Michigan Organic Listserv Oct 14, 2014

News you can use to help with organic production

No information in intended to promote business but inform you

Vicki Morrone

Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU

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What’s on Offer? Click the section you wish to see


Organic Production and Certification News

Food Safety/FSMA Update

Educational Events

Job Opportunities

Grant Opportunity


Organic Production and Certification News

You ask??   Why show me this press release below about a bunch of grants that have already been awarded?

What good are they to me? (you being a farm business owner, a food hub coordinator, a community farm activist, an educator, a researcher). Because the chance of most of these grants being offered next year is pretty good. Many of them are funded through the USDA Farm Bill and that is a four year program and we just completed year one.


If you read about any of these awards and say, hey that sounds like what we are trying to do, then visit the site and sign up for their email notification so as soon as they announce the call for grant applications next time then you are in the loop.


By reading the grants that were awarded this time you can see what are expectations for a successful grant. You can see the type of project or program they are interested in funding, how much they award for what and what can and cannot be funded such as equipment, supplies and salaries. These all vary depending on the grant type.


If you do not have experience writing a grant you should partner with an organization that does. Work with them so you provide a piece to the grant and they compliment the actions.  Grant funders prefer to support partnerships that are complementary and they often prefer to fund a group rather than an individual since it usually insures better coverage of disciplines and the outputs reach a wider audience.  So if grants are in your plan of work you should take a few minutes and read this and click the relevant links to see what the grants are all about.


Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development offers some guidelines and lists grants that agriculture business can access funds. These grants take time to write so if you think you may apply next time, take advantage of the winter months to write, build teams if doing with more than one farmer (often preferred in grants) and get input from several types of professionals, production, marketing, business planning etc.




USDA Awards Over $52 Million in Grants to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies


DOSWELL, Va., Sept. 29, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of over $52 million in support of the growing organic industry and local and regional food systems through five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant programs. The Secretary made the announcement during an event with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and local farmers at the Virginia State Fair.

"Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies," said Secretary Vilsack. "Consumers are increasingly demanding more local and organic options. Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country. Today's announcements also improve access to fresh, healthy food for millions of Americans."

Most of the grants announced today were authorized through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), including the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Foods Promotion Program, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Community Food Projects (CFP) grant program. Also announced today are grants from AMS's Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Together, these investments represent USDA's commitment to strengthening organic and local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement while in Virginia, where M. James Faison, a farmer and business owner of Milton's Local Harvest, was awarded a Local Food Promotion Program grant. Milton's Local Harvest will develop aggregation and wholesale distribution channels for farmers producing local swine and cattle products in Virginia and the District of Columbia. The project will improve the commercial viability of small to medium scale farmers, allowing wholesalers to source locally and increasing consumer access to local, sustainable, and healthy meat.

USDA's AMS awarded over $27 million in competitive grants to expand marketing through the new Local Food Marketing Promotion Program (LFPP) and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). LFPP will invest millions annually in marketing and promotion activities for local food enterprises including food hubs, aggregation businesses, local food processors, farm to institution activities and other similar efforts. FMPP makes annual investments in marketing and promotion activities for farmers markets, CSAs and other direct producer-to-consumer outlets for local food.

"These Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants provide farmers and ranchers around the country with tools to reach consumers, strengthen ties between urban and rural communities, and help meet the growing demand for locally and regionally produced food," said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo.

Through the Organic Research and Extension Initiative, USDA is awarding more than $19 million in grants to help producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards grow and market high-quality organic agricultural products. OREI's priority concerns include biological, physical and social sciences. Organic Research and Extension Initiative -funded projects assist farmers and ranchers with whole farm planning by delivering practical research-based information and will improve the ability of growers to develop the Organic System Plan required for certification. For fiscal year 2014, special emphasis was given to research, education and extension relating to management of diseases, insect pests and weeds in specific regions.

Community Food Projects addresses a serious local issue, which is basic food access for low-income families and individuals. CFP projects bring together a wide range of food system experts to share their knowledge, skills and resources to develop innovative solutions to the nation's food and hunger problems. USDA is awarding $4.8 million in CFP funding to 22 projects in 16 states.

Visit www.nifa.usda.gov for more about these grants awards.

AMS is also awarding over $1 million in matching FSMIP grants to state departments of agriculture and state colleges and universities. Funds support research projects to address challenges and opportunities in marketing, transporting, and distributing U.S. agricultural products domestically and internationally. FSMIP grants are funding 17 projects in 13 States.

All of these USDA grants make a difference to diverse stakeholders across the nation. For example, previous FMPP grants have led to increased sales and attendance at farmers markets, which creates more opportunities for more producers to become vendors.

The local and regional food systems grant projects support the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative (KYF2) which coordinates USDA's support in local and regional food systems. Past FMPP and FSMIP projects supporting this work can be found on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. For additional grant information on the awardees please follow on the grant program links in this release or see:

http://www.ams.usda.gov/FSMIP is Federal State Marketing Improvement Program.

The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) provides matching funds to State Departments of Agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.

Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP)

 http://www.ams.usda.gov/LFPP The Local Food Promotion Program is a component of the Farmers Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), authorized by the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3005). Under FMLFPP, two competitive grant programs are available: the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).

LFPP offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.


Much of the funding announced today was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.


Good NEWS for Organic Farmers- Positive changes on the Food Safety Front!


By Lydia Zuraw


Organic food producers are very pleased with the Food and Drug Administration’s revised provisions for the produce safety rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “It’s a huge win,” says Gwendolyn Wyard, regulatory director of Organic Standards and Food Safety with the Organic Trade Association (OTA). These changes are about making sure the rules... Continue Reading click here

Final ruling for NOP allowable list

A final rule has been published to amend the U. S. Department of Agriculture's National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), one substance will be added to the National List, and two expired substances will be removed.  This action results in the following:


(1)    Biodegradable biobased mulch film will be allowed in organic crop production; and

(2)    Expired listings for nonorganic hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch will be removed from the National List.


This final rule becomes effective October 30, 2014.


In addition, two nonorganic agricultural ingredients (curry leaves and Citrus hystrix leaves and fruit) that were presented in the proposed rule will not be added to the National List through this action.

Educational Events



Food and Farming Workshop series

Starting a (Food) Business


Allen Neighborhood Center's next workshop of the 2014 Food and Farming Workshop series is Friday October 17th from 1-3PM. 


Details are below; see the attached list for other AMP workshops available from October to December!


Please RSVP, and direct questions to Exchange Manager, Neal Valley at: 517.999.3923 or [log in to unmask]


Presented by Tom Donaldson, Regional Director, Michigan Small Business Development Center


Location: Allen Market Place, 1629 E. Kalamazoo St. Lansing, MI 48912


This free workshop is for individuals who are considering self-employment, or are at the beginning stages of starting their business. Designed with a special eye towards starting businesses in the food sector, and delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan.



Trio to Highlight Farm to School Opportunities in Morning Keynote at Summit

Note: the summit registration fee increases from $30 to $40 Today!! Register today!


Note: today is the last day for the guaranteed hotel conference rate of $114.95 at the Radisson Lansing. Book now!


The opening keynote address of the 2014 Michigan Good Food Summit on October 28 in Lansing will feature three leaders in Michigan’s farm to school movement coming from three different sectors of the food system.


Betti Wiggins, Executive Director of the Detroit Public Schools Office of School Nutrition and Barbara Norman, a fourth generation blueberry farmer in Covert, Michigan, will join together for this keynote to share their experiences with farm to school and their long term visions for school food and farming in Michigan. Christine Quane, wholesale market coordinator for Eastern Market, will moderate the discussion.


Betti Wiggins is responsible for school-based meal operations in 143 schools for all USDA child nutrition programs and non-program sales, facilities management, employees and services. In 2011, under her leadership, the Detroit School Garden Collaborative was established, which currently supports 76 school-based gardens and a 2.5 acre school farm. 


Barbara Norman is Owner-Operator of Barbara’s Blueberry Batch as well as a strong community advocate for local and regionally grown foods. She works to improve the health, nutrition and physical well-being of families through supporting farm to school, farm to institution, youth gardens, farmers markets, and home gardens.    


Christine Quane works with agencies and partners to identify changes needed to facilitate increased procurement of Michigan-grown foods by schools, restaurants, hospitals and other institutions.


To register for the Michigan Good Food Summit and view the full agenda, visit:  https://www.regonline.com/2014goodfoodsummit.



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

foodsystems.msu.edu | www.michiganfood.org



Getting Started With Vegetable Plasticulture


Oct 22, 204, 7-9 pm (EST)

Start at 6:30 to test connection

Join us for an interactive 2-hour webinar. $10 registration fee. Participate from your home or office computer (hi-speed internet required).


Why  participate?


Plasticulture is a technique used by many vegetable growers to improve crop quality and production. It helps control weeds, reduces some diseases and is a more efficient use of water and nutrients. Plasticulture also brings crops into production sooner which is important in short growing seasons.


This 2-hour Adobe Connect webinar is part of the ongoing "2014 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series".  MSU Extension educator Ron Goldy will present information on implementing plasticulture techniques for beginners. Ques- tions and discussion will take place through the webinar 'chat' function.


Supporting written materials will be available for download during and after the webinar. Participants will receive the webinar URL after their registration and payment is received. A recording of the webinar will be made

available to registered participants.


Questions? Contact Ron Goldy@ goldy@anr.msu.edu or  269-944-1477-207

Register and pay ON-LINE at


http://events.anr.msu.edu/ GSWplasticulture2014/

Check or money order for $10.00 , made payable to MSU Extension


And mail to:  2014 Beginning Farmer Webinar, 1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022






Evaluating Impacts of Natural Resource Development



Meredith Redlin & Jeffrey


(South Dakota State University)


October 28, 2014 (Tuesday)

3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM – Eastern Time




About the webinar: New technologies in natural resource industries, most notably hydraulic fracturing (i.e. fracking) but also turbine technologies have rapidly expanded development of these resources in the North Central region. The impacts emerging from this development have social, economic, and environmental ramifications for both communities and states, and for adjoining states and communities. In response, multiple efforts through universities and extension, industry, non-government organizations and governments seek to address and define both benefits and detriments in these impacts. However, many of these efforts are fragmented, and knowledge gained within and across engaged entities (and within and across regions) is inadequately shared. To address this need, we convened an international group of researchers in January of 2014. In this webinar, we present a series of findings demonstrating both this fragmentation, and also the breadth of interdisciplinary knowledge. We also present a series of strategies for linking across disciplines and steps taken for building a national network


About the Speakers:

Meredith Redlin is a Professor in the Dept. of Sociology and Rural Studies. She teaches, researches and publishes in the areas of community development and rural diversity.


Jeffrey Jacquet is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Sociology and Rural Studies. He has published widely in the areas of energy and environment.




Registration: There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.


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.


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

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

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)

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 http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html