Ag Expo grazing session brings together economic and environmental strategies for quality pastures
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The expansion of the grass-fed livestock market has more producers considering pasture-based livestock systems. That leaves both new and established beef cattle producers with a lot of questions. Jason Rowntree has answers, and he’ll share them during a demonstration at the Michigan Ag Expo, which takes place July 19–21 at Michigan State University (MSU). Rowntree, an MSU Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Animal Science, combines research and practical knowledge to provide information about effective grazing management strategies that will work on any size operation.
Rowntree will present “Chew on This: Grazing Management Strategies for Beef Cattle Operations” at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19. The session will be located in the “Livestock Central” area of the Ag Expo grounds, directly west of the main entrance.
“Properly utilizing forages is one of the most important things we can do in cow-calf operations,” said Rowntree, who has researched this subject thanks to an appointment in AgBioResearch at MSU. “Specifically, the decisions we make at the farm can dramatically help lower costs and, concurrently, we can increase soil quality with minimal inputs through proper management.”
During the session, Rowntree will bring together multiple aspects of grazing, including utilizing forages, improving soil quality and properly managing pastures to reduce the need for inputs like fertilizer and fuel. He will also highlight research being done at the Lake City Experiment Station.
“We’re not going to change everything overnight as it relates to grazing,” Rowntree admitted. “What I hope to do during Ag Expo, though, is start getting people to think about it. What are the costs of my grazing operation? How is my fencing and water system set up? Are there things that I can do better thatwill help me have lower costs and hopefully be more profitable? Those are the types of questions I hope people will start asking.”
By properly managing their pastures, producers can also work to improve water quality, an important programs with the MSU Extension “I Know MI Numbers” initiative.
“When pastures aren’t properly managed, overgrazing can leave bare ground exposed, which increases the chance of soil and nutrient runoff,” Rowntree explained. “Through our session at Ag Expo, producers will learn how they can better manage those pastures, leaving more plant matter on the surface and root mass underground. Both of these will hold soil and nutrients in place while alsoallowing for greater moisture capture and retention.”
The 2011 Michigan Ag Expo will bring together representatives from Michigan’s $71.3 billion agricultural industry – both academic and commercial – for three days of educational session, demonstrations and other activities. The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources sponsors Ag Expo, the largest outdoor farm show in the state.
For more information about Ag Expo, call 800-366-7055, or visit
The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources sponsors Ag Expo.
Mid-Michigan ag technology field day
Ag technology equipment and services will be demonstrated at a field day in mid-Michigan on July 27.
Published July 8, 2011
Dan Rossman, Michigan State University Extension
Advanced technology is becoming more and more common on today’s farm operations. Plan to attend the mid-Michigan Ag Technology Day to find out about the latest in technology from mid-Michigan equipment dealers and consultants. Whether it is auto steer guidance, variable rate planting meters or a multiple of other systems and services, with these in-field demonstrations and hands-on opportunities, you’ll be able to see and experience it firsthand.
The technology field day will be held on Wednesday, July 27 at the Crumbaugh Farm’s field, located on the corner of Bagley and Polk Roads. The site is two miles east and two miles north of Ithaca in Gratiot County.
The event will start at 10:00 AM with brief presentations from the equipment dealers and ag consultants. Participants will then be allowed time to visit the demonstrations and displays of their choice to gather information applicable for their operation. A complimentary lunch will be served at noon. Please register by calling the Gratiot County MSU Extension office at 989-875-5233.
The Garden Project’s Annual Community Garden Tour
Please join us and tell your friends.
What: Community Garden Bus & Bike Tour. Two routes to enjoy, choose the one that appeals to you!
When: Wednesday, July 27th, at 5:30 pm
Where: Please meet at The Garden Project’s Foster Park Resource Center, located at 2401 Marcus St. (48912)
Suggested donation: $1-$20
Look forward to seeing you there. For questions call: Anne Rauscher
The Garden Project of The Greater Lansing Food Bank
Office phone: (517) 853-7809~ desk phone: 853-7802~ Fax: 853-7817
Mailing address: PO Box 16224~ Lansing, MI 48901
Physical address: 919 Filley St ~Lansing, MI 48906
High-tunnel meeting planned for August 3 in SW Michigan (SWMREC)
Join us August 3 for a twilight meeting to learn more about adding fruit and vegetable production in high tunnels to your farm.
Published July 12, 2011
Diane Brown , Michigan State University Extension
If you have been thinking about adding crop production in high tunnels to your operation, you will want to attend the twilight meeting that will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3 at the Southwest Michigan Research and ExtensionCenter (SWMREC). SWMREC is located at 1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, Mich.
The meeting will provide an opportunity to view a number of current research projects underway in the tunnels and provide some ideas for potential crops and growing methods for you to consider. Some projects havebeen underway for several years, while others are new this year. Meeting attendees will see sweet cherries grown as fruiting walls, performance trials of blackberry cultivars, day-neutral strawberries grown with and without shading, fall red raspberries in gro-bags, vegetables and cut flowers.
There is no charge for this meeting. Contact Diane Brown at the Berrien County office at 1-269-944-4126 for more information.
Register today for MIFMA's
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 toensure 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 to see what will be covered at each training. Please call if you have any questions. One week left to register for the 2011 Farmers Market at the Capitol. The deadline for applications is 5 pm Friday, July 22.
If you have already submitted an application make sure you have included payment, license (if needed) and proof of insurance. Fax to 517-353-7961 or mail to MIFMA, 172 D Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824.
Michigan Farmers Market Association
The MSU dairy at Kellogg Biological Station in Gull Lake, MI offers Public Tours
Every second Wednesday of the month between 3PM and 8PM. Next tour will be Wednesday July 13. Summer students and others that have not had a chance to visit the dairy and see the robotic milkers are welcome to visit.
Pasture Dairy Center Project Coordinator
Michigan State University
Kellogg Biological Station
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
Sustainable Agriculture Education Association annual conference - August 3-5th!
If you are interested in teaching in sustainable agriculture, this is the place for you! You can see more details at
Executive Director Posted June 28, 2011
The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), a 501c3 non-profit organization located in the city of Detroit, and one of the national leaders in the urban agriculture movements is seeking an experienced, innovative, socially conscious Executive Director to lead, and manage the organization and its projects.
The position of Executive Director is a full-time permanent position (40 hours/week) that begins Monday August 1, 2011. The Executive Director is responsible for carrying out all the duties outlined below, and reports to the Board of Directors, who will evaluate her/his efforts in a fair manner.
Those interested in applying for this position shall submit a cover letter, resume, list of 3 professional references, and a vision statement for the organization over the next two years given where we are now. Submit this information by Monday July 11 (call to see if still open) via postal mail to:
DBCFSN Executive Director Search Committee
3800 Puritan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48238-1313
Scope of Work
In general, the Interim Executive Director is responsible for administration of overall operation of the organization, including: reviewing and evaluating the results of program activities, ensuring that continuing contractual obligations are being fulfilled; allocating resources for greater program effectiveness and efficiency; developing organizational and administrative policies and program objectives for Board consideration.
Specifically, the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Networkshall be responsible for:
§ Assuring that the organization has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
§ Providing leadership in developing program, organizational and financial plans with the Board ofDirectors and staff, and carrying out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
§ Promoting active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization's work.
§ Maintaining official records and documents, and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
§ Maintaining aworking knowledge of significant developments and trends in the food security and food justice movements.
§ Ensuring that the board is kept fully informed of the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it.
§ Ensuring that the activities of the organization, its programs and goals are effectively marketed and promoted.
§ Establishing sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
§ Representing the programs and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public.
§ Recruiting, hiring, evaluating and releasing all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
§ Ensuring that job descriptions are developed, that goals and expectations are clearly defined and agreed to, regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
§ Ensuring that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is inplace.
§ Encouraging staff and volunteer development and education, and assisting program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.
§ Maintaining aclimate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.
§ Developing and maintaining sound financial practices.
§ Working with the staff, standing committee chairs, and the Board in preparing a budget for the organization, and ensuring that the organization operates within budget guidelines.
§ Working with the board of directors to ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work.
§ Jointly, with the president and secretary of the Board of Directors, conduct official correspondence of the organization, and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.
§ Providing information, advice, and counsel to the President of the Board and the Board of Directors in the creation of policies, programs, and strategic direction of the corporation.
It is the expectation of the board of directors that the ED will conduct business and make decisions that reflect consideration of the principles of Ma’at (truth, justice, harmony, balance, order, reciprocity and propriety) and the Nguzo Saba (umoja, kujichagulia, ujima, ujamaa, nia, imani, kuumba).
Required Knowledge and Experience
Education and Experience -- Attainment of a Bachelor’s degree or other equivalent advanced degree in a related field and five years of increasingly responsible administrative experience, at least three of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity.
Language Skills -- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, financial reports, legal documents, technical procedures, or governmental regulations; write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals; efficiently respond to questions from membership, staff and members of the community; communicate effectively in both written and oral form; and, effectively present information to membership, officers, and/or board of directors.
Reasoning Ability -- Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; exhibit independent judgment in the development, implementation and evaluation of plans, procedures and policies.
Other Knowledge, Skills And Abilities -- Knowledge of the principles and techniques of grant administration, contract administration and negotiation, community organization, fiscal andorganizational management, principles and practices of marketing and publicrelations. Ability to plan, direct and coordinate activities; work with commercial vendors, government agencies, community groups and other organizations as necessary.
MICHIGAN ORGANIC FOOD AND FARM ALLIANCE
Areas of Responsibilities:
Mail, Telephone, Email
Retrieve the U.S. Mail from a Lansing post office box. 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.
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 theappropriate 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 MOFFAdisplay 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.
Please e-mail cover letter and resume to [log in to unmask]
If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html