Michigan Organic Listserv
October 24, 2016
Center for Regional Food Systems

What’s Up?
Organic Production and NOP
Educational Events
Have your Voice Heard
Grants and Scholarships
Farm Equipment for Sale

From the Desk of Vicki ([log in to unmask])<mailto:[log in to unmask])>

Embrace the Season of Conferences!
Now that the growing season is winding down (oh how I will miss those fresh tomatoes) there is time to consider what do you and your business need to move to the next level. Whether that be in the form of information or a technology or process chances are that you can gain valuable information and resources from one of the several upcoming educational programs, offered during the winter months.  Whatever it is that you need to improve the vitality of your business and make your work easier to accomplish, this is the season to get that information so that you are ready to take on the challenge next year. Hopefully, the next time that you receive an email about a farming conference, training or field day, before you hit the delete key, first you may want to consider…

•      What information would be useful to you and your farming business to grow?
•      What tools or skills do you need to be more efficient?
•      What problems did you have this past season that need to be addressed?

Once you have identified your needs or information gaps you can skim those emails and flyers you get in the mail to look for specific information or technical needs that you are seeking. I bet that this will be faster to peruse the information that  you receive.  To see the upcoming educational events in our area click here.

Organic Production and NOP Information

How Shoot Removal (and) Rootstock Cultivar Affect Grafting Tomatoes
As small-acreage and organic vegetable growers increasingly utilize high tunnels, researchers are working to determine effective production strategies to help limit soil borne diseases. Grafting interspecific hybrid rootstock has been shown to be effective for tomato growers, but the technique is not without its challenges.

“Small-acreage growers would like to produce grafted plants themselves, but many have difficulty with propagation due to water stress in the scion post-grafting and/or high temperatures,” said Cary Rivard, lead author of study in the August 2016 issue of HortTechnology<>.

Rivard and colleagues designed trials to determine how rootstock cultivars and scion shoot removal affect tomato yield and biomass; the study contains recommendations for tomato grafting in high tunnels in the central United States.
Rivard said that in a previous regional survey of fruit and vegetable growers, 19 percent were using grafted plants, 56 percent were interested in learning more, and 24 percent were not using grafted plants, but said they would like to.
“In the southeastern US, grafting with interspecific hybrid rootstock has been shown to be effective for tomato growers, but the method had not been tested in the central United States where soil borne disease pressure is low,” Rivard explained.
In the current study, researchers implemented five high tunnel trials and one open-field trial to investigate the efficacy of two rootstock cultivars at increasing tomato fruit the central region of the US, and to test the effect of scion shoot removal (SR) on tomato plant yield and biomass in a commercial production setting.

Results of the trials showed that grafting significantly increased yield in five of the six trials, including four of the five high tunnel trials. Yield increases ranged from 18 percent to 126 percent for standard-grafted plants compared with nongrafted controls. Both rootstocks tested (‘Maxifort’ and ‘Trooper Lite’) were successful at increasing fruit yield, and were similar when compared with each other using the standard tube grafting technique.

The effect of SR on grafted plant performance was not as consistent as grafting across all six of the trials.
“However, some trends can be observed, particularly as fruit yield of grafted plants is related to rootstock vigor,” the scientists said. “Overall, the effect of SR reduced performance of the grafted plants as it relates to final plant yield. Shoot removal during the grafting process may penalize tomato yield and our results suggest that rootstock vigor plays a role.”
“These results suggest that plant growth and ultimately tomato fruit yield is affected negatively by using the SR grafting technique, particularly when less-vigorous rootstock is used,” the researchers said. “The data suggest that grafting is a highly advantageous technology for high tunnel growers in the central region of the United States.”
Source: American Society for Horticultural Science<>

Food Safety Plays Part in Urban Agriculture Bill
By Cookson Beecher<> | October 24, 2016
Imagine walking down the street in your city neighborhood and stopping by a garden, planted in what used to be a vacant lot, to buy some vegetables or fruit for supper. For many people, this is not pie-in-the sky dreaming. It’s a welcome reality — and a pleasant change in scenery.
As urban agriculture continues to put down roots in cities across the United States, more and more people are beginning to see its many benefits. The hope for the future is that it can flourish and sustain a new crop of farmers and farm businesses and help supply city dwellers with healthy food that’s been grown close by.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, at the Lafayette Greens Community Urban Garden in Detroit to discuss the importance of local agriculture with Garden Manager Gwen Meyer, right.
Helping to fuel that hope, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow on Sept. 28, announced the most comprehensive urban agriculture bill to be introduced in Congress. A Democrat from Michigan, Stabenow is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
The Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 would offer urban farmers new resources through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Stabenow’s Senate office website. It would create a new urban agriculture office at USDA to coordinate policies across the department and provide urban farmers with technical assistance.

Pointing out that urban agriculture is steadily growing in the United States, the senator said the act will build on this momentum by helping urban farmers get started or expand their business “so they can sell more products and supply more healthy food for their neighbors.”

The bill would boost farming cooperatives, encourage rooftop and vertical farms, invest $10 million in research exploring market opportunities, and develop technologies for lowering energy and water needs.
It would also offer loans to finance food production and marketing; risk-management tools to protect crops, food prices, and contracts; and a mentorship support program.
Stabenow announced her legislation during a press conference at D-Town Farm<> in Detroit with Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan urban ag leaders.

Currently at seven acres, D-Town Farm is the largest farm in Detroit. Located in a large city park, it is lined by a see-through deer fence and includes large hoop houses and open beds of tomatoes, garlic, beans and other vegetables. Its produce is sold at farm stands and farmers markets.

Vegetables grown by D-Town Farm offered for sale in recent weeks.
Launched in 2006 on just one-quarter of an acre, D-Town Farm is an “urban agriculture initiative” of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which is dedicated to building food security and advocating for food justice for Detroit’s majority African-American community. Blacks or African Americans make up 82.7  percent of the city’s population.

Mayor Mike Duggan said here’s an abundance of available land in Detroit and groups like D-Town farms are putting it to productive use in a way that promotes good health and economic opportunity.

As for the abundance of available land in Detroit, there are an estimated 150,000 abandoned lots within in the city’s 360 acres.
“I hope that Sen. Stabenow’s bill will help efforts like this expand and allow others to follow in their footsteps,” Duggan said.

Long-time urban-ag leader Malik Yakini, executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, also gives a thumbs-up to Stabenow’s legislation.
“As we rethink how we provide food in an environmentally sustainable way for an increasingly urban population, urban agriculture is an important component,” he said.
When it comes to the economic benefits of this approach, Yakini said “urban agriculture, and the associated businesses needed to support it, helps local economies to thrive.”
He also praised urban agriculture for its ability to grow food closer to population centers, which not only provides people with fresher, more nutrient-rich foods but also reduces the carbon footprint caused by transporting food long distances.
Joan Nelson, executive director of Allen Neighborhood Center, which operates the Allen Market Place in Lansing, MI, had some good news to share about urban ag.
“A steady increase in the number of urban farms in the Capital City is beginning to impact health and nutrition awareness, good food access, and food security, even as it is transforming fragile neighborhoods,” she said.
In praise of Stabenow’s urban ag act, Nelson said it will offer new resources, support, financial tools, educational and economic opportunities that will “most certainly accelerate and strengthen these promising changes in urban communities throughout Michigan.”
A member of the financial community, Dave Armstrong, president and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services, also had good things to say about the legislation, pointing out that it’s an important step in “supporting the evolving agriculture industry.
He pointed to parts of the bill that focus on risk management, education and expanded loan guarantees.
In a conference call with reporters, Stabenow has conceded that the bill likely won’t pass in its current form. But she said it will start the conversation and build broader support for including urban farming as part of the next farm bill.
To continue reading click here for full story<>

Do you include manure or manure-based compost? GAP certified farmers have to take extra steps

Phil Tocco, MSUE Food Safety Specialist responds to a query from a grower in Michigan. Question? Can GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) certified farmers use manure in their production?

He notes that GAP certification is NOT INCLUDED or part of NOP (Organic) certification!

      Current GAP standard is as follows...

Compost must maintain a temperature of between 131 and 170°F for 3 days (enclosed system) or 15 days (windrow system), during which period the composting materials must be turned a minimum of five times. After these steps, the compost pile should cure for 45 days. Finished and curing compost piles should be covered in order to prevent recontamination. Acceptable organic materials for compost include, but are not limited to: animal manure, by-products of agricultural commodities processing, yard debris, and kitchen wastes. Detailed records should be kept of pile type (aerobic vs. anaerobic, enclosed, windrow, etc.), temperature and moisture management, dates turned, and the duration of high temperatures.   (taken from

     Under FSMA, if compost contains feedstock of animal origin (which yours does) it is regulated and must be treated using a validated process to reduce pathogens of human health concern in order to be considered compost. The two cited examples of on-the-record, validated, in-like-flynn methods are taken from section 112.54 subpart b of the codified as follows...
(1) Static composting that maintains aerobic (i.e., oxygenated) conditions at a minimum of 131 °F (55 °C) for 3 consecutive days and is followed by adequate curing; and
(2) Turned composting that maintains aerobic conditions at a minimum of
131 °F (55 °C) for 15 days (which do not have to be consecutive), with a minimum of five turnings, and is followed by adequate curing.
Despite the fact that FSMA considers compost low risk, they're often careful about saying it's not NO risk.  You should still take precautions to minimize contact with the harvestable portion of the crop both during and after application, but you are not required to wait any time to harvest after application.
All that fun stuff aside, if a particular buyer (market) specifies there to be no application of biological soil amendments of Animal origin irrespective of risk reduction, the buyer's request stands, whether there are laws to that effect or not.
For questions or to learn more about GAP certification visit

Upcoming Educational Programs

2016 Michigan Good Food Summit:
“The Road to 2020”

When Still can register!
Friday, October 28, 2016                    8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
219 S. Harrison Road East Lansing, MI 48824
Join us & Celebrate state & local successes!
•      Engage with sector-specific breakout tracks
•      Network with others from around the state and across the food system
•      Hear stories about successful Michigan collaborations
•      Advance good food for all as we work towards the Michigan Good Food Charter goals for 2020
Register Now!<>
Each person attending must register individually--no group reservations. If registering more than one person and paying by credit card, the payment information must be entered for each person. If paying by check, you may issue one check for multiple registrations. For questions or further assistance, please contact Diane Drago at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Mushroom Gathering (Foraging) Certification Training

Midwest American Mycological Information (MAMI) is partnering with MIFMA and others to offer two upcoming workshops on November 5 in East Lansing to train and certify foragers who commercially harvest and sell wild mushrooms in Michigan. Successful completion of the program is recognized by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as sufficient to qualify as an approved mushroom identification expert.

Michigan’s Food Code requires that mushroom species picked in the wild must be obtained from sources where each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by an approved mushroom identification expert. Organizations and businesses such as restaurants, retail grocery stores and farmers’ markets who either buy direct from mushroom sellers or provide space from which such people may sell, are required by law to ensure all sellers of wild-foraged mushrooms do so in accordance with federal and state law.

The certification program is designed to ensure a participant will, upon successful completion, qualify to meet the requirements of Michigan to harvest, broker and sell wild-harvested mushrooms in the state. The full-day training session will focus on the biology and morphological characteristics used in the identification of mushrooms, as well as a review of every species of wild-foraged mushroom approved for sale in Michigan. The day will include hands-on work with specimens, direct interaction with mycologists, and a written exam at the end of the day.

Cost for the training, which includes lunch, is $175 per person for those who wish to be certified. Chefs, farmers market managers, purchasing agents for grocers and interested citizens who are not interested in certification may attend this workshop from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at a reduced rate.

Registration is available online at<>. Payment must be made in advance when you register. Space is limited, so register early! The deadline for the October 22 session has been extended to 10/18/16.

Training date and location:

Saturday, November 5, 2016
MSU Molecular Plant Sciences Building, East Lansing, MI 48824
Registration 8:30 am; Training Session 9 am – 5 pm

Download the flyer at
For more information, contact Chris Wright, Midwest American Mycological Information, at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, or visit<>.
Registration is happening NOW!

Soil Building Workshop by Dan Kettredge
We want to be sure you know about this valuable 2-day workshop on Nov
12-13, 2016 at the Washtenaw Food Hub. All farmers and growers-rural and urban are invited to this workshop!

We anticipate that you will be inspired to make soil biology the center point of creating a truly sustainable and just food system. Revitalize the soil, restore the people eating from that soil.

Deb Lentz and Richard Andreas from Tantre Farm had this to say after listening to Dan Kittredge, the farmer and educator who will present
this workshop:
"Dan Kittredge is someone who makes connections between soil health, personal health, and the health of all animals and plants that depend on the soil.  He stands among the faithful in practices of good land stewardship demonstrating relationships between healthy, tasty food and healthy soil as related to balancing soil elements, minerals, and microbiology.   He has simple, helpful, practical, empirical methods for rebalancing healthy soil in a healthy direction.  We attended his mini talk in October and found Dan to be personable, interesting, and insightful.”

Join us for a great day of learning and sharing! Invite your colleagues and interns, you will be glad that you did

All good things,
Claire Maitre

Registration is happening NOW!

2016 WORKSHOPS for Growing (Beginning and Expanding) Farmers

 Please find below our Current Year of Michigan Farmer Field School workshops. Dates, presenters, and locations are forthcoming.  <Past Workshops><>
As part of the Beginner Farmer Grant Work in Michigan with MSU Student Organic Farm


Sunday, November 6th, 9am - 5pm
Scaling Up (or Maybe Down):  Finding and Getting to the Right Scale for Your Farm
Cost: $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for a 2nd person from the same farm)
Location: Sunseed Farm  5000 Boyden Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48105 (Map)<>
Presenters: Tomm Becker - Sunseed Farm<>, Nic Theisen - Loma Farm<>
and Nic Welty - 9 Bean Rows Farm<>

This group of  experienced farmers will explore such ideas as - "What is the best scale for your farm business to maximize success?"  The answer to this important question depends on a wide variety of factors relating to your income needs, goals, values, product mix, strategic opportunities/competitive advantage, land base and other resources.  Getting the right ratio of overhead and costs relative to sales and income along with the right mix of diversity and/or specialization of production and markets is essential in evaluating decisions of scale. 
This workshop will examine potential critical thresholds for sales, relative to these factors based on observed patterns in successful farms and the first hand experiences of these farmer presenters.  This workshop examines Return on Investment (ROI) for a number of potential capital and equipment investments/purchases a farmer might make, and some priorities and rules of thumb regarding infrastructure, equipment, management time, and staffing/labor at small-medium-large farm scales.  This workshop is designed to help farmers identify and think critically and strategically about how to grow or right-size their operation for maximum success.

Saturday, December 3rd - 9am - 5pm
Strategic Business Planning & Management: Markets, Finances, Production, HR and More

Saturday, December 10th - 9am - 5pm
Advanced Strategic Business Planning & Management:  Finances Deep Dive, Strategic Investment, Capital Access, and Growth
Cost for each: $150 for 1 person ($40 additional for 2nd person from same farm)
Location: MSU Student Organic Farm, 3291 College Rd.  Holt, MI 48842<>

Presenters: Fred Monroe, Monroe Family Organics, <> Tomm Becker - Sunseed Farm<>,
Michael. D. Jordon, Retired Farm Loan Manager (20 years experience) and former farmer.
For Additional information click here<>

Get ready for a great Agriculture Educational Program Right here in Michigan! GLEXPO is coming up!

GLEXPO-DeVos center, Grand Rapids Michigan Dec 6-8. (
Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo-All aspects of fruit, vegetable and markets!

“Organic Day” on Thursday Dec 8

The Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo (GLEXPO) is just around the corner, can you believe it? This program is unique, combining current research findings that are relevant to farming issues along with practical applications. In addition to great educational programs you have the opportunity to visit probably the top trade show in the US for fruit and vegetable growers. Note the tradeshow closes at 1 pm on Thursday Dec 8. While this event combines organic and conventional systems Thursday focuses on Organic Systems. You will also find many sessions with great relevance to organic throughout the three days This program will take place Dec 6-8, 2016 at the DeVos Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can see the full agenda and registration info at

Yes this is the horticulture program that offers something for all, especially growers seeking to produce or currently growing fruit and or vegetables! It offer three days of packed sessions on topics that I think you will find exciting, such as soil health, organic certification, hoop house production, organic fruit and vegetable top priorities, farmers markets and business planning, biological control of pests, and crop specific sessions that include an update on status of crop challenges and production issues.

Here is the agenda for the “Organic Thursday”, starting at 8:30 and going to 3 pm. We hope you can join us for this super event!

December 8- Organic Production - Where to Start?
Thursday morning 9:00 am
Moderator: Vicki Morrone, Outreach Specialist for Organic Fruit and Vegetable Growers, MSU

9:00 am

Knowing Your Place: Combining farm specific knowledge with scouting to form organic integrated pest management plans
•      Adam Ingrao, Vegetable Entomology Lab, Entomology Dept., MSU
•      Jason Matlock, Entomology Dept., MSU

9:45 am

Understanding what your soil test says
•      Thomas Bjorkman, Horticulture Dept., Cornell Univ.

10:15 am

Experiences from the Field: Getting certified organic
•      Eric Pawowki, OEFFA
•      Jim Monroe, Monroe Family Farm
•      Pooh Stevenson, Owosso Organics, Owosso, MI

11:00 am

Session Ends

Organic Opportunities and Markets
Thursday morning 9:00 am
Moderator: John Biernbaum, Horticulture Dept., MSU

9:00 am

Large Scale CSA Farming in Northern Michigan
•      Ryan and Andrea Romeyn, Providence Organic Farm, Central Lake, MI

10:00 am

Training and Retaining Great Farmworkers
•      Katie Brandt and Tom Cary, Groundswell Community Farm, Zeeland, MI

11:00 am

Growing Our Farm to Feed Our City
•      Tomm and Trilby Becker, Sunseed Farm, Dexter, MI

12:00 noon

Session Ends

Organic Vegetable Production and Management
Thursday afternoon 1:00 pm
1:00 pm

Ecological Weed Management in Organic Vegetables
•      Eric Gallandt, Weed Ecology and Management, Univ. of Maine

1:40 pm

Permanent Beds in Organic Vegetable Systems
•      Mark Hutton, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Univ. of Maine Cooperative Extension

2:05 pm

Tarping Soil of Permanent Beds for Pest Management
•      Ryan Maher, Beginning Farmer Professional Development Coordinator, Ithaca, New York

2:25 pm

Biopesticides for Organic Production -Their effectiveness and how they work
•      Krista Coleman, Biopesticide and Organic Support, Food and Crop Grouping-IR-4 Project, Rutgers Univ., New Jersey

3:05 pm

Session Ends

Current Issues in Organic Fruit Production
Thursday afternoon 1:00 pm
Moderator: Matt Grieshop, Associate Professor of organic pest management, Dept of Entomology, MSU

1:00 pm

Organic Pomme Fruit Candidates and Trials and Tribulations of the Nursery Industry
•      Tom Callahan, Adams County Nursery, Aspers, PA

2:00 pm

Update on Organic Firelight Management
•      George Sundin, Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Dept., MSU

2:30 pm

Update on Organic Spotted Wing Drosophila Management
•      Matt Grieshop, Entomology Dept., MSU

3:00 pm

Session Ends

MSU Organic Farmer Training Program to be offered in new format!

We are excited to announce that the Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) is being offered in a new format starting in 2017. The new OFTP is a more robust learning platform for those who are committed to owning their own farm business, managing farm operations, or working with others on their path to food production and sustainable agriculture. These changes were made to increase accessibility, focus on the highest impact program components, and decrease costs for participants while providing a greater focus on technical knowledge and skills.

Content will be delivered through a mix of:
•      Lectures
•      Readings
•      Written assignments
•      Hands-on demonstrations
•      Hands-on activities
•      Farm walks
•      Visits to other Michigan farms
•      Individual advising meetings

New Program Details:

          Duration: 33 weeks of instruction, March 17th-November 17th
          Class Time: Fridays 9:00-5:00
          Program Fee: $3,600
          Location: MSU Student Organic Farm (East Lansing, Michigan)
          Scholarships Available!

Updated application materials can be found at  Limited space available. Participants are accepted on a rolling basis; early application is encouraged.

To schedule a site visit or a time to discuss the program over the phone, contact us at 517-230-7987<tel:517-230-7987> or [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Are You Ready to Dig into Agriculture as a Career?

Do you want to prepare yourself to go into farming? Have you been looking for on-farm experiences to help you explore farming as a living?

Consider applying to OEFFA's Begin Farming Apprenticeship Program<>! This program offers hands-on experience, educational sessions, and tours of exemplary farms to help you decide if farming is right for you. Also, by being a part of OEFFA's Next Farm Team, you will have unique opportunities to network with, share information, and learn alongside other beginning farmers!

As part of OEFFA's new Begin Farming Program<>, this paid apprenticeship will give you experience working on a certified organic mixed vegetable operation in central Ohio.

Apply for the 2017 growing season.  Apply by Dec 16. Click here for more info.<>

Have Your Voice Heard

USDA NOP Upcoming Meeting-And a place for you to comment via mail or in person

NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting:
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
9 am - 5 pm
Chase Park Plaza Hotel<>
212 N. Kings highway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Please join NOC for our “Pre-NOSB” meeting in St. Louis on November 15. The Pre-NOSB meeting serves as a public forum for diverse stakeholders to discuss some of the most urgent and challenging issues impacting the organic community. This year’s meeting will include discussions about how to grow domestic supply of organic, priorities for the 2018 farm bill and the new Presidential administration, the issue of contaminated compost in organic production, organic imports and more. Miles McEvoy from the USDA National Organic Program will also participate in a Q&A session during the meeting.
See the draft agenda<>.
RSVP here<mailto:[log in to unmask]> if you plan to participate.
Want to submit comments? The NOSB meeting agenda and proposals are available here<>. The deadline to submit written comments and to sign up to present oral comments<> is October 26 at 11:59 pm. Oral comments can be delivered in person during the St. Louis meetings or via a public comment webinar on Thursday, November 3.  Written comments on NOSB proposals and other topics can be submitted via the docket on<>.

NCR-SARE Seeking Nominations for Administrative Council Members
The North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is seeking nominees* for the following seats on its Administrative Council (AC) as follows:

•      One opening for a farmer or rancher representative**

* Council members must be from one of the 12 states that comprise the North Central SARE region. Those states are IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI.
** Farmer/rancher representatives must be actively engaged in farming or ranching in the North Central region.
NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council represents various agricultural sectors, states and organizations. It sets program priorities and makes granting decisions for the region. A collection of farm and non-farm residents, the Administrative Council includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in our 12 states. Council members come from regional farms and ranches, university extension and research programs, and nonprofits. In addition, the Administrative Council includes regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, state agencies, and agribusinesses.
The term for each of these SARE Administrative Council slots is three years. Council members attend two meetings a year, typically 2-3 day meetings in July and February at various Midwest locations, and also participate in a few conference calls each year. Travel expenses are fully covered for travel to Administrative Council meetings. Nominees should have a basic understanding of sustainable agriculture and be comfortable with reviewing grant proposals and participating in a group decision-making process. Please note that members of the Administrative Council are not eligible to apply for SARE funding during their time on the Administrative Council. More information about NCR-SARE and the Administrative Council is online at

To nominate yourself for a seat on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, submit the following information using our online form<> by December 1st, 2016 ( Ep6B0EneDC_8TXv7yo0J52KdzVISlt7XHVUy4/viewform<>).

•      the nominee’s areas of interest or focus in sustainable agriculture
•      why the nominee is interested in serving on NCR-SARE's Administrative Council
•      the nominee’s experience, affiliations and/or qualifications

To nominate someone else for a seat on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, please email the name and contact information for the nominee to Jean Andreasen at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> and she will contact them to solicit an application.

Nominations should be submitted online. We will acknowledge receipt of the materials and send a reply regarding the outcome of the election.

NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that run the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. Since 1988, NCR-SARE has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states. The SARE program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

NCR-SARE     Direct Phone: 612.626.3113<tel:612.626.3113>   Office Fax: 612.626.3132<tel:612.626.3132>

Please take a few minutes to impact the next few years of organic legislation.

What policies in the next Farm Bill would help advance your organic business? What has worked well (or not so well) in past Farm Bill legislation? The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is beginning its work to prepare for the 2018 Farm Bill and we need your input on these and other related questions.

Your suggestions for the 2018 Farm Bill are important now more than ever. Your feedback will be used to inform the first phase of our policy platform development. If you haven't already taken the survey, please weigh-in now<> so that our foundation is as strong and representative as it can be.

Tell us your priorities for the next Farm Bill!<>

The survey questions are mostly optional, and the results will be used directly to develop a policy platform that reflects your needs. It is essential that we consider your input as we prepare to advocate for policies that benefit organic.

Major topics that are addressed in the survey include:
•      Production and marketing barriers
•      Investment barriers
•      Quality of regulatory system
•      Research, and extension needs
•      Evaluation of past Farm Bills
•      Creative ideas for Farm Bill 2018

Scholarships, Grants & Funding Opportunities

Organic Farming Research Foundation Offers Scholarships

2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium and
Extends Deadline for Submission of Research Abstracts

September 29, 2016 - Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of attending the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS). Scholarships will be awarded based on the need and merit of applicants. Students, farmers, and researchers in the U.S. who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $350 should submit a letter of interest<> by January 5, 2017.

In addition, the deadline to submit research abstracts<> for presentation at the conference has been extended to October 15, 2016 (see details below).

The 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), takes place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (SAWG). The symposium will feature researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards. The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others interested in organic agriculture.

OFRF would like to acknowledge the generous support from Ceres Trust for this scholarship opportunity.

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)<> is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Funding Opportunities Update


You are subscribed to Funding opportunities for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program<>
In FY 2017 NIFA's CFP intends to solicit applications and fund two types of grants. The types are entitled (1) Community Food Projects (CFP) and (2) Planning Projects (PP). The primary goals of the CFP are to: Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: Equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project; Planning for long-term solutions; or The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.
Who Is Eligible to Apply: Other or Additional Information (See below)
More Information on Eligibility: Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners (see Definition in Part VIII, E.). Please refer to eligibility in the RFA.
Request for Applications<>
Apply For Grant<>
Posted Date: Friday, October 7, 2016
Closing Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-CFP-006084
Estimated Total Program Funding: $8,640,000

 Ann M. Smith
Grants & Research Administrator
Michigan State University Extension

Multi-State Rural Development Research or Extension Projects
North Central Region Seed Grants

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University announces a competition for seed grants aimed at enhancing the ability of Land Grant institutions to positively influence the quality of life in rural areas of the twelve-state North Central region of the United States. Priority areas for the Center’s work include:

·       Innovation diffusion for rural development
·       Sustainable communities
·       Leadership development
·       Entrepreneurial communities

More complete descriptions of these themes are available on the Center’s web site at:

In addition to these priority areas, feedback from NCRCRD constituency, the Center has an equal interest in supporting work in the following areas:
·       Rural poverty
·       Addressing physical and mental health challenges
·       Demographic change

Grant awards may range from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Up to $144,000 will be awarded. The Center does not pay overhead or other administrative costs.

Proposals are due at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, February 2, 2017. Proposals received after the application window closes will be reviewed by the NCRCRD director only (not referees) and not considered for funding in this cycle.

For anyone who has questions regarding submitting a proposal or the proposal process, we have scheduled a Q/A conference call for Thursday, November 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM-Eastern Time and Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM - Eastern Time.  To sign up and receive the call in information email [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Award recommendations will be made at the NCRCRD Board meeting planned for late spring, 2017.  Project PIs will be notified of the board recommendations shortly after the meeting.  Board award recommendations will be forwarded to USDA for consent and approval, subject to budget availability, and finally processed by the Michigan State University grants office.  Projects funded under the NCRCRD small grants process are expected to begin in early- to mid-fall 2017 (exact start date to be determined by MSU grants office), and will be completed within 12 months of the start date.  Details and how to apply go to:

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
Michigan State University
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
446 W. Circle Drive, Room 66
East Lansing, MI 48824

Handling Equipment Financial Support from USDA
Portable Equipment Can Help Producers, including Small-Scale and Local Farmers, Get Products to Market Quickly

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets.
The program also offers a new “microloan” option, which allows applicants seeking less than $50,000 to qualify for a reduced down payment of five percent and no requirement to provide three years of production history. Farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible. The microloan option is expected to be of particular benefit to smaller farms and ranches, and specialty crop producers who may not have access to commercial storage or on-farm storage after harvest. These producers can invest in equipment like conveyers, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store commodities before delivering them to markets. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.

Earlier this year, FSA significantly expanded the list of commodities eligible for Farm Storage Facility Loan. Eligible commodities now include aquaculture; floriculture; fruits (including nuts) and vegetables; corn, grain sorghum, rice, oilseeds, oats, wheat, triticale, spelt, buckwheat, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas, sugar, peanuts, barley, rye, hay, honey, hops, maple sap, unprocessed meat and poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and renewable biomass. FSFL microloans can also be used to finance wash and pack equipment used post-harvest, before a commodity is placed in cold storage.
To learn more about Farm Storage Facility Loans, visit or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit<>.

Organic Farm Equipment in Region for Sale
Posting on behalf of formally certified organic OEFFA farmers who have made the decision to retire.  Please share with others. If you are interested, or want additional information, please contact Chris at 407-733-5444; [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>


1.Case 1190/10 S/N 11033742, 1169 HRS.1 outlet hydraulic and electrical, top link and draw bar.$4500.00
2. Case 1390/18 S/N 11121979  3629 HRS with quick attach loader and spare pallet forks,2 outlet hydraulics(Fasse), 1 electrical outlet, top link, draw bar. $7500.00
3. Spider seeder sponge type with Planet Jr. Seeders 3 row mounted on tool bar with gauge wheels dual purpose very fine seeds to large row crop. 1 extra planet jr. seeder. $2550.00
4. Land Pride 84 " scraper blade Model 35. $800.00
5. John Deere Grain Drill Model FB A, S/N 5610. $350.00
6. Duplex Stainless Steel Sand Filters Fresno 24" Automatic self-cleaning DC power, with minimum back pressure valve, and 3" rate of flow flowmeter. $4500.00
7. Dearborn 2 Bottom Plow Model 10-161 $175.00
8. Single shank ripper. $150.00
9. Dibble tool bar mounted with gauge wheels 3-row.Simular to water wheel design. $450.00
10. Perfecta II Unverferth harrow size 72 ". $800
11. John Deere Disc 8'. $600.00
12. International Model 56 5 shank chisel plow. $850.00
13. Compost Tea Brewer 250 gallon tank. $950.00
14. Irrigation Moisture Sensors 7-12" Irrometers (2 new), 2-18" Irrometers (1 new), Service Kit, several  spare  gauges. $375.00
15. Walk-in Cooler Refrigeration Unit sized for 12'x12',Condenser Unit Copeland RS70C1-PFV-101 220V/1/60; Evaporator Bohn UK1000A 115V/1/60; Control valve. $750.00
16. Hand Box Stapler. $50.00
17. Chemical Injector Dosmatic MiniDos 12 ratio's 200 to 4000 PPM.  $275.00
18. Mini Compost Tea Brewer 5 gallon bucket type. $95.00
19. Miscellaneous:   many greenhouse items; field harvest tools.
20. Grow/Germ Chamber 115v1/60 digital temperature control holds 55 trays can expand to 110.$850.0
21. Imants Spader 35SB210 like new condition. $9250.00
22. Allis-Chalmers G, two sets of rolling basket weeders, 1-row cultivator, plastic bed cultivator.$5150.00
23. 1978 Dodge W-30, 360, PS, 9 foot lift bed, 8 ½ foot snow plow, chains, manual hi-low shift-$3250.00

CONTACT:   CHRIS   407-733-5444
EMAIL:   [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Vicki Morrone
Organic Farming Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems
480 Wilson Rd Rm 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-282-3557 (cell)<>
sorrone11 SKYPE

Vicki Morrone
Organic Farming Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems
480 Wilson Rd Rm 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-282-3557 (cell)<>
sorrone11 SKYPE