura Paine of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The webinar will take place on Thursday, July 28 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM CT, 12PM MT, 11AM PT). It is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Find out more about it and register at http://www.extension.org/pages/59814.


OTFA Field Day at Al-Mar Orchard

Saturday, August 6th, 9:00AM to 5:00PM


Catch up with OTFA charter member Jim Koan and his son Jake Koan at the AlMar Orchard Field Day. Jim and Jake will be on hand to share their insights into the art of growing organic apples under always unpredictable Midwestern growing conditions. Organic researchers from MSU will also be present to share some of the ongoing projects happening at AlMar. Topics to be discussed will range from on-farm production of heritage and "organic friendly" apple tree varieties to novel approaches to organic pest and weed management. Be sure to reserve your spot today so you don't miss out on this fun and informative day!


Cost is $20 per person (includes lunch). Fee will be collected at the door.


Register by Tuesday, Aug 2, by contacting [log in to unmask] or 715-808-0060





8:30-9:00 AM — Check in


9:00-10:00 AM — Introductions of speakers and overview of Almar's history and present operation. Challenges for this 2011 growing season Spray and management program for this year with Jim Koan and Dr. Matt Grieshop.


10:00-11:00 AM — Discussion of Hog project at SE orchard with Jim Koan, Krista Buhrer and Dr. Matt Grieshop.


11:00 -12:00 PM — Trip to 40, demo Swiss Sandwich, discussion of other cultural practices, discussion of high density vs moderate density, varieties and tree establishment/soil preparation with Jim Koan and Dr. Matt Grieshop.


12:30-2:00 PM — Lunch


2:00-3:00 PM — Farm nursery project, discussion of mistakes made, future directions including bi-axil and tri-axil trees .


3:00-4:00 PM — Visit to Farrow orchard and discussion by Dr. Anne Nielsen, John Pote and Dr. Matt Grieshop on AFW and other research going on at AlMar or View hogs including new borns and observe work done by them in North orchard Jim Koan and Krista Buehrer


4:00-5:00 PM Tour of organic hop project and and native wildflower plots for supporting beneficials, pest control, and pollination with Jim Koan, Dr. Matt Grieshop and  Dr. Rufus Isaacs or Discussion of biopesticides.


5:00 PM — Social hour and further discussion of the organic movement, NOSB, NOP, and the creation of an national organic farmers union.

Camping welcome for those that wish to continue conversations into the wee hours.




Organic Tree Fruit Association (OTFA) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to serving the interests of organic tree fruit growers and advancing the organic tree fruit industry through education, research and advocacy.


So you want to grow hops? If you grow it will they come?

August 17 workshop focuses on growing hops.

Published July 20, 2011

Joanne Davidhizar and Diane Brown-Rytlewski , MSU Extension and the MSU Product Center

The local foods movement, supply costs and growth of the craft beer industry in the Great Lakes Region have people looking at producing hops in Michigan. Some hops are being grown commercially and in research trials, primarily in the northwest part of the state, and processing options remain limited. Marketing options will be explored as part of a Hops Workshop at the Michigan State University Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC).

·                  Hops Workshop

·                  August 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

·                  SWMREC, 1791 Hillandale Rd, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Berrien County is the site of one of two Michigan State University (MSU) hop demonstration projects conducted by Ron Goldy, and Diane Brown-Rytlewski and Steve Marquie—all MSU Extension educators—(SWMREC) farm manager, Dave Francis, among others. In northwest Michigan, MSU Extension educator Robert Sirrine is conducting a similar demonstration project. In addition to curiosity seekers inquiring about what grows on the unusually tall poles, there are quite a few potential growers taking a serious look at commercial hop production.

Breweries are the largest users of hops, and breweries don’t use fresh hops straight from the field. Brewers predominately utilize a pelletized product. All hops including leaf hops (hops that aren’t pelletized) must be harvested and handled carefully to maintain quality. The crop must be dried, then conditioned in a moisture and temperature controlled environment. Most hops are pelletized and vacuum packaged with nitrogen for the end user.

Currently, the availability of hops processors serving the emerging Michigan markets is limited. So what are the opportunities for developing processing capacity? As with many other value-added commodities, a variety of options for local business development may exist. These and other topics will be explored at the upcoming Hop Workshop organized by Diane Brown-Rytlewski . For more information, download the Hops Workshop flier or call 269-944-4126 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Aug. 26 tour includes cover crops, manure, no-till and more


Cover crop skeptics and believers can see first-hand how nutrients from manure applications can be captured, held and recycled to the following season, during a free plot tour held Aug. 26 at Blight Farms in Albion, Mich.


“Some perceive that no-till situations don’t mix with manure and cover crops, but these plots will also show how those situations can be turned into success,” Natalie Rector, Michigan State University (MSU) senior Extension nutrient management educator said. “The tour will be short and to the point to accommodate harvesting conflicts, but these plots are too good to miss this year.”


MSU Extension researcher and associate professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Tim Harrigan planted the plots into a wheat stubble field using slurry seeding, which uses a combination of low disturbance tillage, hog manure and cover crop seed planted all in one pass. The plots include turnips and radishes, alone, and in combination with oats, both with and without manure, and drilled compared to slurry seeding. Harrigan’s research is also supported by MSU AgBioResearch.


During the tour, Harrigan will demonstrate the slurry seeding method and discuss past research plots that have tracked nitrogen losses and the ability of the cover crop to uptake nitrogen from manure and release it the following year to a corn crop. Rector will provide how-to basics of manure and cover crops.


Practical experience from tour host Ken Blight, a hog and beef producer, will provide attendees with his success of using rye cover crops in combination with manure to decrease runoff of manure and capture both the manure liquids and nutrients for reduction in purchased nitrogen the following season. The event will conclude with a tour of the livestock and cropping farmstead at the Blight Farm and a discussion of opportunities for becoming verified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The public tour will be in combination with the Michigan Soil and Water Conservation Society’s annual event. MAEAP Phase I credits will be available to attendees.


Ken, Art and Bill Blight will be farmer hosts for the event. Please plan to stop by for this free plot tour, Friday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to noon at 24010 Division Drive, Albion, Mich. – located at the corner of Division Drive and 24 Mile Road. Directions: From the intersection of I-94 and I-69, go 6 miles south. Turn east on to F Drive South for 6 miles. Turn north on 22 Mile Road to Division. East on Division, south on 24 Mile.


For more information, contact Natalie Rector at [log in to unmask] or 269-967-6608. To learn more about cover crops and slurry seeding with manure, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3st0qZ_3vH0.

For information on all cover crops and options, visit http://www.mccc.msu.edu/. For more information on manure management in Michigan, visit www.animalagteam.msu.edu.


MSU’s Trevor Nichols Fruit Research Center field day

Join us September 20 at the Trevor Nichols Research Center to learn about insect and disease research and efficacy trials carried out this 2011 season.

John Wise, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology

We will be having a research field day at the Trevor Nichols Research Center on Tuesday, September 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The field day will focus on insect and disease research and efficacy trials that were carried out this season by Larry Gut, Rufus Isaacs, Annemiek Schilder, George Sundin, Mark Whalon and John Wise.

The Trevor Nichols Research Center is located at 6237 124th Ave. in Fennville, Mich. For directions, visit the Trevor Nichols Research Center website.

Dr. Wise’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

Here is the link to view the farm bios and agendas for the on-farm field days! 


Register today for MIFMA's On-Farm Food Safety Field Days.

The Michigan Farmers Market Association with funding from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will  be hosting three on-farm field days this summer for Michigan farmers, market managers and market stakeholders to discuss how to ensure food safety on the farm from production to the market. 

The on-farm field days will be:

·  August 8, 2011 at Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs, MI

·  August 9, 2011 at Rock River Farm in Chatham, MI 

·  August 15, 2011 at Uhlianuk Farm in North Branch, MI

The fee is $20 for MIFMA members and $30 for non-members to cover costs associated with meals, refreshments and materials. Please view agendas to see what will be covered at each training. The deadline for registration is Sunday, August 1, 2011. Please call 517-432-3381 if you have any questions. If you are interested in car pooling to these events please visit the links below.  

Maggie Smith 
Administrative Assistant
Michigan Farmers Market Association



Job Opportunities


MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Seeks Office Administrator

Applicants should send cover letter and resume via email to [log in to unmask], and are encouraged to apply by August 31, 2011.  Applications  are preferred from applicants residing in the Greater Lansing area, but not required.

Seeking person to fill the following areas of responsibility:

Mail, Telephone, Email

Handle and process all USPS mail, MOFFA email and telephone messages every other business day. (Monday –Wednesday –Friday) and forward to the appropriate Board members or committees.  Chair or Co-Chairs are to be copied.  Retrieve the U.S. Mail from a Lansing post office box on a timely basis. 


Familiarize oneself with the financial infrastructure of MOFFA in order to assist the treasurer and bookkeeper with their duties and obligations. Basic knowledge of quick books is required. The end goal of this tutelage is to share some of the MOFFA financial responsibilities, which will be determined by the board of directors at the appropriate time.


Manage and maintain the MOFFA membership database (currently in Microsoft Excel); process all renewals and new memberships in coordination with the membership committee. Support membership committee with annual mass-mailing for membership drive.

MOFFA Board Meetings

In collaboration with Board Officers, prepare materials for the Board meetings and attend scheduled meetings.  Report to the Executive Committee on operational affairs that call for further action by the board.

Website and Electronic Newsletter

Keep website up to date; calendar postings, etc., board information, add financial documents. Familiarity with Word press or other applicable software required.

Compile, assist with editing and format a Bi-Monthly (every other month) electronic newsletter, and producing hardcopies when necessary for those members requesting a hard copy.  Keep track of members for a mailed copy.  Print mailing labels and mail newsletters

MOFFA Merchandise: Books, Tote Bags

Manage and maintain the inventory of books, tote-bags and other items offered for sale at the MOFFA display in conjunction with the exhibit committee. 

Conditions of Employment

The MOFFA Office Administrator will be an independent, hourly contractor paid by MOFFA at a flat rate of $12.00  per hour   (This status does not include any benefits, and the contractor for hire will be responsible for handling their own Social Security payments, taxes, etc.,).  The pay rate is flexible upward dependent on performance and skill set.

It is expected that the position requires approximately 10-15 hours per week, but not to exceed 60 hours per month, without the written approval of the MOFFA Board.  More hours per week may be needed to assist with the annual Organic Conference, or other special events (exhibit support).

The Office Administrator will need to provide adequate office space for the necessary MOFFA files, supplies related to membership duties, etc., and the usage of the MOFFA computer, printer and photocopy machine.  A personal phone will be utilized to retrieve MOFFA phone messages.  All property owned by MOFFA will be collected upon cancellation of the Contract. 

The Administrator will maintain an Excel record for documentation of weekly activities, with time log, and provide this record to the MOFFA Treasurer via email on the second and fourth Friday of each month, for payment by the Treasurer on the following Friday.

The MOFFA Office Administrator Memorandum of Agreement can be terminated by the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance or the Contractor, in writing with 30-day notice.



The Policy Program Coordinator with OEFFA in Columbus, Ohio

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin on August 12th and the position will remain open until filled.  Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by the August 12th deadline.


Job Description

OEFFA announces a job opening for an experienced organizer who will develop and implement grassroots strategies for supporting sustainable and organic food and farm policy and who will work in collaboration with partners to gain support for these positions.  The Policy Program Coordinator will work closely with other OEFFA staff to educate and engage family farmers, organic producers, consumers, and other stakeholders to actively participate in policy advocacy.  This is a wonderful opportunity to put your energies into a cause-based job that has the potential to positively impact family farmers, conscientious eaters, and the environment.


Job Responsibilities

.           Build, organize and regularly engage OEFFA's network of farmer and other food and farm advocates.

.           Provide trainings on advocacy and updates to members and stakeholders on policy issues.

.           Produce materials for generating awareness and action around policy priorities.

.           Develop and implement the grassroots organizing strategy in Ohio to forward the sustainable agriculture policy platform.

.           Organize meetings between decision makers and members of the sustainable and organic farming community.

.           Monitor state and national legislation and policy as it impacts sustainable and organic food and farming.

.           Other duties as may arise appropriate to this position.





.           Demonstrated successful history of developing and implementing issue advocacy campaigns and strategies.

.           A passion for sustainable agriculture, family farms, and rural places.

.           Background in or capacity to quickly grasp complex federal and state farm policy matters.

.           Ability to translate research into written position papers, comment letters, and oral testimony.

.           Experience developing communications and written products for grassroots advocacy.

.           Demonstrated writing, editing, and speaking skills.

.           Highly self motivated and directed.

.           Excellent interpersonal skills.

.           Ability to travel occasional weekends and evenings as necessary.



.           Bachelor's degree.

.           Experience working on a farm or with farmers.

.           Experience working with and coordinating electronic grassroots advocacy networks.


Compensation for this full-time position is commensurate with experience and includes health insurance, paid time off, holidays, and sick leave.

Deadline for Applications:  Review of applications begins on August 12th.  Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by the August 12th deadline, although the position will stay open until filled.


To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, the contact information for three references, and a short writing sample (preferably related to advocacy; no more than two pages) to  [log in to unmask].  Be sure to put "Policy Position" in the subject line.  Electronic applications only. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For more information about OEFFA, please visit our website at www.oeffa.org


Carol Goland, Ph.D, Executive Director

Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association, 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH  43214

office: 614.421.2022 x202      mobile: 740.398.9099      fax:    614.421.2011     





Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY)


The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is the oldest and largest organization in New York devoted to organic and sustainable farming and gardening, and counts over 800 farms among its 1400 members of farmers, gardeners, and eaters. 


We are seeking a Coordinator to organize the NOFA-NY Organic Farming Research Symposium in conjunction with the NOFA-NY winter conference in Saratoga Springs, NY in January 2012.  Symposium Coordinator will review conference research proposals, communicate with researchers across the Northeast and nationally about their organic farm research, put together a comprehensive program, and manage symposium registration and on-site logistics (January 19-20, 2012).


The position requires a self-starter who has experience in or familiarity of organic agricultural research, experience in event planning, good customer service skills, and an interest in helping grow the local organic farming movement.  This position is a contract position from now until August, 2012.  Time required is occasional through the summer, but greatly increases in the fall and winter.  The position will report to the executive director and will work closely with the education & outreach coordinator and will be required to attend occasional meetings throughout the summer and fall, either in the NOFA-NY office in Rochester, NY or by phone.

Specific Responsibilities


Symposium Coordination:

·         Coordinate and work with an advisory planning team of event stakeholders

·         Send out call for proposals to all northeast academic departments of agriculture

·         Coordinate with the education & outreach coordinator to align symposium event with larger NOFA conference.  Support larger conference needs as requested.

·         Work with advisory committee to select proposals to be included in the Research Symposium and communicate with selected presenters

·         Request and collect research summary and 5-minute research summary presentation from each presenter and coordinate their event registration. 

·         Coordinate poster presentations.

·         Promote and advertise the symposium through press releases, save the date cards, and the NOFA conference promotional brochure. 

·         Create and post symposium schedule on the NOFA-NY conference website

·         Compile research summaries into a Conference Proceedings booklet and print for distribution at the event.  The electronic version of the proceedings will also be posted to the conference website at this time. 

·         Work with event host to coordinate setup, AV, meals, registration, etc. in coordination with NOFA staff.

·         Help with event attendance registration in coordination with NOFA staff.


On-Site Management:

·         Provide on-site logistical support throughout Symposium.

·         Help with event registration. 

·         Administer and collect on-site evaluations.

·         Provide support to NOFA general conference when applicable.


Post-Conference Responsibilities:

·         Write thank you letters to all presenters.

·         Compile Symposium Proceedings.

·         Administer and analyze overall symposium evaluations following the symposium.

·         Administer and analyze follow-up evaluations distributed to all participants 6-months after the symposium to measure changes in behavior.

·         Write final report

·         Write recommendations for including research into future NOFA conferences.


Independent contractor position.  Compensation: between $12,000-16,000 depending on experience, plus hotel, meals, conference registration, and mileage reimbursement to attend the event in Saratoga Springs, NY January 18-22, 2012. 



·       Experience:  Experience in event planning, organic agriculture academic research , program evaluation, and organic farming.  Experience with database software and web promotion a plus.

·       Skills: Highly organized, very detail oriented, excellent customer service, strong interpersonal and training skills; access to high-speed internet required; proficiency in MS Excel and MS Word required.

·       Capabilities: High energy and enthusiasm. Ability to work well with a wide range of people, work well under pressure, handle multiple tasks at once, and adapt to changing situations on a daily basis. 

·       Conditions: Strong interest in and commitment to promoting the goals of NOFA-NY.  Passion for organic agriculture a must!  Occasional travel required.


How to Apply

Position open until filled.  Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to [log in to unmask] by Friday, Aug 12, 2011.  Interviews will be offered to select candidates on a rolling basis.

NOFA-NY is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.


Seeking Food Program Specialist in Portland, Oregon

In Partnership with the Confluence Environmental Center (CEC), Multnomah County's Office of Sustainability is recruiting for a Food Program Specialist focused on initiating projects and building capacity in the community to continue the effort of promoting a sustainable food system in Multnomah County. The FPS will provide outreach and facilitate community/stakeholder involvement around implementing actions outlined in the Multnomah Food Action Plan (60%), recruit volunteers for County community food projects including the County CROPs farm in Troutdale (30%), and also provide education around composting in low-income transitional housing (10%).


Visit:  http://www.pcei.org/CEC%20Multnomah%20County%20position.pdf

to view the position description and application requirements. Application closes 5:00pm on Wednesday, August 3rd. 



Katie E. Lynd

Food Policy Coordinator

Multnomah County - Office of Sustainability

(503) 988-6150

[log in to unmask]







Vicki Morrone

C. S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops

303 Natural Resources

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (Fax)