Hope all of you have a great week and the crops are growing happily!
MSU Organic Listserv
July 27, 2013
Shared by the Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU
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This is news for your information as a farmer and consumer, not intended to promote any products.
What’s on Offer? Click on one of the titles to get to that section
News About Organic Production and Certification
Food Safety and Food Preparation

Upcoming Events
Resources to help you keep up the good work!
Grant Opportunities

News About Organic Production and Certification
Organic birds are not permitted to go outdoors?
FSMA and NOP discuss safe and appropriate egg layer handling.
The new guidance regarding poulty access to outdoors is intended to reduce the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), requiring shell egg producers and certain other persons to implement measures. The actions are intended to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) from contaminating eggs on the farm and from further growth during storage and transportation (21 CFR part 118). The USDA National Organic Program regulations require that organic poultry have year-round access to the outdoors.  Birds must have access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air, clean water for drinking, and direct sunlight (7 CFR 205.239(a)(1)).  Poultry are allowed to be temporarily confined in some circumstances, such as inclement weather or conditions under which the birds’ health, safety, or well-being could be jeopardized (7 CFR 205.239(b)).  However, continuous total confinement indoors is prohibited by USDA’s regulations (7 CFR 205.239(a)(1)).
Four housing styles are most often used for organic egg production.  The majority of houses in use for organic egg production are either one of these four styles or some variation.  The four housing styles are described and illustrated in detail at this link.
You can also find answers on SE Prevention Measures to questions such as
1. Must I prevent stray poultry, wild birds, cats, and other animals from entering the poultry house? AND
2. How can I prevent rodents from entering an outdoor access area?
3. How can I control rodents in an outdoor access area?
4. How can I clean and disinfect an outdoor access area?
Organic Fruit Production and Antibiotics
Since 2002, Tetracycline has been used as a spray to manage Fire Blight on apples and pears. Now, beginning next year this will not be allowed by USDA National Organic Program. The allowance for the use of tetracycline in organic apple and pear production will be extended until Oct. 21, 2014, providing two years for the development of alternatives for fire blight control. Additionally, producers will have the option of using formic acid as a means of controlling varroa and tracheal mites in organic honey bee operations, while processors will have the option of using attapulgite, a nonsynthetic processing aid, for purification of plant and animal oils.

Read more: Poison Apples: “Organic” Fruit Can Be Tainted by Antibiotics Until Fall 2014<>

Food Safety and Food Preparation
Make your comments on the Food Safety Modernization Act until Nov 13.
On Friday, the FDA announced another extension<> of the FSMA public comment period by 60 more days.  The deadline for submitting comments to FDA is now November 13, 2013.  This gives concerned farmers, on-farm processors, and consumers more time to understand the rules and their potential impact – and to submit comments to FDA!  Read more about the extension on NSAC’s blog<>.
As you consider the practicality, usability, or affordability of your farm becoming GAP certified consider how you already, as an organic farmer, keep records of your farming practices from purchases to inputs and practices, as well as annual water testing and probably the most challenging- establishing a system to provide traceability of your harvested produce and products.  GAP is formalized way to validate and demonstrate that you as a farmer are implementing all feasible measures to assure the food produced on your farm is safe as well as delicious. To learn when there is a GAP workshop in your area visit
As part of FSMA, FDA is proposing to require substantial recordkeeping efforts on the part of farms that will fall under the full Produce Rule.  Our analysis of what the rule requires – and doesn’t require – is now online on our FSMA website<>.
Specifically, farmers will have to keep (and be able to share with FDA) records that document their compliance on a range of issues, including:
•   Personnel qualifications and training
•   Agricultural water
•   Biological soil amendments of animal origin (e.g., manure and compost)
•   Equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation
•   Sprouts
In contrast, farms subject to modified regulations under the Produce Rule are NOT required to comply with the same level of recordkeeping, but FDA wants to know if they should consider requiring more recordkeeping from those farms.  Read our recordkeeping issue page for more analysis on this issue.<>

New report available on the health effects of pesticides used by the GM
crops industry. This report catalogues or summarizes data recently
published by Lopez and colleagues (2013) in the book series, Advances in
Molecular Toxicology.
This report was shared in the SANET-MG news July 24, 2013

The report can be downloaded from:

The report catalogues or itemizes the different health disorders by chapter
(such as birth defects, and reproductive problems); with each section
followed by a list of the scientific references, used by the authors- to
back up their claims.

Health Effects from the Exposure to Pesticides used for the Production of
GM Crops: Observations from Epidemiological Studies in Latin America


1.0. Overview on the Use of Pesticides for the Production of GM crops
in Latin America
2.0. Health assessment from the exposure to pesticides is needed
3.0. Roundup (Glyphosate) Herbicide: Health concerns
4.0. Genetic/DNA damage or Genotoxicity caused by Pesticides
5.0. Birth defects & reproductive and skeletal malformations
6.0. Detrimental effects of pesticides on Wildlife
7.0. Other recent reviews and surveys that document a range of
adverse health effects from the chronic exposure to pesticides
8.0. List of Pesticides used for the production of GM crops

NEW MSUE Factsheets to help you with your fruit and vegetable harvests
Lisa Treiber, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, 989-832-6640
Michigan Fresh: Make your summer extra sweet with sweet corn
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Be on the lookout for Michigan-grown sweet corn this summer at local farmers’ markets. And learn how to enjoy and preserve that just-picked goodness with the fact sheet “Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing and Preserving Sweet Corn.”<>
The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Michigan Fresh initiative provides information and tips to consumers on how to properly store, use and preserve a large variety of fruits and vegetables, including sweet corn.
This fact sheet includes storage and food safety tips, a yield chart and information on freezing and canning, including directions on how to can cream-style corn.
Fact sheets – on topics from apples to winter squash – are available on the Michigan Fresh website at Additional fact sheets will be featured throughout the growing season.
Want to make that favorite cookie recipe for more than the next family reunion but maybe earn a little income or start a business??
If you are inspired to prepare and SELL bake goods you can do this without a certified kitchen BUT there are some rules and guidelines to follow, prepared by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Cottage Food Law offers the perfect venue for the beginner entrepreneur to prepare and sell baked and other dry goods in their own kitchen.  Here is a link that has been prepared by Michigan State University Extension educator, Rita Klavinski- serving community in and around Calhoun County.  Visit this site and not only can you learn how to do it but you can participate in an on-line training:

Upcoming Events
FUNDING SEMINAR –Applying and writing SARE grants for farmers, researchers and graduate students.
Opportunities for research, education, extension, and graduate student funding from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Dr. Rob Myers, PDP Coordinator and Director of Extension Programs
Dr. Beth Nelson, Regional Coordinator and Director of Research and Education Programs
Joan Benjamin, Associate Coordinator, Farmer and Rancher Grant Program
Monday, August 12th -- Noon to 1 pm- Plant and Soil Sciences Building (PSSB) Room A271- Visitor parking is available in the MSU Children’s Garden with meters.
This event will be recorded and the link will be shared in the next Organic Listserv Edition and placed on web<>
Opportunities for research, education, extension, and graduate student funding from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Dr. Rob Myers, PDP Coordinator and Director of Extension Programs
Dr. Beth Nelson, Regional Coordinator and Director of Research and Education Programs
Joan Benjamin, Associate Coordinator, Farmer and Rancher Grant Program
Please join us for a pizza lunch and information session on funding opportunities available through the USDA-NIFA SARE program.
A presentation of approximately 30 minutes will be provided by Rob Myers, Beth Nelson and Joan Benjamin on grant opportunities offered through North Central Region SARE, including information on sources of technical information available through the SARE program.  The USDA SARE program is currently funded at $18 million per year nationally.
This presentation should be of interest to a wide range of farmers, faculty and graduate students working on agriculture, food, and rural issues at the University of Nebraska.
Following the presentation there will be time for questions and discussion about SARE.  Dale Mutch and Dean Baas, SARE State Coordinators for Michigan, will also be available to answer questions.
Registration is not necessary.

MSU Extension Forage and Bio Fuels Field Days
August 19-Mon in West Olive, Michigan OR August 20-Tuesday in Pigeon Mi.
This program will expose forage and biomass producers to some of the new practices, equipment and options available for harvesting. Join us for educational sessions and view equipment for shredlage, corn windrower, and other forages.
So choose your location closest to home and learn how you can be part of the 21st century farming, growing food for animals and fuel to power our engines.
For information and registration call Dennis Pennington at (269) 838-8265 or Phil Kaatz at (810) 667-0341.

Soil Academy II 2013-Offered to you by MSU Extension
September 11, 2013, Wednesday from 9-5    474 S. Onondaga Rd, Mason MI
A chance to learn about the 4R Nutrient Stewardship and how to put it into practice.  Right Source-Right Rate-Right Time and Right Place
You can earn 6 CCA credits and Phase I MAEAP credit
Do you want to understand your soil better? Want to know not only the right amount but also the best time to apply fertilizer? How to improve efficiency of crop production AND soil health? Then you should attend this event!  Great speakers, a great lunch and great information --PLUS a bus tour of MSU Nutrient research plot and Agro-culture North Central Research Station fertilizer research plots.  Reserve your place by Aug 15th@ $60 or $70 after but space is very limited so don’t wait. Visit to register and pay by credit card.

Morgan Composting Inc Presents 2013 Soil Seminar-Layering of Good Practices to Build Health Soils.
August 15, 2013. 9:00-4:30.  4353 E US 10, Sears Michigan (15 miles west of Clare)
Join the day packed with information on soil health from family gardening to forage for beef cattle. Events include tour of Morgan composting facility, pig roast lunch and keynote by Dr. George Bird from Michigan State University. Topics will include worm composting, building your soil, family gardening, and understanding labels for food on your table.  Visit<>   for a complete program and registration information. Price is $20 and registration is open!

Resources to help you keep up the good work!
With greater understanding of food safety, the practice of using manure and manure-based compost is gaining more attention and concern as new farmers come on board (thank goodness) and experienced farmers are seeking ways to produce the safest and yummiest food possible. Farmers use compost and manure on their fields to grow better crops by building better soil.  Sustainable and organic producers in particular rely on manure and compost instead of synthetic chemicals to add fertility to their fields.  The proposed new Food Safety Modernization Act rules aim to impose new standards on how manure and compost can be used on farms that produce food covered under the new rules.
Farmers who think they may be covered by the proposed Produce Rule<> should learn about these proposed new regulations now – and prepare to submit comments to FDA on how these proposed rules may impact their operations.
To help, today we’ve published an overview of how the proposed FSMA rules address the use of manure and compost on farms, including how the rules as written would conflict with National Organic Program standards.
•   Read it now:  How FSMA’s proposed Produce Rule would impact manure and compost use<>
Information is also available on how the proposed rules address wild and domestic animals <> and conservation practices<>!  More analysis on other key FSMA issues is forthcoming throughout July.
This week, FDA released several new technical fact sheets aimed at farmers. They are linked below:
•    Fact sheet on Agricultural Water Standards<> (PDF): Information on water testing, treatment, and recordkeeping (NSAC will issue our own analysis on water standards later in July)
•    Fact sheet on Alternatives and Variances<> (PDF): How do these work in the proposed Produce Rule?
•    Fact Sheet on Outbreaks<> (PDF): Why doesn’t the proposed Produce Rule apply only to fresh produce known to have caused recent outbreaks?
Shared by the : National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition You are subscribed to this list as [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. You can click here to unsubscribe<>.

Grant Opportunities
2013 Farmer Rancher and the 2103 Youth Educator competitive grant programs
NCR-SARE has announced the projects that have been recommended for funding for the 2013 Farmer Rancher and the 2103 Youth Educator competitive grant programs. More than 50 projects were awarded a total of more than $.5 million through these two NCR-SARE grant programs, which offer competitive grants for producers, educators, organizations, and others who are exploring sustainable agriculture in America’s Midwest.
For the 2013 Farmer Rancher Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $495,000 to 45 projects ranging from $2,219 to $22,500. The Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.
For the 2013 Youth Educator Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $20,000 to 10 projects ranging from $1,957 to $2,000. The Youth Educator Grant Program supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth.

Visit the website to read more about these NCR-SARE grant projects:

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)
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