Michigan Organic Listserv

February 22, 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

Survey for Organic Farmers

In national effort to evaluate the needs and concerns of organic producers surrounding the safe use of manure and compost in the production of organic produce, U.C. Davis, The Organic Center and Organic Trade Association are conducting a farmer-focused survey to characterize the use of manure and compost based soil amendments.

The impetus of this survey is the ongoing implementation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA last fall revised some of its new rules putting into place the FSMA regulations. Of the revisions, one of the most notable for organic were changes made relating to the use of compost and manure and the required interval that untreated manure could be applied and crops harvested.

Instead of its earlier proposed 9-month minimum interval requirement, FDA moved to give the agency time to conduct research into determining an appropriate science-based application interval. FDA expects this process will take at least five years.

It is critically important that organic producers are being heard on this issue. The results from this survey will be incorporated into a proposal for a long-term research project to study the use of untreated manure and compost in organic agriculture and the impacts of those practices on food safety. It will also ensure that FDA's efforts to improve production and handling regulations that impact food safety take into account the needs of organic farmers.

View Survey Here<>

Job Opportunities

Providence Organic Farm Seeks to Fill Positions for 2016's Season

Field Harvest, Wash/Pack Crew

They are looking for individuals with the following traits:

*         Passion for Real. Good. Food.

*         Love of land and growing food as sustainable as possible

*         Ability to learn from reading, watching and doing

*         Willingness to become more efficient over time

*         A good physical report from a doctor

*         Ability to adapt to a variety of work condition, including a diverse work space

*         Self-motivation, Positive attitude, Efficient, Productive, Good Communication Skills

*         Ability to work in all kinds of weather doing mundane or repetitive task at times

Most of our team participates in these core activities: planting, cultivating, harvesting, washing, packing and loading produce. Some of our members set up and man farm markets, CSA pick-up days and deliver produce.

We also employ people with a combination of skills in tractor work, welding, farm machine and vehicle mechanics, fabrication and building.

Bonus features include access to our library, vegetables for personal consumption, 14 years of accumulated knowledge operating a successful CSA, networking/learning opportunities with various farms and farm organizations, stipend to attend farm-related training/workshops, living and working in this gorgeous area of the country!  Housing option may exist.

Competitive pay to commensurate with experience, knowledge, attitude and work ethic.  Please send a resume with three unrelated references to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Field Manager

Job responsibilities will include all aspects of vegetable production with an emphasis on harvest crew leadership. Read this to get an idea of what you'd be getting into before you apply.This is our tenth year owning our own farm business.  We grow over 200 different varieties of vegetables on 20 acres (~ 200,000 pounds of produce and growing...), an acre of strawberries, 60 acres certified organic hay, 25 pastured pork, and small herds of Belted Galloway cattle and Katahdin sheep. You would be responsible for managing up to 15 field workers depending on the time of the season, harvesting Monday - Friday and most Saturdays from June - Thanksgiving for up to 300 CSA families shares over a 24-week period, 6 farm markets from June-October, two food co-ops, a food-hub, and some restaurants.

Also looking for individuals with the following traits:

*         Love of land and growing food as sustainably as possible

*         Leadership skills

*         Ability to learn our system & methods

*         Willingness to work 50-60 hours a week, especially from mid-June through the end of September, asking for no or little extra time off. (All Sundays off. Most Saturdays 1/2 days except for hay and strawberry season.)

*         A good physical report from a doctor and the ability to physically be able to do the tasks that go with this type of work

*         Flexibility (Jobs can and will change from what was "planned" at times due to weather, orders, unexpected mechanical issues, etc.)

*         Ability to manage an average of 12-15 people on a daily basis (Spanish is a plus!)

*         Ability to organize tasks, oversee field tasks, demonstrate/teach proper harvest and postharvest techniques

*         Ability to complete harvest in a timely manner each day

*         Ability to keep accurate and timely records

*         Willingness to do what it takes from field to wash/pack to get orders done on time

*         Ability or willingness to learn to use farm machinery

Competitive pay to commensurate with experience, knowledge, attitude and work ethic.  Options to leverage pay with farm produce and meats, and housing exist.  Bonus features include access to our library, 14 years of accumulated knowledge running a successful CSA operation, networking/learning opportunities with various farms and farm organizations, stipend to attend farm-related training/workshops, living and working in this gorgeous area of the country!

Send your resume with three job references (who aren't family) to [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>

These position are a great opportunity for young or new farmers seeking to learn more about profitable farming on a medium-size, highly diversified certified organic vegetable farm that also raises pastured pork, beef and lamb.  We are located in the heart of tourist country, 1/2 mile from Torch Lake and 1 1/2 miles from Lake Michigan.

Most of our team participates in these core activities: planting, cultivating, harvesting, washing, packing, record-keeping and loading produce.  Some of our members attend farm markets, man the CSA pick-up times and deliver produce.

Learning more about their farm Here<>

Gardens and Resources Coordinator

Garden Project is very fortunate to have just been granted an additional full-time, 6 month AmeriCorps position. The Gardens and Resources Coordinator will expand and maintain community gardens, promote a more sustainable food system and improve access to healthy foods. Service will include supporting the Resource Center, providing formal onsite education, offering advice and aiding in plant, seed, and tool distribution. To view a complete position description, click Here.<>

Marketing Coordinator

Lansing Roots is seeking a Marketing Coordinator to assist farmers who participate in the Lansing Roots Program in growing, marketing, and selling their produce and goods. This position is both hands-on in the field and in the office supporting individuals starting their own farm business. For a complete job description and application instructions, click here<>.

Development Manager

Greater Lansing Food Bank is currently seeking a Development Manager to direct, manage and coordinate all fundraising activities while working closely with the Executive Director to meet the established fundraising goal of the GLFB.  For a complete job description and application instructions, click here<>.

Certification Specialist At MOSA

A non-profit organic certification agency in Viroqua, Wisconsin recognized for its high-quality service, knowledgeable and courteous staff, timeliness and transparency, and consistent commitment to organic integrity. MOSA certifies crops, livestock, processors, and handlers.

This is a full-time position with benefits, located at MOSA's office in Viroqua. Interested and qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and references by email to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> by Friday, March 11, 2016. No phone calls, please.

A full job description Here<>.

Farm Education Apprenticeships

Currently accepting applications: Farm Education Apprenticeships at Fairview Gardens, Santa Barbara, CA

The Fairview Gardens Apprenticeship program provides hands-on direct experience in farm education, organic farming, community outreach, and sustainable food systems. Apprentice roles include organizing and leading children's programs, curriculum/educational material development, leading farm tours, and tending to our educational gardens and 12 acre farm. Apprentices gain a variety of skills useful for teaching farm education, including developing age-appropriate, place-based curriculum, designing engaging and creative cooking, crafting, and gardening activities as well as participating in farm outreach events. This apprenticeship will play a significant role in our farming operation as we implement restorative, agriculture techniques to grow nutritious, organic, responsibly grown food with soil-building practices. Apprentices will work alongside our administrative and marketing staff, engaging in activities essential to the operation of a non-profit, educational farm. Participants are provided with opportunities to shadow parallel programs in our community as well as other professional development opportunities.

Apply Here<>

Food System Lab Project Manager and Educator

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is hiring a Project Manager and Educator for the Good System Lab, an urban teaching farm in Baltimore, Maryland

Full Job description and application instructions Here<>

Vegetable Field Research Assistant

The Cornell Vegetable Program seeks an individual to assist in research trial implementation, data collection and harvest.  Work in commercial vegetable fields, primarily in onions and Cole cropsin Orleans and Genesee County and to some degree in Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.  Full-time with benefits.  Minimum Associate's degree in Ag Science, plus one year experience.  The position will be available in late May, but an earlier start date can be negotiated.

Apply Online Here<>

Educational Events

Organic Intensives by Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance

We hope you are planning to join us on March 10 for Organic Intensives. This one day in-depth learning experience is an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information from experts and practitioners on one of three topics:

*         Save Genetic Diversity, Save Money: Save Seed. View Flyer Here<>

*         Wild Edibles and Herbs as Part of the Good Food Solution. View Flyer Here<>

*         Organic Certification for Field Crop Farmers. View Flyer Here<>

The Sessions are filling up quick, so to be sure you don't miss out by registering Here<>

They still have a limited number of scholarships available. Thanks to a generous donation from George and Anne Bird, we are able to subsidize all but $25 of the registration fee for those whose participation is limited by the cost of registration.  We also have a "mini-grant" from North Central SARE which covers the registration fee for Michigan educators - anyone who is involved with imparting agriculture-related information to the citizens of Michigan.  For more information about either type of scholarship, please email them at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>


Thursday March 10 at 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM


Brody Hall on MSU Campus in East Lansing

To know more about this event click Here<>

MIFFS 2016 Annual Meeting

To all members, current, expired, and those interested in supporting the many faces of farming you are welcome to join in MIFFS Annual meeting on March 7. You will be breaking bread with others who share you passion for local food, learn about MIFFS 2015 Endeavors and plans for 2016, and elect new council members & vote on bylaws


Monday, March 7 at 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM


MI Public Health Institute

2436 Woodlake Circle, Suite 280 Okemos, MI 48864

Please RSVP at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> or on their Facebook event page Here<>

To view event page click Here<>

Power Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy

Are you looking for more  ways to cost-effectively provide energy on your farm? Have you considered harnessing the natural energy of the wind, sun, water or energy crops? During this day-long program farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about various renewable energy technologies that are available to Michigan farms. Presentations will help farmers better understand wind, solar, biomass, anaerobic digestion or geothermal technologies, how they can be applied to your farm, and pros and cons of each technology. You'll leave with the necessary information to identify which of these technologies is most suitable to help you meet your energy management goals. Walk away equipped with the resources and tools needed to implement these technologies on farm.


Thursday, March 10 at 8:30 AM to 4 PM


Kellogg Hotel and conference Center

219 S. Harrison Rd

East Lansing, MI 48825

For more information and to register for this event click Here <>

Michigan Farmers Market Conference

To help meet the needs of Michigan's farmers markets and market farmers and vendors, MIFMA is pleased to host an annual Michigan Farmers Market Conference.

The two-day conference features three tracks and a total of 15 educational sessions led by experts in farmers market management and agriculture:

1) Market Manager Boot Camp Track - designed for beginning market managers. Sessions Include: Attracting, Managing, Engaging and Rewarding Volunteers; Crisis Management and Public Relations; Grant Management: Basic Financial Management and Best Practices for Internal Controls; Marketing & Media Workshop; and Food Safety Regulations and Licensing.

2) Advanced Market Manager Track - for market managers who are looking for specialized information. Sessions Include: Working with Elected Officials Panel; Introduction to Racial Equity in the Food System; Best Practices for Implementing a Prescription for Health Program at Your Farmers Market; Measuring Economic Impact of Your Farmers Market; and Crowdfunding 101.

3) Farmer and Vendor Track - designed for farmers who sell at farmers markets.

Sessions Include: Keeping it Local: Sourcing and Procurement for Value-added Products; Successful Farm Internships; and Markets in Bloom: Flower Farming; Succession Planning for the Farm Business; Wild Mushroom Foraging and Certification.

MIFMA members receive a 50% discount on the full-day conference registration as part of their membership benefits. Conference registration fees are as follows:

*         $100 for the full conference for MIFMA members or $75 for one day only

*         $200 for non-members for the full conference or $100 for one day only

*         $75 for MIFMA student members for the full conference or $35 for one day only.


March 8 & 9 at 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM


Plant and Soil Sciences Building

East Lansing, MI

Register Here<>

For more information on the Michigan Farmers Market Conference, visit Here<> or Call 517-432-3381

Seed Saturday Detroit

Mark your calendar and join us for the first annual Seed Saturday Detroit event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Detroit. This grassroots event was inspired by a well-established Canadian model (seed exchange) which is fun, and well respected.

Those interested in understanding the greening movement in Detroit who want to hear about grassroots efforts by those doing it. The event will also include information and materials on organic/urban farming, perennial gardening and native plant gardening. We will be featuring Detroit farmers, gardeners, and native plant enthusiasts. Participants will be able to network and learn about working groups dedicated to entrepreneurial, health, community building and beautification efforts in our city and perhaps sign up to volunteer with the organization of your choice


Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Wayne State University's Student Center Building In Detroit

To register on Eventbrite and for more information regarding this event go Here<>

Other question please contact Mebby Pearson at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Smart Vegetable Gardening Series

Want to start growing vegetables, but not sure where to start? Or are you already growing, but want to increase your yield? The Michigan State University Extension's Smart Gardening team is here to help! With experts in every facet of the veggie growing process, the Smart Vegetable Gardening Series can teach you everything you need to know to make your vegetable garden a success!

To read more about this event and to register click Here<>

Mideast Organic Professionals Leadership Summit

In this event 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.

Registration will start at 8:00 Am and program will start at 8:00 AM. Closing remarks will happen at 4:00 PM. There is no fee for registration but preregistration is encouraged.

Pre-Register is Here <> or call their hotline at 888-809-9297

NOTE - The registration is a two-step process. Please remember to click both "submit" and "confirm" on the next page

Webinar on Why Soil's Health is Important

Improving our soil health improves the efficiency of water and nutrient use resulting in enhanced profitability. Learn how improved soil health expands agricultural production. Discover the reasoning behind and benefits of treating soil as the gateway to higher yields and profits.


Tuesday, March 8 at 12:30 AM EST

Register Here<>

Have questions or need help with registration contact Michele Lovejoy at 608-268-4947

Online High Tunnel and Hoop house Course from MSU

Based on demand they have decided to offer their online high tunnel and hoop house course one more time this winter. This 6 weeks, self-paced course starts this Monday, February 29 but registration will remain open through the end of the next week.

Register and Pay Here<>

Grants Available

Calling All Food Entrepreneurs!! Everybody Eats 3.0

At the conference this year, SoupGrant Lansing will be awarding a lucky food business with a grant to further their food ideas. SoupGrant Lansing's concept is simple: award micro-grants (SoupGrants) in Ingham Co. by allowing community members the democratic choice of voting for their favorite idea while attending the Everybody Eats Conference.

Because the focus audience is a food conference all of the ideas for grant money MUST be food related, either a business, a non-profit, or organization. If you would like to apply for the possibility to receive the micro-grant please fill out the online application below.  If you have any questions please contact Heather at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Online Application Here<>


Saturday, March 19 at 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM


St Casimir Church

815 Sparrow Ave, Lansing, MI 48910

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