Michigan Organic Listserv

News for Organic Farmers and Organic Food and Production Educators

Sept 18, 2013

Offered by Vicki Morrone, Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU


Organic News


Action Needed: Call Your Representative: Support Organic in the Farm Bill

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY and ask them to "Please sign-on to the Organic Dear Colleague Letter," by contacting the appropriate Congressional leader on this letter:


If your Representative is a Republican, contact Rep. Hanna's staff:  Adam Hepburn


If your Representative is a Democrat, contact Rep. DeFazio's staff:  Megan Debates" 


* Call the Capitol Switchboard at:  202-224-3121 and they will connect you with your Representative's office.


Click here to see the full letter text that explains the “asks” for organic production that have been supported by the Farm Bill in the past.

Fall checklist for improving soybean yields

September 17, 2013

Written by Michigan State University Extension educator Mike Staton

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. (click title to get rest of story)…


Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms This guide offers free sign up for organic (certified and non) farmers and markets guide to Michigan’s Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) Guide to Michigan’s Organic Free Sign up for Organic to promote your farm. This guide is the first to be primarily electronic.  It will be kept at the MOFFA.net website. Click the title to see the

The Guide has 90 listings for producers who follow sustainable practices, including 73 USDA-Certified Organic farms.  An additional 35 have submitted an application but have not completed the listing process. 

The guide will continue to evolve.  Usability improvements are ongoing; after the harvest season, we will be adding related businesses -- retail stores, co-ops, wholesalers, processors, etc.  Watch for the announcement on our mailing list.

We continue to actively seek out producers whose practices are consistent with USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requirements for organic certification, as expressed in the Michigan Farmer's Pledge.

If your business is not listed and you would like to be included in the guide, please contact us, or submit an application.  It's also possible to nominate a producer.

We know people are looking for quality foods grown or raised without toxic chemicals, hormones or antibiotics, in ways that protect the earth and support local communities, and we hope to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date resource to meet that need.

Upcoming Educational Programs

Free Webinar on Proposed Food Safety Rules

Register today to better understand the impacts these regulations could have on small growers and processors


On Monday, September 23 at 6 p.m., the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and Countryside Conservancy will offer a free webinar designed for specialty crop farmers and processors titled, “Food Safety Regulations: Impacts on Small Growers and Processors.”


During this webinar, Ariane Lotti, Assistant Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, will present an overview of the proposed regulations, who is affected, and how the rules could impact small farmers. Lotti previously served as the Policy Director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She is a published author, and has worked on and conducted research on organic and conventional farms in the U.S. and Europe. She is a member of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Advisory Committee and holds degrees from Yale University.


Click here to register for the webinar. For more information about the webinars, contact MacKenzie Bailey at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208 or [log in to unmask].


The Power of We Consortium's Leadership and Practice Committee 


is pleased to present AT NO COST:  

"Legal Compliance, Sustainability, and the Bottom Line:

What You Don't Know Can Hurt Your Organization"  



Tuesday, September 24, 2013  

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.   



Ingham County Human Services Building 

Conference Room A 

5303 S. Cedar Street , Lansing, MI 48909 


The Issue:  Nonprofit organizations are started to meet a mission, to run a program, to do good. Nonprofits are not typically started with the mindset of running and operating a formal organization. Yet these organizations face the same legal issues and liability exposure as their for-profit counterparts, with added scrutiny and transparency requirements. 


Many well-intentioned organizations find themselves running afoul of compliance issues or operating outside of best practices. Such activities have devastating consequences on the viability of nonprofit organizations and ultimately the low-income communities they serve. Strong organizations create strong communities, and proper legal compliance is an important piece of the puzzle. Join your colleagues in an often neglected, but critically important conversation on legal compliance concerns impacting the nonprofit community. You may find that you know more than you think.  



Justin Sheehan is the Statewide Legal & Policy Program Manager at Michigan Community Resources, an organization whose mission is to support and empower nonprofit community organizations in Michigan that serve low-income individuals and communities, with an emphasis on community economic development, by providing pro bono legal services and technical assistance.  Justin is a Lansing born and bred attorney with a fierce pride for the diverse and hard-working nonprofit organizations across the state of Michigan.


Contact for further information: 

Justin M. Sheehan, Esq. I Statewide Legal & Policy Program Manager

Michigan Community Resources

Home of Community Legal Resources

313 E. Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906

Direct: 517 881-1667

[log in to unmask] I www.mi-community.org 


To register, follow the registration link below, enter the requested information, then click the "submit" button.   Please submit separate registrations for each participant. 


 Advanced registration is highly encouraged.


Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be available.




Improved Information Transfer to Assist Farmers in Rural MI & WIn


Making Informed Decisions about On-Farm Scale Anaerobic Digesters

Presenters: M. Charles Gould and Ben Bailey at Michigan State University

October 17, 2013 (Thursday)

11:00 AM – Eastern Time




About the webinar:  Farmers with small dairy herds want more information on the economics of installing, operating and maintaining a small digester. This webinar provides some of that information. The results of a literature review will be presented, as well as the lessons learned from three case studies of dairies with small digesters.


About the Speakers:

Ben Baily is a Bio systems Engineering undergraduate student at Michigan State University.

M. Charles Gould is Extension Educator with Michigan State University. He provides relevant expertise in the areas of bioenergy, bio products and energy conservation to Michigan farmers that enable them to be sustainable now and in the future.

Registration: There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar. You need a computer and internet connection to access this program. If you don’t have it join a friend who does and make it a mini conference!


To join the webinar go to http://connect.msu.edu/ncrcrd, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen. Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.


If you’ve never used Adobe Connect on the computer you will be using, please use the “Test your connection” link below and do a test connection to the actual meeting space well in advance of the scheduled meeting time. http://connect.msu.edu/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm


To facilitate Q&A’s, participants submit questions/comments via the Chat Function in Adobe Connect.


The webinar will be recorded and archived at http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive.


To receive these announcements directly, or to correct errors in our distribution list, please email [log in to unmask].

Webinar archives can be found at: http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive

"A Place at the Table" documentary movie on Fri, Sept 27

In honor of Hunger Awareness Month, the Lansing City Market is hosting a free screening of “A Place at the Table.” This inspiring documentary follows three people facing food insecurity and demonstrates how hunger poses serious social, economic, and cultural implications for our nation and community.


Presented by Lansing City Market and Food Systems Work Group (from Lansing). Activities start at 6, movie at 7:30 and discussion at 9. This event will be held at the Lansing City Market Location, 365 Lansing City Dr. Lansing MI.


This movie is especially relevant to those impacted by food access issues and educators/service providers/professional who interact with these individuals. Please share is far and wide. We look forward to seeing you at the screening!


Colleen Synk

Nutrition Specialist

Lansing City Market

(517) 483- 7400 x 250

[log in to unmask]


Three little documents to comprehensive traceability of fresh produce


August 21, 2013 | Phil Tocco | Traceability is an important component of a fresh produce food safety plan. This article outlines three little documents that, when effectively implemented, will ensure traceability of fresh produce from farm to retailer.  Whether you’re farm is certified organic, GAP (good ag practices) certified or you want to get a handle of where is your produce going for the sake of your markets AND food safety this information is for YOU> (click title in bold just above to see whole article).



Employment Opportunities

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 (posting #8249) and will be accepted until Friday, October 18, 2013, or until a suitable candidate is identified. 






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)
[log in to unmask]

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