MICHIGAN ORGANIC NEWS | Week of May 6, 2013
Read on for Job Openings and Free Webinars!

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

 Enjoy the new added feature: the topics are linked to the section within the newsletter

I hope all of your fruit trees faired at least ok with the frost. Please not another year of poor fruit yields…


Education & Conferences 

§  Working with your Food Safety Inspector: Presentation and Webinar—May 13


§  Help Sponsor the 2013 Farmers Markets at the Capitol

Agriculture News

§  Will the wet, cold spring impact asparagus?

§  Traceability for Food Safety Purposes: What do I really need to know?

§  NSAC Weekly Roundup


§  Web-Based Transplant Production Decision Tool


§  Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Now Hiring

§  University of Kentucky Position Available—Deadline is June 1

§  Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York: Regional Reps Wanted

§  Farm-to-School Job Openings

§  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Now Hiring for D.C. Position


Grant Opportunities

§  Planning grants and Implementation grants for Farm to School Program



To share ideas for the listserv, please send to the listserv ([log in to unmask]) or to Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]).


To access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings, do so at the following link:


This info is for educational purposes only, and not intended to promote products or companies.










Working with Your Food Safety Inspector: A Webinar for Michigan's Small Food Processors
Monday, May 13, 2:00-3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Web address:


To attend in person:

Michigan State University

Communication Arts and Sciences Building, Room 145

404 Wilson Rd.

East Lansing, Mich.

Building and parking directions available here: - directions

Are you running a small food processing business in Michigan?
Want to start one?

Providing assistance to small processors in Michigan?


Small-scale food processing is a growing trend in Michigan, and meeting food safety regulations is essential to operating a successful food processing business. This panel discussion brings together representatives of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and small Michigan processors. Presenters include:


§  Laurie Sorensen, Food Safety Inspector, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

§  Gordon Robinson, Dairy Supervisor, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

§  Pearl Brown, Baker, Old Mission Multigrain, Traverse City, Mich.

§  Sue Spagnuolo, Cheesemaker, Greenbush Farms and Dolce Vita Dairy, St. Johns, Mich.

§  Moderator: Jenifer Buckley, Michigan State University


Speakers will discuss successful approaches to developing positive relationships with inspectors and meeting regulations. The webinar will be recorded and archived. Pre-registration is not required, and there is no registration fee.



MIFMA 2013 Farmers Markets at the Capitol
The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) and partners are enthusiastically preparing for the 2013 Farmers Markets at the Capitol. These special farmers markets will be held on the Capitol lawn on Thursday, July 18 and Thursday, September 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


We invite you and your organization to be a part of this event by joining us with your presence and sponsorship.  Please see our website for information that describes the events, levels of sponsorship and the benefits of each level:


If you know of a business or organization that would be a great sponsor for these events, please forward this e-mail to them. To be included in promotional materials, sponsorships are due on or before June 15, 2013.   


Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact the MIFMA office at 517-432-3381.




Dru Montri, Ph.D.

Director, Michigan Farmers Market Association



Will the wet, cold spring impact asparagus?

Michigan’s cool, spring temperatures and above average rainfall may affect asparagus harvest and early-season disease development. Read the full article here:


Traceability for Food Safety Purposes: What do I really need to know?

Traceability is the process to be able to identify where and when the crop was harvested. It serves in case there is a problem such as a food safety issue with that crop. This article explains the process and the use in ag production. Note that if you are growing fruit and/or vegetables and are planning to have your farm GAP certified (Good Ag Practices) then you will need a traceability system in place. Note also if you are planning to get your farm NOP (National Organic Program) certified you would need a traceability system in place, as well.


Understanding the requirements for tracking produce from the farm field to its final destination can be incredibly confusing. This article helps to reduce the confusion by defining the details of produce traceability. Read the full article here:


NSAC Weekly Roundup


Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by May 31

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2013 sign up of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) would be due by May 31. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will accept slightly more than 12 million acres into the program. Read more...


Grants for Farm and Rural Business Development Announced

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that over 110 agricultural producers from 43 states would receive nearly $16.8 million in grants from the 2012 round of the Value-Added Producer Grants program. The Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program awards competitive grants that facilitate the creation and development of value-added, producer-owned businesses. Individual independent agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, producer-controlled entities, organizations representing agricultural producers, and farmer or rancher cooperatives are eligible.  Read more...



Farmers and Ranchers Awarded Value-Added Grants for New Markets and Products

On May 1, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) awards to over 110 agricultural producers. The grant awards totaled nearly $16.8 million. The funding came from the $14 million appropriation for VAPG in the FY 2012 Appropriations Bill as well as $2.8 million from earlier years.  Read more...


Conservation Buffer and Wildlife Habitat CRP Enrollment Starting Again

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has issued a notice to its state and local offices that on May 13, 2013, FSA will once again begin accepting offers for new contracts under the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) four targeted subprograms: the Continuous signup (buffer initiative), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Farmable Wetlands Program, and State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement. Read more...




Transplant Production Decision Tool

A new web-based tool is available for growers looking to scale up their fruit and vegetable operations. It is the Transplant Production Decision Tool developed by the Iowa Organic Association as part of a grant from the Leopold Center. The tool offers information about various options, challenges and costs for every step of the process from selecting a growing tray and designing an irrigation system to setting transplants in the field. Find it at:


Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Now Hiring
The OEFFA Certification program is now hiring. We're looking for a full-time certification program assistant to add to the team. The link to the job description and application instructions is as follows:


Lauren Ketcham

Communications Coordinator

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214

Phone:(614) 421-2022 Ext. 203

Email: [log in to unmask]





Assistant or Associate Professor of Horticulture –Vegetable Crops, University of Kentucky
Responsibilities: A twelve-month, tenure-track extension (80%) and research (20%) position is available in the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture. ( This position will develop a statewide Extension education and applied research program in support of Kentucky’s commercial vegetable industry. The successful candidate will be expected to provide training and support for county extension agents to augment and expand the delivery of support for the commercial vegetable industry. Programs will focus on a wide variety of field-grown vegetable crops with emphasis on integrated and sustainable production and marketing systems including the exploration of new opportunities for season extension with high tunnels and other protective structures. The program focus for this position will be aided by and responsive to extension council discussions at county, regional and state levels. This position will also provide leadership to interdepartmental efforts related to commercial vegetable production and act as the primary linkage between the College of Agriculture and the commercial vegetable industry. Educational resource material development, publication of applied research results in appropriate outlets including peer-reviewed journals and extramural program support are expected.


Qualifications: A Ph.D. in horticulture or plant science with knowledge related to commercial vegetable production is required. The individual should possess the ability to function within a team and to communicate effectively.


Location: University of Kentucky, Lexington Campus, Lexington, Kentucky

Salary and Fringe Benefits: Salary is open and competitive. A 403-B retirement plan and group health and life insurance are available.


Application: Screening of applicants will begin June 1, 2013 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. The position is available July 1, 2013. Candidates should submit a letter of interest (Cover Letter), a curriculum vitae (Resume), and the names and contact information for three references. Applications for position number 50109164 must be submitted online:

Contact: Dr. John Strang, Chair Search and Screening Committee Department of Horticulture N-318 Agricultural Science Bldg. North University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40546-0091 (859) 257-5685 [log in to unmask].


Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York: Regional Reps Wanted
NOFA-NY is looking for people passionate about and already active in promoting local organic food to become a Regional Representative in their area.


Regional Representatives are responsible for helping to increase visibility and membership for NOFA-NY.  They table at events and attend NOFA-NY Field Days and Winter Conference. 


They are a paid an annual stipend of $1025, which in part covers travel expenses.


If you live in the Buffalo, Syracuse, Canton, or Binghamton area and are interested in learning more about the position, please contact Tanya at [log in to unmask].


Farm-to-School Related Job Openings
Open Position: RFP for Detroit School Garden Collaborative Consulting Service

This position will oversee and run the Detroit School Garden Collaborative (DSGC), including the current DSGC staff and the hiring of new staff, as well as develop and implement organizational functions and services for the DSGC. The deadline to apply is May 20th. For the request for proposal (RFP), please contact Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]).


Open Position: Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) in northwestern Lower Michigan is taking applications for a new food service director for its approximately 10,000-student school system. TCAPS' job description includes making farm to school purchasing—purchasing and serving food grown by local farmers—a priority. All food service programming also must be financially sustainable. Please go to the following link for more information and to fill out the application:


National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Now Hiring for D.C. Position
NSAC is looking for a Managing Director and a Marketing, Food Systems, and Rural Development Policy Associate.  Check out our Jobs Page for more information:




Farm to School Planning Grants Application Available for Michigan Schools K-12!!




With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is now accepting applications for the MI Farm to School Grant Program for the 2013 - 2014 school year.


The MI Farm to School Grant Program offers Planning and Implementation grants:


Planning Grants help schools/districts and early child care and education programs plan for integrating local foods into their meal programs AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Action Plan to begin a Farm to School program.


Implementation Grants to help schools/districts and early child care and education programs put existing Farm to School plans into action AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Sustainability Plan to keep the program going and growing in future years.


****Eligibility requirements to apply:*****

       Only food service/nutrition directors/providers of schools/districts or early child care and education programs are eligible to apply.

       Schools/districts and early child care and education programs must have at least 50% free and reduced-price meal enrollment or equivalent.

(See application for more details on applicant eligibility)


To check if your school qualifies go to this link: file:///Users/sorrone/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/Workbook2%20(12)/Workbook2  (for Fall 2013)

Sourced from,4546,7-113-21423_30451_36965---,00.html


The MI Farm to School Grant Program will award up to 20 Michigan K-12 schools/districts and early child care and education programs with funds ($2,000 maximum each) to plan for or implement Farm to School programs. The grant year is September 3, 2013 – June 6, 2014.


Applications are due by 5 pm on Friday, May 10th, 2013.  DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 17th 2013!!!


The link below is a recording of an informational webinar for prospective applicants held April 25th 2013:


For applications and additional information, please see the attachments of this email or visit the Michigan Farm to School .

SO IF YOUR SCHOOL IS NOT 50% OR HIGHER FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH YOU CAN STILL VISIT THIS SITE TO LEARN HOW TO GET YOUR SCHOOL STARTED IN SOURCING LOCAL FRESH FOOD FOR YOUR SCHOOL AT THIS website, under the “Grants” tab. Feel free to contact the MI Farm to School Grant Program Coordinator, Anne Scott, at [log in to unmask] or 517-353-0751 with any questions.



Sent by: Anne Scott, MPH

Center for Regional Food Systems 


480 Wilson Rd, Suite 303

East Lansing, MI  48824

[log in to unmask]   517.353.0751


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]

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