Michigan Organic Listserv
Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU
Vicki Morrone [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

May 1, 2014
Information for organic farmers, certified organic farmers, and those interested in sustainable food systems.

ATTRA publications are now available through Amazon (kindle)
Shared by Rich Myers, National Center for Appropriate Technology

ATTRA National Sustainable Agriculture Information _

 Many of its more than 400 publications have been placed on Amazon, where they can be downloaded to e-readers.

One of the longest-running sources of research-based information on sustainable agriculture is once again embracing the latest in technology for getting that information to the people who need it.

ATTRA was developed and is maintained through a cooperative agreement with the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a nationwide nonprofit organization headquartered in Butte, Montana.

Since 1987, ATTRA has been a leading resource for information on sustainable agriculture, covering a wide range of topics, including reducing pesticide use on cropland, promoting food safety in sustainable production systems, reducing farm energy use and costs, enriching soils with the use of cover crops, and providing technical assistance in the growing areas of local farmers markets and urban farming.

“ATTRA has been on the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture for more than 25 year,” said Carl Little, NCAT’s director of sustainable agriculture programs. “When we began, printed copies of publications were the order of the day.

“We’ve changed with the times, first offering downloads on our website, then smart-phone accessibility. And now we’re seeing that more and more people are turning to e-readers.”

The initial ATTRA catalog on Amazon includes publications ranging from organic production of apples, garlic, tomatoes, and other crops to building a micro-hydro system and crop insurance for small, diversified, and organic producers. How many more publications will be added will depend on how popular the Amazon site proves to be with ATTRA clients.

To find ATTRA publications go to Amazon and enter ATTRA under the “Kindle Store” search option on the Amazon site will bring up a listing the ATTRA publications. The publications will remain available on the ATTRA website as well.

Beyond agriculture ATTRA also offers other popular offerings including a free sustainable-agriculture telephone helpline and the “Ask an Ag Expert” feature on the home page. It has an archive of webinars and videos generated by NCAT and partnering organizations.
ATTRA also maintains numerous popular databases, including sustainable-agriculture internships and apprenticeships, and is a source for the day’s agriculture news, among other features. Check out the ATTRA website at

USDA Organic Ag Census Summary Available
In 2012 farmers were invited to complete a USDA farming census. Catherine Greene (USDA Census) shared this information. As you write proposals some of these data may be useful to justify your proposed research or outreach. Here is the information she shared with me this past week.
Earlier this month, USDA-NASS announced the release date for the full 2012 Census will be May 2, 2012,   NNASS released a few tidbits in February, including the number of farms in each State,

The most recent estimate of certified organic farms, by State, that I’ve published are for 2011 (estimates of previous years are in the same file).  See Table 4,
USDA-NOP has post a list of all certified organic farmers in the U.S. (and elsewhere) in 2012, which you could use to calculate the number of certified organic farms (crop, livestock, and wild crop scopes) by State for the States you are interested in,  (The numbers that Certifiers report to me are obviously very similar to the numbers that can be calculated from the NOP certified entity list.)
Catherine Greene
Senior Economist
Economic Research Service, USDA
Phone: 202.694.5541; Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
ERS Organic Topic Page:<>

Finding USDA organic prices
If you are planning a new farm market or sales then it’s important to know current prices to estimate potential profitability

Organic Prices<>
Wholesale prices for select organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, first receiver prices for organic poultry and eggs, and f.o.b. and spot market prices for organic grain and feedstuffs. Estimated U.S. sales volume of organic and total fluid milk, based on Federal milk marketing order statistics. All data are now through 2013.
March 21, 2014

Free Webinar on Hightunnel Management
Free Webinar on High Tunnel Management
Register today<> to learn how to profitably manage high tunnels for higher yields and longer seasons

On Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m., the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association<> (OEFFA) and Countryside Conservancy<> will offer a free one hour webinar titled, "Profitable High Tunnel Management<>."
Strategic use of high tunnels, also known as hoophouses, allow farmers to cost-effectively extend their growing season, increase the quantity and quality of their crops, achieve premium prices for off-season produce, and reduce weed pressure. Designed to help specialty crop farmers take advantage of these benefits, webinar topics will include identifying the costs of production; fertility, disease, and pest management; profitable crops and cultivars; successful rotations; product pricing, and market strategies.

The webinar will be presented by Adam Montri, Michigan State University (MSU) Hoophouse Specialist. Adam is also the owner of Ten Hens Farm, a year-round specialty crop farm. Adam works with farmers through both the MSU Student Organic Farm and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, providing assistance and consultation to growers constructing hoophouses. He has delivered hoophouse workshops and presentations across the country.

Click here<> to register for the webinar. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information, contact Eric at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 209 or [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.
    Partial funding for this first webinar is provided through a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the State of Ohio, and the United States Department of Agriculture under the provisions of the Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Welcome to Westwind FARM- This Spring & Summer come and join us!
Lee and Linda, owners of Westwind Milling and Westwind Farm, have planned a full season’s curriculum of Farm Journeys - Experiences in Sustainable Living, with many nuances of nature to explore, discover and create at our farm, Westwind Farm, about 12 miles north of Westwind Milling Co., between Swartz Creek and Durand.  We’re kicking off the season with a
PLANT HIKE! Wednesday, May 14, 6-9 pm
at Westwind Farm, between Swartz Creek & Durand.
Call (810) 735-9192 for specific location and to reserve your spot.
$30 per adult, $10 for kids 12 and under.
George Hedgepeth, of Briar Patch Outdoors, will be our guide through the many plants of springtime growing in hedgerows, fields, and woods. There's a lot of ground to cover, literally, so there will be some walking, and some riding in the wagon. Light snacks will be served under the Great Oak afterwards.  Learn the useful plants of the Great Lakes area - those that are food, fiber, medicine, poison, or in other ways utilitarian. Many of these plants are not only free, but highly nutritious and certainly delicious.
Ethical and safety concerns will be addressed, as well as resources one may use for further study. This is a great way to begin to appreciate the natural world in a new way. Be sure to bring a notebook and a camera.

Farm Journeys….

Here’s an overview. For a more complete description of any of the following Farm Experiences, call us at (810) 735-9192 and ask for our new Brochure.

  *   Organic Gardening Days, May 17, July 26, & Sept. 27 - We do the work, & you go with us through a season of organic gardening. Take notes, get ideas & enjoy a light garden lunch. We will demonstrate & discuss each season’s organic gardening methods as the year progresses. May’s class is from 10-2, July’s class from 9 – noon, and September’s class from 10-2. Cost is $30 ea or $75 for all three.
  *   Tea at the Great Oak, Sundays, June 1 and July 13, 3-5 pm $20 ea
  *   Tea and Yoga at the Great Oak, Sundays, June 8 and Sept. 6 10:30 am until 1 pm, $25 each
  *   Kids’ Summer Farm Day, Ideal for ages 6-12, Sat., Aug 9, 2:30 – 7 pm, $18 each, 1 parent per family n/c
  *   Harvest Day – Sun. Sept. 14 & Sat. Oct. 4, both 1-4:30 pm, $12 ea
  *   Harvest Moon Ride – Sat., Sept. 6, 7-10 pm, & Friday, Oct. 10, 6-9 pm, $12 each
Remember that we still have lots of variety in locally grown, sustainable foods at the Mill's retail store, Many Hands Community Foods - we hope to see many of you at the Farm as well as at the Mill this spring and summer!!

Sign up now! Hoophouse workshops starting in May
Did you apply for NRCS cost-share assistance this year? Or are you just thinking about constructing a hoophouse? Whether you are just beginning or an experienced farmer, the Detroit-Wayne County Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative<> will bring you workshops and technical assistance to help with hoophouse installation, management, and crop production.  The workshop series kicks off in May, with two great events:
Workshop #1: WARM-SEASON PRODUCTION<> - May 10th 1-5pm @Earthworks Urban Farm, Detroit This workshop will help you use a hoophouse to your greatest advantage for a diverse range of popular summer crops. Whether you are currently making decisions about planting schedules, crop selection, and choosing transplants, or thinking ahead about how to manage the summer's heat, this event will provide expert guidance to help you make the best decisions for your farm. Register now!<>Workshop #2: ANATOMY OF A HOOPHOUSE<> - May 19th6-9pm @Oakland Ave. Community Garden and Farm, Detroit Thinking of building a hoophouse, but overwhelmed by the choices? Concerned about how to plan your structure to suit your production needs? Unsure of how to maintain your hoophouse over time? This workshop will answer all of those questions and more, no matter if you are at the planning stages and wondering what to do next, or a seasoned farmer looking for expert repair strategies. Register now!<>
**Feel free to distribute. Apologies for cross posting.**

Employment Opportunities

The MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center has two openings for their Farm Incubator program:

      MSU Extension- Greening Michigan Institute; Program Instructor - Farm Management - Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center - Chatham, MI

FTE: 100%

Position Overview
Provides leadership and oversight of the incubator farm program at the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) located in Chatham, MI as part of the Greening Michigan Institute; oversees and ensures program/project development, promotion and expansion activities; assists with data gathering for impact evaluation efforts; and works in conjunction with supervisor, program participants and community partners to attain both short-term and long-term goals and objectives. Through supervisor, works in concert with the appropriate MSUE Institute and/or work team(s) to ensure alignment of programs with overall goals of work team, Institute and organization.

      Bachelor's degree in a related field such as agriculture, horticulture or plant/soil science; two years experience in horticulture, farming or farm management specific to cold climate sustainable vegetable production, season extension with high tunnels, and organic farming certification requirements; experience in developing and administering educational programs; ability to travel within local and surrounding communities to meet the responsibilities or this position; proficient computer operation skills (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.); and effective oral and written communication skills. Carrying and movement of equipment, materials, etc. up to 35lbs is a regular part of this position.
Application Process
Interested and qualified candidates should visit the Michigan State University jobs page at  <> to apply for posting number 9198 under the MSU Extension postings.  Applicants are asked to submit an up-to-date resume/CV and a cover letter. Review of applicants will begin on March 25th.

Community Outreach Internship
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition - Michigan Voices For Good Food Policy
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems - Michigan Good Food Initiative

Michigan has no shortage of powerful examples when it comes to how communities all around the state are rebuilding local economies through food and farming. Michigan Voices For Good Food Policy and the Michigan Good Food Initiative are partnering to unite and elevate the voices of Michigan farmers and food systems advocates in support of policies that expand opportunities for rural and urban farmers to produce good food, sustain the environment, and contribute to healthy and vibrant communities.

We are seeking a well-qualified intern to assist with outreach projects that help connect people to the farm and food policies that shape Michigan agriculture, food systems, and communities. This position is approximately 15 hours per week for 6 months, paid, and located in Lower Michigan.

The intern will assist with farm and food policy outreach projects around the state of Michigan.

Tasks will include:

               • Conducting research, interviews, and data analysis to support project goals
               • Transcribing Interviews
               • Developing creative and engaging social media content
               • Tabling at Michigan food and farming conferences, events, and farmers markets
               • Helping to distribute policy and program information
               • Photo and video documentation
               • Assisting with other projects and assignments as needed

The Outreach Intern will report directly to the Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy Grassroots Organizer. This position is work-from-home and will require some in-state travel (mileage covered).

We are looking for an intern who demonstrates the following qualities:

               • Some knowledge of local/national food system issues
               • Self-reliant and collaborative worker
               • Strong oral and written communication skills
               • Research and analytical skills
               • Experience facilitating group process, public speaking desired
               • BS/BA Preferred

Please email your resume and a one-page letter of introduction. In your letter describe why you are interested in working with us, what you hope to learn, and what assets/skills you might bring to the project.  We will contact eligible candidates for an interview.

Contact Lindsey Scalera ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) to apply or for more information about the project and the organizations involved.

Please submit your application materials by Friday, May 2, 2014.

 Kathryn Colasanti
Academic Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
480 Wilson Rd, Rm 303 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824
(p) 517-353-0642 | (f) 517-353-3834<> |<>

 Academic Specialist Position
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is seeking an Academic Specialist to support outreach and research efforts in building capacity of Michigan-based meat and livestock supply chain and food hubs to further advance goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter ( The position will support existing CRFS initiatives and help to develop additional programming capacity in these arenas.

For more information on the position and the application procedure, please visit<> and look for faculty /academic staff job posting #9233.

Rich Pirog, Senior Associate Director
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
480 Wilson Road, Room 313
East Lansing, MI 48824
Office: 517-353-0694
Cell: 515-231-7556
E-mail: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Please see the first link below for a 60% (3 days/24 hrs per week) outreach position with the Hoophouses for Health Production Team.

Please excuse any cross postings and please DO NOT send application materials directly to me Applications are required to come through the MSU Jobs site to be considered.  Closing date for applications is May 12, 2014.

For more information about the Hoophouses for Health Program please see<>.

Apparently the link in the original post is only linking to the MSU Jobs site.  From the MSU jobs site you can click "Search Postings" in the top left and enter posting # 9352.

Adam Montri
Hoophouse Outreach Specialist
Department of Horticulture and Center for Regional Food Systems
Michigan State University
1066 Bogue St. East Lansing, MI 48823

Grant Program for Students in Organic and Sustainable Ag Programs
New granting program for students who are studying organic agriculture in vocational, two year, and four year degree programs.   Details can be found here:
The California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation<> and the UNFI Foundation<>, in collaboration with partner organizations; Driscoll’s<>, Organic Valley and Bradmer Foods<>, have launched the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund<> for vocational and higher education students. (
Grants totaling $25,000 are now available in direct financial support for the education of future organic farmers and agricultural professionals. Ten grants of $2,500 each will be awarded to students who plan to work in organic agriculture.
Grants are open to vocational and higher education students of organic agriculture who are currently enrolled or have been accepted to start their studies in 2014.
Students can be any age and can be full- or part-time. A major goal of the program is to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds in starting careers in organic agriculture.
“Among the challenges to meeting the rising demand for organic products is the need for new organic farmers and entrepreneurs," said Cathy Calfo, CCOF executive director/CEO. "More than 80 percent of Americans now purchase organic products, and demand continues to outpace the supply.”
The vocational and higher education grants are available through the CCOF and UNFI Foundations for students nationwide and will remain open until June 13.
“The United States is facing an epidemic shortage of farmers and the average age of a farmer is hovering around 60,” said Melody Meyer, UNFI Vice President, Policy and Industry Relations. “We are excited to join with other industry leaders to address this challenge.”
For more information about the application process or to contribute to the fund,  visit<>.

Vicki Morrone
Organic farming specialist
Center For Regional Food Systems at MSU
480 Wilson Rd Rm 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)

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