Michigan Organic News | Happy New Year! | January 4th, 2013




From Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU and the desk of Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask])


Information offered for you not to promote products but to inform




Organic NOP News

--Certification guides


Information and Farming Practices

--Seasonal high tunnels

--Article: Do cover crops add to the bottom line?

--Upper Peninsula Farm Bulletin

--Small farm strategic investments

--FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

--Article: Tilian Farm Development Center


Grant Opportunities

--EQIP application deadline 1/18

--Project GREEEN info needed


Education and Conferences

--Educator training

--Farm transition workshop

--Call for proposals: local food summit

--Michigan Family Farms Conference 1/19

--Chicago Botanical Gardens' Annual School Garden Conference

--Food and Farming Innovation network breakfast speaker


Jobs and Internships

--Part-time administration position with MOFFA

--Apprenticeship positions at Holly Hill Farm in Massachusetts

--Ecologist research positions in Ann Arbor

--Arcadia Center spring farm interns in Virginia

--Plant Protection Specialist in Missouri with the Dept of Agriculture



Organic NOP News

NOP Releases New Guides for Organic Certification


... by sustainable-agriculture experts at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in partnership with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).

Click on the link in the title to see a new series of guides for beginning farmers and existing organic operations about organic certification.


Farming Practices

Tunnel Your Way to a Longer Growing Season

Producers, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has information here that can help you decide if the agency’s Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is right for you and your operation. Part of the agency’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), this popular initiative helps producers install high tunnels (also known as hoop houses) that can extend growing seasons into cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.


NRCS accepts and processes applications on a continuous basis. Producers must submit a complete program application and other documentation to support eligibility to be considered for financial assistance through EQIP. For more information, contact your local NRCS office.


Do cover crops add to the bottom line? From Plant Cover Crops

1) Are cover crops COSTING me money or MAKING me money? Can I justify spending money on a crop that I will not harvest in hopes that it will, in fact, give me a substantial return on investment? Read More

2) Fertilize my cover crop? You've got to be kidding me. And by the way, I don't need a legume in that field because I'm coming out of soybeans. It would give me absolutely NO BENEFIT. Right? Read More

3) Cover Crops and Erosion Control

4) Kura Clover - An Interesting Cover Crop Option



Upper Peninsula Farm Bulletin

Read what is happening in the UP around farming and beginning farmer training-being offered by the MSU Extension and the Marquette Food Coop.


Read the full text here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=keonnycab&v=001FWOIEyOKRSJHqygu36VLx_ZVbG3bJupRy9SHyaCerzg34-CibVAwSQZ0VAPlNeqqjsiwvGNIcl79thahfkt4o5uMj8mKKijVY-Z2FrIFd1cBPm5mDgCZ5sqdjKOHc75pJaV8pT4O_IA%3D


Small farm strategic investments

The Cornell Small Farms Program is very pleased to announce the release of the "2012 Recommendations for Strategic Investments in New York's Small Farms." Download the full report and access supplemental materials at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/summit/.


This colorful report details the top priorities for enhancing the viability of small farms in New York.   We thank the 580 farmers, educators, and advocates around the state who participated in our initial online survey to rank emerging small farm opportunities.  We applaud the efforts of the 150 participants of the NY Small Farm Summit (February 2012) who worked together to identify specific actions for advancing these opportunities over the next 5 years.  This report highlights the top eight priorities and provides concise justifications, suggested actions and relevant resources for each. 


Recommendations in the report are intended for anyone interested in supporting the long term viability of New York’s small farm sector.  This includes farmers, educators, researchers, policy makers, producer and non-profit organizations, economic development planners, agricultural service providers, supporting businesses, community groups and local food advocates.  The report can be used in any number of ways -- to justify grant proposals, promote rural economic development, stimulate farmer discussion, influence policy-makers or target investment to support the viability of small farms. 


We encourage you to share the report with your neighbors, community members and colleagues and take action where appropriate.  Supplementary information, including the full ranked list of the 16 priorities, additional justifications and recommendations for each priority, videos from the NY Small Farms Summit, and survey results summarized by region, is available at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/summit/.


Questions about the report may be directed to Anu Rangarajan, the Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program ([log in to unmask]) or the Small Farms Program Office at 607-255-9227 or [log in to unmask]. Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from the Cornell Small Farm Program.


Progress Report: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

This is the act that provides guidance and regulation for farms selling fresh produce. This act was signed Jan, 2012 by President Obama. It is being implemented slowly and bit by bit. So we are attempting to keep you informed of its progress or changes that may impact your fresh food business.


For an update on FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, visit http://www.fda.gov/fsma.

The FDA Progress Report on Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act: October-December 2012 is now available. It provides updates on progress in implementing the FSMA. 


Tilian Farm Development Center and Connections with the MSU Student Organic Farm Training Program. By Jeremy Moghtader (MSU OFTP Co-Director)

Hi all,

See the link below to an article I was interviewed for about the Tilian Farm Development Center near Ann Arbor, MI. It does a fairly good job of summing up some of the issues around new farm development and mentions  SOF/OFTP and CRFS. Projects like Tilian are some of the ways I have been working to create a bridge from OFTP to farm business creation, which helps create clearer career paths to food production.

Have a great holiday,

Jeremy Moghtader




Grant Opportunities

Application Deadline for EQIP: January 18 

Working toward MAEAP verification? Need financial assistance? Apply through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Farmers with conservation plans developed to qualify for the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) may be eligible for financial assistance to implement conservation activities included in their plans. Examples of conservation activities eligible for financial assistance through EQIP include fueling facilities, agri-chemical handling facilities and water well decommissioning. Read the press release here for more details. Contact your local NRCS office, www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/, for more information and to apply. To learn more about MAEAP verification, contact your local conservation district.




EQIP Funds Available for Hoophouses-Apply Now for a Better Chance for funding! Deadline is 1/17 but ASAP!!

You should contact your FSA office if you do not YET have a farm number and 10-26 (Wet Land determination). You should start the process NOW to at least make it for the next upcoming deadline (around next fall).

Here is a list of supporting practices you can also apply for through EQIP program. Applying to these in addition to high tunnel funding gives you a higher ranking and helps you when you are ranked (when you compete) against other farms applying for the High Tunnel Initiative. Micro irrigation is one of the supporting practices. There are also several practices to help deal with runoff/drainage water from high tunnels.


Here are links to the practice for your reference: These are complimentary practices with high tunnels that you can sign up with NRCS EQIP


High tunnel practice standard


Field ditch http://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/MI/Surface_Drain-Field_Ditch_(FT)_(607).pdf

Underground outlet


Micro irrigation                         


Irrigation reservoir

 http://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/MI/Irrigation_Reservoir_(ACFT)_(436).pdf if you end up going with ponds I would they to adhere as closely to these standards as possible. Up to snuff on all the regs and GAAMPS

Grassed waterway 





Education and Conferences

Educator training for School Gardens and Youth Farm Stands

Check out this link for educator training opportunities for school gardens and youth farm stands from MSUE at Tollgate Farms (Novi, MI): http://experiencetollgate.com/teacher-workshops/

Anne Scott

Center for Regional Food Systems 


480 Wilson Rd, Suite 303

East Lansing, MI 48824

[log in to unmask]   



The Michigan Land Use Institute Presents "Passing on the Farm: Planning for Farm Transition" | Wednesday, 1/9



Call for proposals: local food summit

The Local Food Summit 2013 is looking for engaging and inspiring panels, workshops, and skill shares, February 22nd at Washtenaw Community College. Innovative approaches to connecting with an audience are especially encouraged. If you have a dynamic idea for sharing skills or knowledge that would benefit others in our food community, please apply! Visit localfoodsummit.org.


Michigan Family Farms Conference | 1/19

In 2013, the Michigan Family Farms Conference celebrates its tenth year on Saturday, January 19 at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek. This year’s theme, “Family Farming – It’s in our Roots”, will focus on Michigan’s farming heritage and growing opportunities for farmers in the future. Online registration is now open at www.miffs.org/mffc.


The Michigan Family Farms Conference is a forum for beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn and build sustainable family farms. For ten years, it has helped connect farmers from across the state connect with important resources and learn how to make their farms more sustainable and more viable.


This year’s 18 breakout sessions cover just about everything in the world of local food and sustainable agriculture, like pastured poultry, hoophouses, social media, the Farm Bill, estate planning, growing mushrooms and much more! Special youth activities focused on agriculture, too, make this family farms conference truly a family event. A full list of sessions and speakers is available online at www.miffs.org/mffc/sessions.asp.


Chicago Botanical Gardens' Annual School Garden Conference | Applications due 1/15

Dear Professionals, Staff and Educators:

Session proposals for the 15th Annual School Gardening Conference are due January 15, 2013. The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden looks forward to reviewing your submissions. 


Please contact Kathy Johnson at [log in to unmask] or Julyne Segar ([log in to unmask]) if you have any questions regarding the event.


Please share this information with staff, teachers, or other education professionals that may be interested in s submitting proposals as well.

Thank you!


Jorie Glassner

Program Specialist, Joseph Regenstein, Jr.,

School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022

Ph. 847-835-8393   Fx. 847-242-6350


FInd more information and download the proposal form here: www.chicagowilderness.org/MemberNews/2012/12/03/school-gardening-conference-request-for-proposals-due-115/


Food and Farming Innovation network breakfast speaker | Monday 1/7 at The Raven's Club in Ann Arbor

January's speaker is Jason Rowentree, MSU. The topic for the month is "Grazing, It's All About Meat." Visit this link for more details: www.fsepmichigan.org/


Jobs and Internships

Seeking part-time office administrator for MOFFA-Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance -an organic farming and food organization based in Michigan

The Michigan community based- member organization, Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) is seeking a part-time office administrator starting January  2013   The position will offer approximately 10 hours per week of employment the location will  be at the office administrator’s residence. Attendance at Board meetings is requested but not mandatory. Pay is $15.00/hour.


MOFFA is a non-profit, mainly volunteer run organization serving organic farmers and consumers throughout Michigan. We offer educational resources and opportunities to our members and community through agricultural and environmental programs at conferences and sponsorships of organizations that represent our values.


Accounting Skills

This person will need skills to manage the organization’s monthly account records and be fluent in Quick Books software. Management includes balancing account statements using online banking, to track check activity, both accounts receivable and accounts payable Account activity is generated from supply purchases for organization, educational conference(s), membership dues, and educational material sales. The office administrator will be responsible to submit monthly financial reports to the board treasurer and maintain communication with that person on a weekly basis via email.

WEB Page Management

Person must also have knowledge and ability to maintain, update and modify our organization’s web page (www.moffaorganic.net) to reflect current news and events. MOFFA is seeking a person to completely rework and restyle our website which will require seeking a new web hosting partner. This person will also be expected to input information on the WEB site on a timely basis, where we offer information on educational programs and meetings as well as organization’s newsletter.  We will need timely promotion of any events via the WEB, and through our on-line newsletter and member listserv. Therefore it is essential that this person has time to devote to the work weekly, to assure good communications and timely outreach of programs and news.

Overall Expectations

The person selected will need strong communication skills to assure the MOFFA Board, especially the Board treasurer, is kept current with organization’s account information.  Weekly communication is essential. The person should have familiarity with agriculture and local marketing and invested in the values of organic food and production.  We are a mostly a volunteer run organization so this person will be the key to maintaining quality communication and information flow amongst the board members (emails and phone calls) and the member-organization (WEB page). 


Contact Information

John W. Hooper



[log in to unmask]



Apprenticeship positions at Holly Hill Farm in Massachusetts

Holly Hill Farm is seeking apprentices.  We are a small, diverse 3 acre certified organic farm located in coastal Cohasset MA.  The scale of our farm allows for a very thorough and multi-faceted learning experience. Apprentices will be involved in every step of growing produce, from seed to harvest to marketing and everything in between.  We sell the majority of our produce directly to the customer in one of our original historic barns, and also attend one weekly farmer’s market.  We host a large plant sale in the spring, selling thousands of organic seedlings at the end of May.


This year we are looking for both Full Season and Peak Season apprentices, with a bit of flexibility on the start and end dates.  The Peak Season would begin mid-May and stay until the end of September.  The Full Season could begin as early as March and stay as late as the beginning of December.  We work 5 days, Tuesday through Sunday. Apprentices live in the 3 bedroom farmhouse with the Farm Manager, and receive board as well.


Farming is a very demanding activity, both physically and emotionally. Working and living with a small group of people requires good communication so we can be both productive and happy. Determination and a willingness to take on responsibility are essential for this position.  Ability to work both as a team and alone is necessary. A sense of humor doesn't hurt, and even though it may be the hardest job you’ve ever had, it is possible for it to also be the most fun!  The most important thing is the desire to work hard and learn. Previous experience farming or gardening is useful.


There is also an educational non-profit on the farm which teaches alongside our farming operation. We host young workers from the programs on a weekly basis throughout the season.  We also work with volunteers on a regular basis. It is beneficial for an apprentice to have experience working with people for this position.  It is necessary that an apprentice be able to work well with other people of all ages.


The land includes about 120 of woods, and has been in the same family for 5 generations. We are a bike ride away from the town center, as well as the Greenbush Commuter Line which brings you into Boston. Our forests are under conservation easement, and there are many trails for walking. There is a great swimming beach down the road. The coastal habitat here is diverse and great for exploring.


Please send cover letter/resume to Deanna at: [log in to unmask]


NOAA-Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory: Ecologist research positions in Ann Arbor 

The GLERL Ecosystem Dynamics Branch will be seeking two enthusiastic research scientists, one a phytoplankton/harmful algal bloom (HAB) ecologist, and the other a benthic ecologist to work on the Great Lakes.


The phytoplankton/HAB ecologist candidate should have specialized skills phytoplankton ecology and/or harmful algal bloom ecology with cross-training in molecular biology and will be expected to develop a research program focusing on water quality, harmful algal blooms, and phytoplankton ecology as they pertain to food web dynamics and human health issues in the Great Lakes. The applicant should have demonstrated experience in molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction, basic DNA and RNA isolation and quantification (e.g., qPCR/qRT-PCR), cDNA or genomic library construction, gene expression (e.g., DNA microarrays, EST analysis), microsatellite DNA or SNP development and genotyping, and in situ hybridization.  Experience with aquatic food webs is also desirable. Excellent communication skills are required to convey complex molecular biology/ecology concepts to researchers and stakeholders of different backgrounds.


The benthic ecologist will have demonstrated expertise in experimental ecology and will develop an experimental or process research program in an area such as population ecology, benthic food web interactions, community ecology, benthic-pelagic coupling, or benthic production.  The individual should have demonstrated taxonomic and field experience  to carry out broad-scale benthic surveys for maintenance of long-term data sets for GLERL’s long-term observation program.  The incumbent will collaborate with fishery ecologists and lower food web ecologists to understand functioning of Great Lakes food webs. 


For further information contact: [log in to unmask].


Arcadia Center spring interns

The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture is looking for great interns for Spring 2013! We have two internship positions available:

   Farm Intern: We’re looking for Farm Interns interested in experiencing and participating in all aspects of a small-scale sustainable farming operation. Interns participate in every facet of the farm from planning and maintenance to harvest and customer relations, as well as gain experience in outreach and organizational development to help our farm grow and succeed.

   Farm Education Intern: Farm Education Interns to assist with all aspects of our educational programming, with a focus on field trips. Interns will be an essential part of our field trip team, including teaching short hands-on lessons, helping with set up and clean up, and participating in program evaluation. Interns will also help to plan and market our other educational programs.

Send applications to [log in to unmask] by February 1, 2013. These are voluntary positions. Interns will receive various course materials to complement the farm education curriculum, as well as individualized mentorship based on each intern's specific learning goals. School internship credit can be arranged for a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week (2 days/week).


Plant Protection Specialist

Yearly Salary: $38,040 Full-time, benefited position. The Missouri Department of Agriculture has a full-time, benefited position (Plant Protection Specialist) located in Northeast Missouri (18 counties consisting of: Adair, Audrain, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Warren).  Please forward to anyone who may be interested.  Applications are still being accepted.  The full position announcement and application instructions may be found at: http://mda.mo.gov/hr/jo12072012.php


Have a GREAT DAY!!

Vicki Morrone
Organic Farming Specialist
Center For Regional Food Systems at MSU
480 Wilson Rd. Room 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)
[log in to unmask]

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