Hello this is Derek I am really sorry for the late newsletter. I was at Campeche, Mexico for a Study Abroad and I came back last week and its taking me a couple of days to get back to my normal routine but after this the newsletter will be sent out every week on Tuesday by 12pm. Again very sorry and hope you have a great day.


Michigan Organic Listserv

March 4, 2016

News for and about organic farming

This news is to assist you. It is not intended as promotion or advertisement for any businesses.


Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University

Desk of Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask])

Organic and Farming News

Educational Events

Job Opportunities

Grants Available

Organic and Family Farming News


Expanded Crop Insurance Options for Farmers Transitioning to Certified Organic Agriculture


Information from The National Law Review

The USDA recently announced expanded crop insurance options to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product's actual value. The expanded coverage is part of the USDA's continued commitment to provide farmers with resources and tools to meet the growing demand for certified organic products. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "Consumer demand for organic products continues to increase and the industry has experienced remarkable growth, representing more than $39 billion in U.S. retail sales. This growth creates opportunities for farmers and businesses across the country. Expanding the safety net for farmers wanting to enter the organic market ensures they have the tools and resources they need to meet this growing demand while protecting their operation."


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Thanks everyone for the help


Because over 600,000 of you stood up for GMO labeling, we stopped the DARK Act.


The Senate’s attempt to move forward on the DARK Act today FAILED. Senators from around the country heard our message loud and clear: Americans have the right to know what they’re eating.


What happens next? We can’t be sure, but we hope that the Senate will do the right thing and move toward passing legislation to ensure federally mandated GMO labeling. This vote is a HUGE win for our grassroots movement. We went up against millions of dollars from Monsanto and Big Food and stopped them in their tracks.


We can’t thank you enough for all of your support throughout this fight, from signing petitions to picking up the phone and calling your senators and representatives. Your determination and dedication were the winning difference in this fight.


At EWG, we’re already looking toward the next fight, but after a win this big we wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible.


Thank you again Friend. We couldn’t have done it without your support.


If you want to Contribute click here


MIFMA to Study Economic Impact of Michigan Farmers Markets in 2016


The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) received a $60,000 Rural Business Development Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct an economic impact study of Michigan farmers markets. Planning began in November of 2015 and the study will be conducted during the 2016 season. The goal of the project is to identify and recognize the economic contribution farmers markets make to Michigan’s rural communities.


“We know that farmers markets are important economic contributors to our Michigan communities. But how much? This study will allow community and economic developers to better understand how farmers markets contribute to the future economic vitality of Michigan,” explains USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James Turner.

MIFMA will provide training and technical assistance to measure the impact of seven farmers markets located in six rural communities. The farmers markets selected for the project are located in Boyne City, Marquette, Menominee, Munising, Port Huron and Traverse City.


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Job Opportunities


Urban Farms(Central Ohio) Recruiting for 2 Full time seasonal positions


Urban Farm Program Coordinator:

The Urban Farm Program Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating and facilitating educational programming at the farms during the 2016 season. Working closely with the farm manager and staff, the position will focus primarily on coordinating, leading and reporting on the farm’s eight-week summer Youth Program, that provides young people a hands-on experience to build job, life and leadership skills, as well as an understanding of growing and eating healthy food. Additional responsibilities for the Urban Farm Program Coordinator include planning community events, healthy eating programming and, for the right candidate, planning field trip curriculums. The program coordinator will also spend a portion of their time each week assisting in farm operations, including planting, harvesting and general farm maintenance.


Urban Farm Assistant:

The Urban Farm Assistant will assist in all aspects of maintaining small, diversified urban farms. Working closely with the Farm Manager, the Urban Farm Assistant will be responsible for assisting with field and high-tunnel operations at the Clarfield and Wheatland Farms, as well as running an on-site farm stand and weekly farmers’ market booth. The ideal candidate will have a strong work ethic and be a team player. Strong customer service skills required.


Both Jobs

Seasonal Assignment: April-October 2016

Pay Rate: $15/Hr

Work Hours: Full-time, possible weekend hours


For more information and to apply click here


If you have any question contact 614-317-9424


Food Works Stipend Summer Internships


They are currently recruiting for 3 great stipend volunteer internship positions working with the youth on their farm this summer.


Food Works Summer Program Leader (2 positions available)

The Summer Program Leader will work collaboratively with a Food Works Youth Crew Leader to co-lead a crew of 10 youth in working at the Food Works Farm, participating in leadership development, job skills training, and Cooking and Nutrition curriculum, and volunteering at Sisters of the Road Café.

Cooking and Nutrition Program Facilitator (2 positions available)

The Cooking and Nutrition Program Facilitators teach basic cooking skills through a series of healthy cooking classes and partner with youth to plan and cook healthy, balanced meals at Food Works Farm using organic produce grown by the youth.

St. Johns Farmers Market Assistant

The St. Johns Farmer’s Market Assistant will support the Youth Farmer’s Market Manager in managing the market booth weekly at the St. Johns Farmer’s Market. They will act as role model to the youth as well as providing back-up, guidance, and transportation of produce and supplies to the market.

For more information and a brief descriptions of the internships click here

Application Deadline: review of applications interviews will be ongoing until the positions are filled. Preference will be given to application received by April 1, 2016


Island Grown Schools Job Opening


Island Grown Schools, Martha’s Vineyard’s Farm to School program, is hiring two positions for the 2016-17 year: a K-12 coordinator and a preschool coordinator. IGS coordinators are responsible for integrating farm-to-school programming at designated schools. Our mission is to empower a new generation of children to make healthy eating choices, learn to grow food and connect to local farms. IGS coordinators reach students by facilitating garden lessons, classroom lessons, farm field trips and by maintaining a presence in the school cafeterias/food services with a focus on our Harvest of the Month program.


To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to [log in to unmask] Please specify in your email which position you are applying for.




·         Garden: Coordinate planting and maintenance of school garden throughout the year; create an accessible outdoor learning environment for multiple learning styles; engage school community in garden projects and encourage ownership of garden.

·         Classroom: Implement age appropriate curriculum based on IGS units and learning goals; communicate with teachers to tie lessons into their curriculum; meet with teachers and IGS staff to continue to develop relevant curriculum connections.

·         Cafeteria/Harvest of the Month: Coordinate with IGS Harvest of the Month chef to schedule monthly tastings; communicate with the food service directors regarding Harvest of the Month items featured in the school lunches; host Harvest of the Month raffles when possible; incorporate Harvest of the Month lessons into your curriculum, and Harvest of the Month crops into the garden; collect data on student tastings and local food procurement.

·         Field Trips: Connect schools to local farms and farmers during relevant lessons/units; schedule field trips with schools and farmers; facilitate field trips when appropriate.

·         Garden Clubs: Plan, do outreach for, and facilitate garden clubs at schools when possible, during one or all of the fall, winter and spring seasons.




·         Bachelor’s degree

·         Experience in garden or farm-based education

·         Ability to work professionally and responsibly in public school settings

·         Classroom management skills

·         Knowledge of age-appropriate content and capabilities

·         Time management and scheduling skills

·         Patience and strong listening skills

·         Positive attitude

·         Passion for creating a sustainable food system and commitment to the mission of IGS

·         Love of working with children

·         Experience with social media a plus


Garden Installation and Delivery


Growing Hope seeks an efficient, customer-service oriented and knowledgeable person to deliver compost (3 yards and less) and install raised bed vegetable gardens at residences and businesses within a 15 mile radius of Ypsilanti during spring and early summer 2016. This is a temporary position only. Delivery and installation will be both to paying customers and to families who can’t afford to pay, but for whom Growing Hope subsidizes installation of veggie gardens. Tasks include:


·         Calling customers to confirm scheduling or clarify orders  

·         Hand loading and unloading compost/soil mix into truck and dumping trailer  

·         Driving and delivering

·         Offering excellent customer service on site, including answering vegetable garden questions-- and at times helping customers decide garden location

·         Accepting payments on site

·         Prepping raised bed and other kits (basic carpentry/wood cutting)  

·         Preparing/repackaging soil and compost mix

·         Other tasks as needed


Must have a excellent driving record and background check with multiple solid work references. Will primarily be driving a company-owned Ford Diesel F- 250 (using dual tanks with waste veggie oil and diesel) with an attached dumping trailer and an Ford F-150. Trailer operation experience needed. Candidates will have outstanding customer service skills, be knowledgeable about vegetable gardening, have basic carpentry skills, and possess basic auto/truck knowledge and troubleshooting abilities. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. and do physical work through variable weather and long days. Familiarity with area and residential neighborhoods in the region a plus.


To Apply: Submit resume and 1 page cover letter to [log in to unmask], addressed to Amanda Edmonds, Executive Director. Open until filled.


Seasonal Farm Staff at CBI’s Giving Tree Farm


CBI's Giving Tree Farm is hiring several seasonal farm staff for the upcoming season. This is a paid, full-time position M-F, May-August with the opportunity for part-time hours in April and September.

They are a small certified organic vegetable farm that also provides vocational training to adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries. They have a CSA, and we sell at the Allen St. Market and to several local grocers and restaurants. They are located north of Lansing's Old Town, on Turner Rd. between State and Stoll. Farm staff duties include all aspects of organic farming: seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, and hoop house maintenance. They work in all weather conditions, often doing tedious tasks-- but the produce is delicious and we still manage to have fun. I ask that all farm staff have a great attitude, be in good physical condition, and have a desire to learn more about organic vegetable production.  Staff must also be comfortable working alongside adults with disabilities. Please email your resume and a brief cover letter to [log in to unmask], and feel free to email her with any questions.


Educational Events


The Ecology of Food Systems: 7th National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture Education


When it comes to food system education that is experiential, interdisciplinary, and systems-based, the SAEA conference strives to walk the talk. We, the participants, will make the conference, with a schedule and format explicitly designed to support people learning as both individuals and groups. When we meet and work together, we form an education-focused “community of practice” that helps us learn not only more about teaching food systems, but about the world in which we live and work, ourselves and each other. The SAEA champions innovative educational approaches for sustainable agriculture through the development, application, and research of teaching and learning practices. The SAEA conference is not focused on sustainable agriculture or food systems as topical areas, in and of themselves. The goal of the conference is to connect educators, teachers, students, apprentices, staff, and administrators who focus on teaching and learning at the adult level.

SAEA believes that how we teach and learn is as important as what we teach and learn, and that this is especially true when approaching the challenges and opportunities we face in creating a more just and sustainable food system.


When: July 29-31, 2016

Where: University of California at Santa Cruz

Registration for the conference will be posted soon


For more Information on this event click here


Do it Yourself Infrastructure, Equipment & Maintenance Workshop


The workshop will present strategies and designs for a host of projects to save you time & money and improve your efficiency on the farm: Everything from build-your-own vacuum seeders (which participants will do in the workshop), barrel washers and other tools to the best info on walk-in coolers, hoop house end walls, quick hoops/caterpillar tunnels and more. We’ll cover ideas on when it pays to DIY and when it might be best to buy it or have it done. Presenters will discuss how to evaluate purchase of new or used equipment, and what things look for as possible failure/trouble points on used items.


Workshop will also cover basic maintenance for common farm implements & equipment. Come learn from the over 40 years of collective experience of these two successful farmers. Participants will build and take home their own vacuum seeders.


When: Saturday April 9th, 8am-5pm

Where: Cinzori Farms,  10506 F Dr. South Ceresco, MI 49033

Cost: $150 for 1 person ($40 for 2nd person from same farm)


Free Workshops throughout April in Ypsilanti


Building Blocks for the Food Entrepreneur is a series of free workshops put on by Growing Hope, with partnership from the MI Small Business Development Center, SCORE - Washtenaw County, the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC, and SPARK East Incubator.  Support comes from Growing Our Local Economy: Washtenaw County Act 88 funds.  We have two workshop tracks, though people are welcome to attend any and all workshops they see fit.  Workshops are all free, but preregistration is required here



New and prospective food entrepreneurs ready to up their game as a farmers market vendor or through a home-based business. Join one or all of the following Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm at SPARK East, 215 West Michigan Ave in downtown Ypsilanti (April 11 session at 9 S Adams).


April 4: Understanding the Cottage Food Law: Can you sell your product at market?


April 11: Marketing, Displays, and Branding: How to make your products fly off the stand (this class only at 9 S Adams)


April 18: How to Become a Vendor: Learn from veteran vendors and market managers


April 25: Mock Farmers Market Set Up Competition: Win a free season at the market!



Food entrepreneurs wanting to sell to restaurants, specialty stores and grocery stores. Join us Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm at SPARK East, 215 West Michigan Ave.


April 5: How to Become a Licensed Food Producer: Learn the ins and outs


April 13: How to Write a Business Plan: Gain tools to develop a north star for your biz


April 19: Developing your Pitch: Hone your plan into a concise speech for the public


April 26: Building Blocks Pitch Competition


Two workshops on Marketing and Financial Planning for your farm


Market Channels for your Farm

Shine a big light on your farm by maximizing new and traditional media, beefing up in-person strategies and honing in on your farm’s unique brand. Leave the workshop with your own marketing plan for 2016 that includes measurable outcomes and a take-home set of resources for free or cheap.


When: Wednesday, March 23, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Where: North Central Michigan College, SCRC 536, 1515 Howard St., Petoskey, MI 49770

Cost: $20


Register Here


Holistic Management Financial Planning

Holistic Management® Financial Planning integrates all aspects of the farm operation, manages cash flow, controls expenses throughout the year and creates financial benchmarks for achieving profitability.


When: Tuesday, March 29, 6:00-8:30

Where: SBDC, 1209 S Garfield Road, Suite C • Traverse City MI 49686

Cost: $20


Register Here


Free Webinar: Transitioning to Organic Production


Join this webinar to learn about the barriers and opportunities for producers interested in organic certification.


This webinar will explore the challenges producers face when transitioning part or all of their operation to organic certification. Case studies will be used to profile and discuss different producer groups that are successful in the transition from conventional production to organic. This presentation will introduce participants to Making the Transition to Organic: Ten Farmer Profiles, a publication from the University of Minnesota that features both crop and livestock producers. The basics of organic certification will also be discussed.


When: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 3pm

Pre-registration not required


How to join the webinar click here (under the export to calendar options)


Mideast Organic Professionals Leadership Summit


Industry leaders will be discussing market trends, university research and policy development concerning the future of the organic market as well as barriers facing producers. This day of discovery will include partners within the industry looking for opportunities to enhance organic agriculture


When: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Where: Ohio Department of Agriculture 8995 E Main St, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068


Registration will start at 8am. Program starts at 8:30am. Closing remarks will happen at 4pm


Lunch will be provide and there is no fee for registration but please pre-register here


Beginning Farmer Webinar Series


On this Wednesday night Vicki Morrone will present “getting your land ready to grow organically- certified or not”


This is a 2 hour webinar of learning what you can do to help prepare for organic certification on your land and with your records. Then we will discuss what to expect if you go the route of organic certification Hope you can join me and some farmers for the presentation and a chance to ask questions to help you with your organic farming practices


When: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 7-9 pm

Cost: The cost of each session is $10 or $115 for the whole series. If they are past you can access the recordings, following the same process.


To sign up click here

Grants Available


Michigan's Emerging Farmers Matching Funds Program


Through a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS), Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) and MSU Student Organic Farm will provide a limited number of $2,000 stipends to beginning farmers in Michigan. Each $2,000 stipend requires applicant matching savings of at least $1,000 intended for farm-related costs. The stipends are designed to help people in their first years of farming to develop and stabilize their farming business, increasing its long-term viability.


View Program Application here


For question and comments, Please email Shakara Tyler at [log in to unmask]


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