Michigan Organic Listserv
July 15, 2016
Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University
Questions or contributions email [log in to unmask]

NOP News for you…
Farm Educational Programs
Farm Tours
Agriculture Job Opportunities

NOP News for YOU

Organic Cost Share is Available NOW!!
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is pleased to announce the availability of organic cost share assistance for handlers/producers who have incurred certification expenses during the period of October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

The program is offered on behalf of the USDA National Organic Cost Share Program which is authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

Enclosed are the cost share reimbursement instructions and application as well as guidance on how to register as a vendor for the State of Michigan. Your operation must have been inspected and certified by a National Organic Program (NOP) accredited certifying agent during this specified time period in order to qualify. MDARD is authorized to pay 75% of the certification and user costs up to $750 per certification. Allowable costs are indicated on the enclosed
instruction pages.

You must register as a vendor with the state of Michigan and sign up to receive your payment via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If you do not have access to the internet and cannot register with the state as a vendor, you will need to complete the enclosed form W-9; if you are currently registered with the state as a vendor you do not need to fill out the W-9.

Failure to do provide any of the required documentation will result in rejection of your application. Your application along with all required supporting documentation must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2016.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact
Josh Grant at (517) 284-5789 or via email at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Agriculture Educational Programs

Organic Seed Production Six Webinar Series
A new six-webinar series on organic seed production will provide training for seed growers and seed production interns throughout the 2016 growing season (June - November). This series, offered by Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The series is delivered as part of a new seed internship program offered by OSA and MESA with support from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and other agricultural professionals. They will take place on the third Tuesday of each month, and the first one is on June 21st! You can just register once at the link below and attend any or all of the webinars listed below!
Register now at

1. June 21st: Introduction to the Organic Seed Webinar Series
•                Which crops should I grow?
•                Field planning
•                Recordkeeping
•                Speakers: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Organic Seed Grower TBD
2. July 19th: Trials and Selection
3. August 16th: Diseases and Pests, Case Study
4. September 20th: Seed Quality, Harvesting Techniques and Equipment
5. October 18th: Cleaning and Recordkeeping, Case Study
6. November 15th: Seed Contracting, Economics and Policy


Workshops for You
Begun in 2015, the MSU Farmer Field School is comprised of intensive one and two day hands-on workshops - with an emphasis on sustainable vegetable producers in their first 10 years of production. They are tailored to deliver in-depth, practical information built upon the foundational work of the MSU Organic Farmer Training Program and the wealth of knowledge in Michigan’s farming community.

See Farmer Field School <> for more program information and current workshops.

Monday, August 1 8am - 5pm
Summer Fruiting Crops in High Tunnels (Tomatoes and more)
Cost: $150 for 1 person ($40 for a 2nd person from the same farm)
Locations: Start at Green Gardens Farm 14201 H Drive N Battle Creek, MI [map]<,+Battle+Creek,[log in to unmask],-85.0216465,17z/data=%213m1%214b1%214m2%213m1%211s0x8817fca1dd7daaef:0x836779d7382c364b?hl=en>  and then go to Ten Hens Farm - 7539 Clark Road  Bath, MI  [map]<http://ttps://,-84.41279?map=42.8137,-84.41279,12,normal&fb_locale=en_US>
Presenters: Trent Thompson, Green Gardens Farm<> and Adam Montri, Ten Hens Farm<>,

A hands-on workshop covering the nuts and bolts of successful planning, production, post-harvest handling, packaging, and marketing of summer fruit under hoops (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers).  The workshop will also cover ginger, sweet potatoes, and basil.   Led by experienced hoophouse growers and hosted on their farms, content includes an overview of the varieties and techniques that have worked best for them including plant dates, fertility, trellis systems, pest and disease management, harvesting, marketing and more. Don’t miss this chance to see their operations and learn from two expert growers in the field.


Communications & Marketing – $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)

Scaling Up (or Maybe Down):  Finding and Getting to the Right Scale for Your Farm –  $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)

Farm Labor: Getting, Managing, and Keeping Good Labor for Your Farm – $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)

December 3rd
Strategic Business Planning & Management: Markets, Finances, Production, HR and More– $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)

December 10th
Advanced Strategic Business Planning & Management:  Finances Deep Dive, Strategic Investment, Capital Access, and Growth– $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)

Supporting Beneficial Insects with Flowering Plants

August 2, 2016, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Michigan State University Clarksville Research Center

9302 Portland Road, Clarksville, MI 48815

Beneficial insects provide valuable pest control and pollination services to farms and gardens, but they need a little help from you as well. Many insect natural enemies and pollinators depend on a diversity of flowering plants for critical nectar and pollen foods. MSU entomologists have been testing Michigan native and other plants for these purposes and want to share their results with you at the Supporting Beneficial Insects with Flowering Plants workshop. The workshop will include presentations, hands-on insect and plant identification, and field tours to view over 55 species of insect-support­ive (insectary) plants. Speakers will include representatives from MSU Department of Entomology, MSU Department of Plant Biology, USDA-NRCS and Michigan Native Plant Producers Association.

Participants will learn to identify key pollinators (managed and wild bees) and natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) of insect pests, as well as learn about programs that can help them establish beneficial insect habitats on farms and other property. Field tours will demonstrate which plants are best for attracting beneficial insects and include information on establishing and caring for insectary habitats. Participants will receive four MSU Exten­sion publications including two popular, pocket-sized field guides, “Bees of the Great Lakes region and wildflowers to support them” and “Identifying natural enemies in crops and landscapes.”
Registration is open until July 23 with a fee of $20 to cover lunch and materials. Register at the MSU Extension Events Management website:

Eliot Coleman to Speak at Upper Peninsula Conference
Eliot Coleman a nationally known figure in the small farm and organic arena will provide the keynote address as well as teach breakout sessions at the Together at the Farm: U.P. Local Food Conference to be held July 30th, 2016, at the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan.

Eliot Coleman has been involved in organic farming since 1966. He has 50 years experience in field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of livestock, and range poultry. He is the author of several books including The New Organic Grower and Four Season. With his wife Barbara Damrosch he owns and operates Four Season Farm, a year-round market garden in Maine, where they produce exceptional food, study how to make their production practices more sustainable every year, and design scale-appropriate equipment to aid other small farmers in achieving greater efficiency. In 2016 Eliot received a lifetime Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation.

Registration for the conference is $85 and includes the morning keynote, breakout sessions, and lunch. The conference is from 9 am – 5 pm. Coleman will also speak at a separate dinner program that evening from 6-8 pm. The registration cost for the dinner program is $35. All Strings Considered will entertain us during a barn dance from 8-11 pm that is open to all.

The conference also has breakout sessions to appeal to the interest of consumers, policy makers, teachers, farmers, institutional purchasers of local food, health professionals and more. Full agenda, session descriptions, media pass requests, vendor and sponsor information and registration link can be found at

This conference qualifies for MAEAP Phase 1 credits and has specific sessions that qualify for SCECH credits and Master Citizen Planner Credits. Together at the Farm is hosted by the U.P. Food Exchange, MSU Extension, Marquette Food Co-op, Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and MAEAP.

If you have questions about the conference in general, please contact Michelle Walk at 906-440-4732 or [log in to unmask] If you have questions regarding registration, sponsorships, or media passes,
contact Betsy Braid at 517-884-7081 or [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Questions? Contact Michelle Walk 906.440.4732  [log in to unmask]

Farm Tours

Its that time of year—When gardens are at their peak there are so many chances to visit them. This is a great way to get new ideas and meet new farmers!

Annual Community Garden Tours
2401 Marcus St, Lansing
 Wednesday, July 20  5:00 – 8:00

We welcome all to join us as we explore our local community gardens by bus, bike or foot – your choice! The evening will begin at the with a welcome reception at 5:00. Light food and refreshments will be served. Guided tours begin promptly at 6:00.

More information coming soon. You can also check for updates on the Garden Tours Facebook event page<>.

We hope to see you there! Please RSVP to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> if you plan to attend.

It’s the  Flint, MI – edible flint
8th Annual Food Garden Tour,
Wednesday, July 27
Check in at 4:30

The Tour offers a close-up look at innovative and inspiring food gardens in the Flint area. Check in begins at 4:30pm at the Flint Farmers’ Market 300 E. First Street, Flint, MI 48502. Buses and bicycles will depart at 5:00pm. Immediately following the tour, participants are invited to join edible flint for music and a light meal prepared by local vendors. As they eat, participants are also able to enjoy edible flint’s 4th annual Partners in Healthy Living Fair with local groups promoting health and community being featured.

This year edible Flint will be requiring a $5 donation from each participant, which will be used to support future Food Garden Tours. Participants must register in advance. Registration opens July 1st. To register for the bus or bike tour, please visit<> or fill out a paper registration form and send to 605 N. Saginaw St. Suite 1A. Registered seating is confirmed with receipt of payment. Registration will close as soon as all spots are filled, additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list and notified of any cancellations.

edible flint is a network of local residents and public and private organizations unified by the mission, “to support Flint residents in growing and accessing healthy food in order to reconnect with the land and each other.” For more information, contact: Deb Hamilton (810)-244-8547 or [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Agriculture Job Opportunities

SARE Outreach is Hiring a Content Development Specialist

Visit<> for details to apply.

The deadline to apply is July 29.

The content development specialist is involved in all aspects of content development and dissemination to a wide variety of audiences using many different communications formats and strategies. (S)he:
•                contributes significantly to the production of all print projects (e.g., books, bulletins, promotional materials)
•                leads the social media efforts
•                is a primary web content team member
•                contributes to outreach and promotions efforts

The position requires a bachelor's degree in communications/journalism, agricultural communications and/or in a field related to agricultural or environmental sciences, or equivalent work experience, plus two to three years of work experience in agricultural communications (writing/editing, media outreach, publishing, multimedia, design, etc.). A master's degree and up to five years of experience are preferred.

For the full description and to apply, visit:<>

AmeriCorps Volunteers at Allen Neighborhood Center, Lansing MI
Allen Neighborhood Center is a non-profit hub for neighborhood revitalization, is seeking three full-time AmeriCorps members to serve as:
1) Breadbasket Pantry and Allen Farmers Market Facilitator;
2) Gardening Educator; and
3) Volunteer Coordinator. (Full position descriptions, below.)

Minimum Qualification for all positions:

·      Be at least 17 years of age. Minors must have guardian permission. Applicants must have HS diploma, GED or working toward the completion of one.

·      U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident of the U.S.

·      Pass the following checks: State of Michigan, DHS Central Registry Clearance, FBI Fingerprinting, and State & National Sex Offender Registry

Compensation and how to apply:

Members will receive a living allowance of $12,530 distributed bi-weekly from October 10, 2016-September 27, 2017 and receive student loan forbearance for qualified loans. Upon successful completion of service, an education award in the amount of $5,775 will be issued. Members will serve 36 hours/week.
All interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume to Power of We Consortium AmeriCorps Program Director, Andrea Villanueva at [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> no later than July 29th   2016 by 5pm.   Please include in your cover letter that you are applying for a position at Allen Neighborhood Center.
Full Position Descriptions
Pantry and Market Facilitator will focus on both goal areas, as s/he plans and implements the following:

·      The weekly distribution of 200 pounds of bread and 600-1000 pounds of produce to 80-100 low income residents of the area. In addition to supervising volunteer bread wrappers and coordinating set up and display of produce, this member will oversee the nutrition education component to teach patrons about preparation and preservation of food products that are being distributed. Recipes, conversations, and other materials, including those focused on food preparation on a tight budget, will be routinely shared.

·      The member will plan and coordinate activities at the Nutrition and Fitness Education Booth at the Allen Farmers Market, providing recipes to use with produce available in the Market that day as well as other nutrition and fitness-related items and handouts.  In addition, the AmeriCorps member will schedule special guests at this booth, including local representatives of the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and others that bring a nutritional focus to their disease prevention displays and handouts.

·      The member will help plan periodic cooking and/or nutrition education events in our commercial kitchen.  These convivial food events will be a celebration of the wide range of ethnic cuisines, cultures, and foodways in our richly diverse community.
Skills Needed:
Ability to engage with diverse groups of people particularly those living in a low-income distressed neighborhood, work as a team member and independently, computer and communication skills, graphics design skills, culinary experience a plus, available some nights and weekends.

Gardening Educator will focus on both goal areas, given their involvement in robust gardening
instruction and nutrition education in the Hunter Park GardenHouse. S/he will:

·      Work with the Youth Programs Coordinator to develop, promote, and facilitate the Youth Service Corps (YSC) for 11-17 year olds. Specific YSC projects include: Garden-in-a-Box, Edible Park, and Fruit Tree Project.  Evidence-based nutrition education is integrated into every session of YSC.
·      Collaborate with the GardenHouse Director to develop and promote robust gardening education. This will include assisting with planning, promoting, and facilitating a wide range of gardening education workshops; coordinating the Visiting Gardener Program (e.g., home garden visits to assist neighbors learning to grow food); and otherwise linking neighbors to resources.
·      Collaborate with GardenHouse Director to provide low-cost plant starts, and SNAP-friendly year-round GardenHouse CSA to area residents.
·      Provide instruction/mentoring to GardenHouse volunteers and visitors during open hours.
Ability to engage with diverse groups of people, work as a team member, 1 or more years experience in urban gardening, computer and communication skills, available some nights and weekends.

Volunteer Coordinator for (All) Food and Fitness Programs will also focus on both goals areas, as s/he vigorously recruits and links volunteers to our full complement of food, fitness, and nutrition related programs.  In this way, s/he will play a role of critical importance in increasing access, reducing food insecurity, ensuring nutrition education opportunities, and supporting food distribution.
In addition, this AmeriCorps will facilitate Market Walk, a program in which people participate in a walking program, log miles, and then redeem them for tokens accepted at the Allen Farmers Market.  Offered several times each week in Hunter Park, Market Walkers will earn a $5 token to the Allen Farmers Market for every 5 miles walked.   To enhance the learnings, our AmeriCorps member will work with other organizations to provide value-added on-site events, such as 24 hour diet and activity recalls, nutrition guidance and special workshops (e.g., gait analysis) with qualified providers and partners. Finally, our AmeriCorps member will conduct special outreach to engage refugees living in our neighborhood into this integrated food and fitness program.
Ability to engage with diverse groups of people particularly those living in a low-income distressed neighborhood, work as a team member, computer and communication skills, available some nights and weekends.

About Allen Neighborhood Center
 Founded in 1999, Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) of Lansing, Michigan serves as a dynamic hub for neighborhood revitalization. We serve Lansing’s ‘Eastside’, the low-moderate income northeast quadrant of Michigan’s Capital City, an area of significant assets and challenges. We take a comprehensive and integrative approach to community development, having discovered the value of simultaneous effort in food security and food access, health education, housing improvement, commercial corridor revitalization, and social capital building.  A place-based organization with deep roots on the Eastside, we work collaboratively with a broad array of regional partners and organizations that share our broad agenda.  The programs and services of Allen Neighborhood Center build synergistically on this robust regional collaboration while meeting food security and community improvement needs within our neighborhood.   For more information:

Full Circle Organic Farm- Help Wanted
We raise certified organic lamb, hay and wool in Howell, MI

Part time help wanted. Must be available during weekdays and some weekends in addition to extra hours (early shift 5AM and late shift 11PM) during lambing season (April-May)

This is outdoors and a physical labor based job. We have had successful male and female employees with age ranges from 24-60

We are willing to train the proper candidates

Must Be:

·      Safe: able to follow all safety procedures

·      Reliable

·      Physically capable for outdoor work and able to perform assigned duties with safety as top priority

·      Non-smoker

·      Excellent attitude

·      Kind to animals

Successful workers have been willing to learn and follow strict organic standards and protocols while following a systems based operation and documentation through utilization of technology

Please submit resume or letter of interest, and two references via email to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Or snail mail to
            4545 Vines Rd.
            Howell, MI 48843

We will be interviewing candidates mid-July and hire thereafter

Vicki Morrone
Organic farming specialist
Center For Regional Food Systems at MSU
480 Wilson Rd Rm 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
+011-517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (U.S. cell)
+255 786 774 784 (Tanzania cell)
sorrone11 (Skype)

If you would like to access previous postings to the Mich-Organic listserv you can copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar