Don't miss some great workshops and a chance to comment to NOP!

Michigan Organic Listserv

Sept 30, 2013

Michigan State University-Center for Regional Food Systems

www.MichiganOrganic.Msu.Edu<http://www.MichiganOrganic.Msu.Edu> for other info on organic production

What is on offer this time? (click on it to get to that point in news)

Organic NOP and Certification News

Crop Production News

Upcoming Educational Events Including great workshops for beginner farmers and hoophousers-starting tomorrow!!!

Food Hub Info
Job Opportunities

Grant Opportunities

Organic NOP and Certification News

Tomorrow is LAST Day to comment to NOSB (National Organic Standards Board) for agenda items that you see important.

The board members invite you to give them feedback on what is most important to discuss related to the National Organic Program and Organic certification and production of organic food in the United States. The public is welcome to attend but many of us don’t have the opportunity. But we can share our thoughts with the board members and points to discuss at their quarterly meeting on topics such as:

·      How FSMA may impact you as an organic farmer, following the NOP

·      How your climate provides conditions that are favorable for pests on crops that you grow. As an organic farmer you need the right tools and approaches to manage the outbreaks

·      Organic certification costs are impacting your business, forcing the possibility to no be certified, especially if the Farm Bill will not include Cost Share United States

·      How are equivalencies with other countries really being enforced

Send your comments on ANY topic that you see important to your and other farmers’ organic business around the NOP. See following article for details:

National Organic Standards Board to Meet in October
September 5th, 2013
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that the Fall 2013 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will take place from October 22-24 in Louisville, KY.  The NOSB meets twice annually to receive input from the public and key stakeholders in the organic community on NOSB recommendations and discussion items.  October’s meeting will cover a range of issues including possible changes to the List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List<>) and updates from working groups on technical issues.
The deadline for public comment before the meeting is October 1.  A tentative agenda is available here<>, and NOSB Subcommittee recommendations are available on the National Organic Program website<>.
Go to this link to enter your comments. Deadline midnight Oct 1.
 You must include your name and zip code as a minimum of info.!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-13-0049-0002<!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-13-0049-0002>
National Organic Standards Board Fall 2013 Meeting Proposals
Notice<> | Proposals<> | Meeting Information<>
Deadline: 10/01/2013

Comment Period Open to Review USDA NOP Allowed and Prohibited Substances List of Changes
You may wish to make comments if you see it does not include current products you use on your farm or the products you use are not prohibited. Click on “Proposed Rule” to see list.

Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)- Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would add the following substances, along with any restrictive
annotations, to the National List:
biodegradable biobased mulch film; Citrus hystrix, leaves and fruit; and curry leaves (Murraya koenigii).

This action also proposes a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film.

This proposed rule would also remove two listings for nonorganic agricultural products on the National List, hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch, as their use exemptions expired on January 1, 2013, and June 21, 2009,
Comment deadline: October 21, 2013
Proposed Rule<> | Submit Comments<!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-13-0011-0001>
USDA Changes Process for Organic Labeling This is of interest to all who care about organic products-not just those working under NOP rules!
September 18, 2013 by Linda Larsen<> 14 Comments<> <>
Food & Water Watch<>, the Center for Food Safety<>, and Consumers Union issued a joint statement yesterday about the USDA’s unilateral and surprising change <> to the organic labeling standards process, filed in the Federal Register on September 16, 2013. Under the old law, there was a controlled process for allowing otherwise prohibited synthetic and non-organic substances in organic foods because of extenuating circumstances. Those exemptions were for a five year period, to encourage the development of organic alternatives. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) reversed that rule, and those prohibited substances can now be included in organic products indefinitely unless specific action is taken.
The USDA made this decision without the two-thirds “decisive” majority vote of the National Organics Standards Board (NOSB) and without a public review. The burden of identifying exempted materials for removal will now fall onto environmentalists and consumers. An exempt material could be permitted indefinitely, “unless a two-thirds majority of the NOSB votes to remove an exempted (synthetic) substance from the list,” according to the statement.
The groups said, “The USDA’s decision minimizes all incentives for creating organic, natural alternative ingredients and lowers the standard for what consumers can expect behind the organic label. Allowing the USDA to automatically relist materials without the recommendation of the NOSB erodes the Board’s legal authority over materials decisions, a key to consumer trust in the organic label. The fact that the agency made this decision without any public input only adds to the violation felt by watchdog groups and consumers alike.”
This change lowers the bar for the organic market. The old system of vetting substances every five years gave organic food producers flexibility, has kept the majority of synthetic substances out of organic products, and was leading to a decrease of synthetic ingredients in organic products over time. The new policy gets rid of the incentive to develop organic alternatives.

Dr. Lisa Brunin, Organic Policy Director for Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “This unfortunate turn in NOP policy will allow many more exempted substances to languish in organic products indefinitely. The new NOP policy fundamentally undermines one of the core tenants of the organic rule – keeping synthetics and non-organic ingredients out of organic”

Japan today sign organic equivalence arrangement

Source: Organic Trade Association<>
Published: Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 - 10:14 am
BALTIMORE, Sept. 26, 2013 -- Marks first U.S. organic arrangement in Asia, and first-ever without organic standards exceptions
Officials from Japan and the United States announced the signing of an organic equivalence arrangement between the two countries in ceremonies this morning at All Things Organic here at Natural Products Expo East. Present at the announcement were Mr. Satoshi Kunii, Director, Labeling Standards Division, and Mr. Takuro Mukae, Associate Director, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Affairs, of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) for Japan, and Administrator Anne Alonzo of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for the United States.
U.S. officials noted the organic equivalence arrangement will reopen the important Japanese consumer market for U.S. organic producers of all sizes, and will create jobs and opportunity for the U.S. organic food and farming sector.
"This monumental agreement will further create jobs in the already growing U.S. organic sector, spark additional market growth, and be mutually beneficial to producers both in the United States and Japan and to consumers who choose organic products," said Laura Batcha, Executive Vice President of the U.S.-based Organic Trade Association<> (OTA).
Assessments conducted in Japan and the United States leading up to the signing found organic management, accreditation, certification and enforcement programs are in place in both countries, and conform to each other's respective programs. The first two-way trade agreement in Asia also marks the first organic equivalency arrangement without organic standards exceptions.
As a result, certified organic products as of Jan. 1, 2014 can move freely between the United States and Japan. Under the agreement, MAFF will recognize USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) and the MAFF Organic Program, and will allow products produced and certified as meeting USDA's NOP standards to be marketed as organic in Japan. Likewise, the United States will allow Japanese products produced and certified under the JAS Organic Program to be marketed as organic in the United States. Both countries will require that the accredited certifier must be identified on the product label.
"On behalf of the U.S. organic industry, OTA extends its sincere thanks and congratulations to the U.S. government<> and MAFF Japan teams that brought equivalency between our nations after a decade of rigorous and thoughtful negotiations," said Batcha. She noted that OTA and the U.S. organic industry advised, advocated for, and facilitated progress towards this historic arrangement.
In June 2009, the United States and Canada signed the first equivalency agreement in the world for the organic industry.  This was followed with an agreement signed by the United States and EU in February 2012 recognizing each other's organic standards as equivalent, fully effective June12, 2012.
Further details and background information about this latest agreement are available on OTA's website<>. Also NOP has posted extensive information<> related to the agreement.
During 2013, the Organic Trade Association launched its Global Organic Trade Guide<>, the world's first user-friendly website to help U.S. organic producers and handlers export organic products. The site also features an in-depth Market Data<> section and the only map tool<> to communicate global organic trade information in real time to U.S. farmers,<> ranchers, and food processors<> looking to export organic products to Japan and the world.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.
SOURCE Organic Trade Association

Read more here:

Crop Production News
Fall checklist for improving soybean yields
Michigan State University  |  Updated: 09/17/2013

The following management practices have been proven to maximize soybean yields and profitability.
Reduce harvest losses
Preventable harvest losses average from one to two bushels per acre. However, they can easily double if the crop is lodged, short or harvest operations are significantly delayed. Please refer to the Michigan State University Extension<> articles on measuring soybean harvest losses<> and reducing soybean harvest losses<> for specific recommendations.
Reduce soil compaction during harvest and fall tillage operations
Soil compaction in the top 12 inches of the soil (surface compaction) adversely affects soybean yields by limiting root growth, reducing nodulation, inhibiting potassium and phosphorus uptake and promoting diseases such as sudden death syndrome and Phytophthora root and stem rot. A long-term study conducted in Minnesota showed that the effect of surface compaction on soybean yields was correlated to soil moisture and soil phosphorus levels. When less than 14 inches of rain occurred between the first of May and the first of September, soybean yields were greater in the tracked rows. When more than 14 inches of rain occurred between the first of May and the first of September, soybean yields were lower in the tracked rows. Inflating your tires to the proper pressure is an easy and effective way to reduce surface compaction.
Take soil samples for nutrient and pH analysis
Maintain soil pH between 6.3 and 6.5 to maximize nutrient availability and biological nitrogen fixation while minimizing soybean cyst nematode population growth. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin<> and Iowa State University<> found that soybean cyst nematode populations increased significantly at soil pH levels greater than 6.5. When soil pH levels exceed 6.5, manganese deficiency symptoms can occur in lakebed and outwash soils. Maintain soil phosphorus levels above 20 ppm and soil potassium levels above the critical levels for your soil types. The critical level for potassium is calculated by multiplying your soil’s cation exchange capacity (CEC) by 2.5 and adding 75. For example, the critical potassium level for a soil having a CEC of 12 meq/100gm is 105 ppm [(12 x 2.5) + 75]. Avoid fall applications of potassium fertilizer to coarse-textured soils having CEC’s less than 6 meq/100 gm and organic soils to prevent leaching losses.
Collect and submit soil samples for soybean cyst nematode analysis
Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) cause more economic losses than any other soybean pest. Yield losses up to 15 bushels per acre can occur before symptoms are visible. Collecting and submitting soil samples in the fall before planting soybeans is the first step to reducing yield losses from SCN. The Michigan Soybean Checkoff<> will cover the cost of up to 20 nematode samples per farm per year. For more information, please refer to the fact sheet on sampling for soybean cyst nematodes<> available online at
Select high-yielding, well-adapted varieties
Variety selection is one of the most important management decisions producers make. On average, the highest-yielding varieties in the MSU soybean variety trials produce five bushels per acre more than the overall average yield for the trials. Utilize the Michigan Soybean Performance Report<>, information from seed companies and your on-farm trials to select high-yielding, well-adapted varieties. Consider the following characteristics: yield, SCN resistance, disease resistance or tolerance, lodging resistance and maturity.
This article was produced by the SMaRT project (Soybean Management and Research Technology) a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff program, SMaRT was developed to help Michigan producers increase soybean yields and farm profitability.

- See more at:

Food Hub Info

What is a Food Hub?

Food Aid has a nice explanation of what a food hub is, its value and what opportunities it offers communities, from farmers to consumers. Source:

I especially like this article as it emphasizes access to local food, this is a real challenge for many due to economics, transportation, time to seek and even knowledge.

With booming demand across America for good food from family farmers, it’s no surprise that you’re seeing increased interest in your farm products. But, as you say, farmers markets can only reach so many people. Despite the tremendous growth in the number of farmers markets nationwide—they’ve grown by 250% in the last 15 years!—direct markets account for just 0.4% of total U.S. agricultural sales. We’re still far away from transforming our food system so that everyone has access to the most healthful, freshest food possible while also supporting our nation’s family farmers.
That task will require robust wholesale markets that reach both eaters and farmers who can’t regularly frequent farmers markets. Yet many family farmers remain too small to provide the quantity of goods needed to access these wholesale markets, or lack the necessary equipment to refrigerate, store or deliver their product at that scale.
What’s a farmer to do? I have two words for you: food hubs.
Food hubs represent an exciting, emerging trend in local and regional food systems development. They tackle a critical need: the infrastructure and business management needed to handle the logistics of bringing food from the farm to the plate—things farmers often don’t have the time or resources to accomplish.
Many Shapes and Sizes
Food hubs are broadly defined as facilities that manage the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution or marketing of locally and regionally produced food. They fulfill from one to all of these functions and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. No matter their form, they are promising models for bringing family farm food to more Americans.
Most food hubs serve as a drop-off point for several farms in a region and a pick-up point for distribution streams and customers who want to buy food they can be sure came from local and regional family farmers. A great example is the Market Mobile program hosted by Farm Aid partner Farm Fresh Rhode Island<>. Market Mobile is a pooled farm-to-business delivery system that facilitates buying relationships between area farmers and business buyers and institutions. Market Mobile provides year-round delivery of a wide variety of farm fresh goods, including produce, local meat, seafood and dairy, from 40 local producers to chefs, schools and groceries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Foods hubs often provide a management team that coordinates supply chain logistics, including finding new markets for producers and coordinating distributors, processors and buyers. That has been exemplified by groups like Red Tomato<> in the Northeast and Ecotrust<> in the Pacific Northwest, both Farm Aid partners.
Some food hubs have permanent facilities that offer equipment for food to be stored, processed, packed and even sold under a shared label. Some also offer technical and business planning assistance for farmers. Appalachian Sustainable Development<> in Virginia, also a Farm Aid partner, has exemplified this model, helping dozens of former tobacco producers transition into organic production and selling their goods under one Appalachian Harvest label.
A key element to the food hub model is that they’re based on cooperation. As U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan recently described in a speech about food hubs, “Producers are helping producers. Processors are helping processors. Distributors are helping distributors.” And she is hopeful about the future of food hubs, stating that “Food hubs are not a flash in the pan. They are incredibly innovative business models specifically addressing some of our producers’ most overwhelming challenges.”
Reaping the benefits
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that there are nearly 100 food hubs operating in the country today—a number that’s growing as more communities see the benefits of direct markets like farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs, and want to bring family farm food to more people in their area.
USDA recently conducted a vast study of these models and found some exciting stuff:
•    Food hubs are creating economic opportunity and adding jobs in their communities.
•    Food hubs are providing new market opportunities for our family farmers, helping them access wholesale markets they normally wouldn’t be able to reach
•    Over 40% of today’s food hubs focus on bringing fresh, local food products to “food deserts” like some rural communities and urban neighborhoods where healthy, affordable food is generally difficult to obtain.

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and Wallace Center at Winrock International are pleased to announce the release of Findings of the 2013 National Food Hub Survey<>.  This report details survey results from over 100 food hubs – businesses or organizations that manage the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products – and demonstrates that food hubs continue to develop as financially viable businesses throughout the U.S.

The Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network will host the State of the Food Hub - National Survey Results webinar<>, highlighting key findings from the report, this Thursday, Sept. 19, at 3:30pm EDT.  Registration for the webinar is free and open until broadcast time at

** Here is a link ( to the Food Hub Survey. This info will be helpful to you to identify food hub opportunities and needs, which can be valuable when planning work or seeking support from a grant to continue related work.

Liz Gensler, CRFS Communications Specialist and Rich Pirog, CRFS Senior Associate Director

Rich Pirog
Senior Associate Director
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
 (p) 517-353-0694 | (f) 517-353-3834
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Upcoming Educational Events

Soil, Compost and Organic Farming Workshops – Fall 2013
 Instructors are Professor John Biernbaum and Brooke Anderson.
More information and register online at
All workshops are $15, $5 for students
 Designed for beginners to novice, at-home to market gardeners, these courses will give you the experience and knowledge to create or enhance your current system. All courses include a lecture and hands-on component creating lasting features at the Michigan State University’s Surplus Store and Recycling Center.  All courses include a reference book.  Light refreshments will be provided.
 Building Beds for Planting
Learn about building soil and beds in this hands-on workshop. Participants will leave with the ability to create their own raised bed and building soil for healthy plants.  All participants will receive a copy of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens.
Date: Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Surplus Store and Recycling Center, Education Room

Hot Composting
Make a compost system used recycled wood pallets on-site and learn about creating a healthy microbial community to create food scraps and plant debris into compost for your garden. Pallets will be available on-site to make your own system. All participants will receive a copy of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide.
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013.
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Surplus Store and Recycling Center, Education Room

Worm Composting
Vermicomposting, or composting using worms, can be done indoors and outdoors. Learn about how to start your own project and worms will be available for pre-order or order after the program. Together, the participants will create a worm bin demonstration project on-site. All participants receive a copy of Worms Eat My Garbage.
Date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013.
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Surplus Store and Recycling Center, Education Room
 Instructors are Professor John Biernbaum and Brooke Anderson.
More information and register online at
All workshops are $15, $5 for students.
Lauren K. Olson
Education Coordinator
Michigan State University
517 884-2443<file://localhost/tel/517%20884-2443>

[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> |<>

Organic Field Crop Research Field Day

Oct 10  9:30-2 pm

Lunch included

At Kellogg Biological Station Dairy Conference Room

Hickory Corners Michigan

For additional info and to register contact Dean Baas 269-967-9672

This event is free and a great chance to learn about MSU’s organic research, meet other farmers and share your ideas for research areas in the future.

You are invited to attend a field day of organic agriculture research projects at the Michigan State University (MSU) W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). Join other organic producers to view organic research sites and discuss project results with researchers. This is an opportunity to discuss and provide input on future organic research needs.

Contact Information: Dean Baas, [log in to unmask] or 269-967-9672.  Address to meeting is MSU KBS Farm and Dairy Center -10461 40th Street, Hickory Corners, MI 49060


In the morning we will visit field sites and afternoon invite you to share your organic research priorities.

·      9:30 am – 10:00 am: Registration (at the Farm and Dairy Center)

·      10:00 am – noon: Plot tours and project presentations

·      Organic Soybean Variety Trials - Over 50 non- GMO soybeans varieties are being compared under an organic production system Researchers: DeChun Wang (MSU), Dan Rossman (MSUE) and Dean Baas (MSUE)

·      Organic Dry Beans with Cover Crops – Plots and research results examining how cover crops impact nitrogen availability and weed dynamics in organic dry beans. Researcher: Erin Hill (MSU)

·      Perennial grains – Plots and research on the use of perennial grains. Researchers: Sieg Snapp (MSU) and Vicki Morrone (MSU)

·      Effect of cover crops on nitrous oxide emissions, nitrogen availability and carbon accumulation in organic versus conventionally managed systems. Researchers: Dean Baas (MSUE) and Neville Millar (MSU)

·      Zonal cover-cropping and strip-tillage for organic vegetable production. Researchers: Dan Brainard (MSU) and Carolyn Lowry (MSU)

·      Noon – 1:00 pm – Lunch (provided at the Farm and Dairy Center)

·      1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Discussion of future research needs

Extending The Grazing Season With Forage Crops
 This field day is for farmers, consultants, educators and industry professionals with a desire to learn, discuss or exchange ideas about efficient planning, management and use of forage crops and cover crop mixtures in pasture-based farms.
Date: Friday October 18, 2013
Time: 1- 5 p.m
Location: W.K. Kellogg Biological St
Cost: There is no fee to attend. Preregistration is required by October 16th, 2013
To register for this event contact, Misty Klotz by email  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or phone 269-671-2402. We hope you will join us.

Cheers, Misty Klotz
Climate Change and Agriculture Outreach Coordinator
Michigan State University, W.K.Kellogg Biological Station
Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Phone: 269-671-2402
Office Hours: W, T, F 9:00am to 4:00pm

Call for posters for the 2013 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo is now Open!

The 2013 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO
<<>> is scheduled for December 10-12 at DeVos Place
Convention Center in Grand Rapids.

Each year the Expo attracts more than 4000 growers, farm marketers, greenhouse operators, and processors of fruit and vegetable crops from the Great Lakes Region and beyond. The poster session is part of the concurrent educational program hosted by Michigan State University and the Michigan State Horticultural Society.

Posters are displayed in a prominent location in the Grand Concourse of
the DeVos Convention Center, providing a high visibility area through
which all Expo attendees pass sooner or later.

*Appropriate content for a poster presentation at the Expo: *

   * Results of extension, demonstration, and research work on fruit and
     vegetable pest management techniques, pest phenology, production
     practices, harvesting innovations, marketing tools, and packaging
   * Summaries, from previous articles or scientific publications,
     transformed into posters or previously presented posters from other
     scientific and industry meetings (as long as they may be understood
     by a layman).
   * Michigan State Horticultural Society Trust Fund project reports.
   * Updated or revised extension advisories.
   * Institutional promotional literature.

*Please note: *commercial products, advertising, and reports developed
by commercial companies will NOT be allowed as a poster (that is why we
have exhibit hall space).


  1. Send your poster title(s), full authorship, and the name and
     mail/email addresses of the presenting author** by Friday, NOVEMBER
     22 to Julianna Wilson <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.
  2. Each poster (you may submit more than one) will be allotted a 4 x 4
     ft poster area.
  3. Pertinent brochures, reprints, or 8.5x11" copies of the poster may
     accompany posters (please plan to attach a manila envelope to the
     board under the poster to contain them).
  4. Posters MUST BE INSTALLED no later than Tuesday morning by 11:00 AM
     and left up until 2:00 PM on Thursday. Posters may be removed
     between 2-4 PM on Thursday. If you are unable to remove your poster
     at that time, we will be collecting all remaining posters for return
     to the MSU campus, so you should not remove your poster prematurely
     even if you cannot be present on Thursday to take it down. All
     collected posters will be available for pick-up in Room B18, Food
     Safety and Toxicology Building, MSU campus, after the Expo. An email
     will be sent out to the presenting author when posters are ready for
     pick-up on campus.
  5. *ALL authors should submit a digital version of their poster (in PDF
     format) so that it may be posted for attendees to access from the
     Expo website after the meeting. Digital versions are due within one
     week after the EXPO - send your PDF as an email attachment to
     Julianna Wilson <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

**The "presenting" author will receive complimentary Expo registration.
Authors are NOT required to provide time to stand by their posters, but
if you plan to do so, please post the time you will be there to answer
questions with your poster.

*To achieve the greatest impact in this forum:*

   * Keep in mind that people attending the meeting have limited viewing time.
   * Make your poster colorful with plenty of photos and summary graphs and less text.
   * Focus on presenting the highlights of the work or story.
   * Information presented in text form should be in a large font
     readable from several feet away.

These instructions can also be found here along with a link to a sample of the posters that were presented last year:

Please contact Julianna Wilson if you have any questions!

Julianna K. Wilson, Ph.D.
(formerly Julianna K. Tuell)
Tree Fruit IPM Outreach Specialist
Department of Entomology
Michigan State University
1129 Farm Lane, Rm B-18A FSTB
East Lansing, MI 48824-1311

GREAT Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo-Organic Program
Thur Dec 12 8:30 5:00
DeVos Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI
Registration: for Thursday only is $40 for Thur only or $75 if register by Nov 20 (goes up by $25 after this date). ( and go to Register
If you are a fruit and/or vegetable producer, certified organic or not this is the show to attend! The whole program is a 3 day event, covering all the fruit and vegetables –from insect, diseases to overall production, including soil health! But Thursday is a special day that features sessions that focus on organic production for fruit, vegetables, pest management, soil health and certification. To see the full agenda go to www.
The Organic Sessions are as follows (click on each to see session program)
•    Organic Opportunities, Management and Marketing<> 9-11 R

•    Starting into Organic Production<> 8:30-11:30

·Advanced Organic Vegetable Systems<> 1-3:30

•    Current Issues in Organic Fruit Production<> 1-3:00

MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Annual Meeting
The annual meeting for this non-profit for organic farmers and organic food advocates organization will be held:

Thursday Dec 12
At: DeVos Center, Grand Rapids, MI at the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo site ( So come to Organic Day on Thursday, starting at 8:30 and hear some good info then attend the MOFFA annual meeting.

During this meeting members will vote if we should be a membership or directorship organization. The decision is up to our members. It will change a few bylaws that will allow more decisions and board elections to be made without membership voting. Since we seldom have all members together it is difficult to have this voting occur that is in sync with the needs of new board members.

We hope that you can attend. If you are NOT YET a member, you can join this organization this day  and have your voice heard.
Light refreshments will be offered.

Grant Opportunities
NCR-SARE Announces 2014 Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals
The 2014 North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals is now available.
Farmers and ranchers in the North Central region are invited to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch.  Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results. Sustainable agriculture is good for the environment, profitable, and socially responsible. Projects should emphasize research or education/demonstration.
There are three types of competitive grants: individual grants ($7,500 maximum), partner grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($15,000 maximum), and group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($22,500 maximum). NCR-SARE expects to fund about 45 projects in the twelve-state North Central Region with this call. A total of approximately $400,000 is available for this program.
New this year, NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Farmer Rancher Grant Program. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for proposals.
Interested applicants can find the call for proposals online as well as useful information for completing a proposal at You can find more information about sustainable agriculture at <> or take a free National Continuing Education Program online course about the basic concepts at
Proposals are due on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 4p.m. CST.
Potential applicants with questions can contact Joan Benjamin, Associate Regional Coordinator and Farmer Rancher Grant Program Coordinator, at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or 573-681-5545<file://localhost/tel/573-681-5545> or 800-529-1342<file://localhost/tel/800-529-1342>. Applicants should also contact Joan Benjamin if they need a hard copy or an email version of the call for proposals. We make revisions to our calls for proposals each year, which means it is crucial to use the most recent call for proposals.
Each state in SARE's North Central Region has one or more State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinators who can provide information and assistance to potential grant applicants. Interested applicants can find their State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator online at
For more information contact: North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE)
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

UMN BioAgEng Bldg. Ste 120
1390 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul MN 55108
Direct Phone: 612.626.3113<file://localhost/tel/612.626.3113>  Office Fax: 612.626.3132<file://localhost/tel/612.626.3132>

On the web: where you can find the template and guide to write this grant. You can also contact our Michigan SARE coordinator, Dean Baas @ 269-967-9672

Job Opportunities
Seeking Managing Associate Director
The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems seeks a Managing Associate Director.  This person will oversee the day-to-day management of the center and contribute to the development and implementation of strategies to advance CRFS' research, outreach, and education on food systems issues.  Please see the CRFS website<> for the full position description.

Applications are to be submitted through the MSU Jobs website<file://localhost/applewebdata/> (posting #8249) and will be accepted until Friday, October 18, 2013, or until a suitable candidate is identified.

For Additional info contact:

Liz Gensler
Communications & Grant Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
480 Wilson Rd, Rm 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824
(p) 517-353-1914 | (f) 517-353-3834
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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