Michigan Organic Listserv

December 21 2017

Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU

Offered to you by Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask])


Upcoming Conferences

Take advantages of early bird fees if you can. Register early. Hopefully all your crops are harvested to give you some free time. These conferences offer not only great hands-on type of education but networking opportunities that can’t be beat!  Look forward to meeting you at one of these events!


A very Happy Holidays and prosperous New Year- May all have the opportunity access to good food that all our dedicated farmers provide!


Organic Intensives is Just Two Weeks Away

Organic Intensives—January 6th!

Click here to register for this great educational program. Do so by Dec 15 for Early Bird Discount!


MOFFA's major educational event for 2018 is less than six weeks away!  Saturday, January 6th, is the day, the MSU Plant and Soil Sciences building in East Lansing is the place, and the time to register is NOW .  We have three information-filled sessions planned ...




We know you're busy at this time of year, but it will just take a minute to register

for Organic Intensives — a full day of intensive learning on your choice of three topics

that could alter the course of your growing year:



Option 1. Small to Medium Scale Livestock for the Integrated Farm


Nationally recognized poultry and livestock nutritionist Jeff Mattocks, Aaron Brower of Bluestem Farm, and Leah and Jessie Smith of Nodding Thistle Farm are eager to share their substantial experience with poultry and livestock on their very diversified farms. 


Option 2. Diverse Grain Options for Farms and Homesteads


Indiana seed producer John Sherck as well as Vicki Zilke, Megan Goldenberg, and Ashley McFarland will discuss growing, harvesting, and processing grains including oats, barley, wheat, spelt, sorghum and even rice, for both homestead and farm-scale production.


Option 3.  Organic Transplant Production


John Biernbaum and Collin Thompson will share their many years of experience with all aspects of growing strong organic starts and microgreens, as well as the prospect of marketing both throughout the year as an additional income stream.



A limited number of scholarships are still available — full-cost subsidies for those who are involved in educating others, made possible by a grant from SARE, and scholarships which cover all but $25 of the cost for anyone who needs assistance, made possible by George and Anne Bird.  For more information please email us.



Copyright © 2017 Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or through our email to you.

Our mailing address is:

Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance

PO Box 26102

Lansing, MI 48909




Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) to Host 2018 Market Manager Certificate Program

Registration is open for the 2018 Market Manager Certificate Program (MMCP), hosted by Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA). This voluntary program takes place in January and February and is designed to encourage farmers market managers to pursue leadership skills and professional development in topics essential to market management.

Date & Location:
The full program includes three in-person sessions and seven webinars, totaling more than 32 hours of education. Michigan will host two sites, a primary location in Kalamazoo and a satellite location in Benzonia. The three in-person sessions will be held on Friday, January 19 and Saturday, January 20 and will conclude with peer-to-peer presentations on Saturday, February 17. Webinars will take place each Monday and Wednesday between January 22 and February 12.

About the MMCP:
By participating in the program, attendees have the opportunity to network with other managers while focusing on topics such as business planning, managing market growth, market governance, policy and enforcement, communication strategies, financial management, fundraising and more. Individuals who complete the full program are awarded a certificate acknowledging that they are professionally trained farmers market managers. The MMCP is the first program of its kind in the nation, and since it began in 2011, the program has certified 239 market managers from across the Midwest.

The cost of registration for the full program is $300 for MIFMA members. You can become a MIFMA member or renew your membership by visiting

Individuals not looking to be certified but who would like to participate in one or more of the webinars can do so by registering for each webinar separately. The cost per webinar is $20 for MIFMA members and $50 for non-members. 

Those looking to participate in either the full program or individual webinars can register online at

With questions about the program, please contact Emily Beutel at [log in to unmask] or call 517-432-3381.



2018 Michigan Family Farms Conference

Welcome to the 15th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference: Cultivating a Thriving Food Community… From the Soil on Up! This conference offers beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. It is an energizing, hands-on event customized for this important audience. We hope you will join us!

We are excited for all the great presenters this year including specialty crop production, labor laws, and how to choose a market. Join us on February 3, 2017 for this dynamic conference with Key Note Speaker Monica White, Sociology professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and alumnus of Western Michigan University.

Dr. Monica White’s research focus on communities of color and grassroots organizations involved in the development of sustainable community food systems. She is author of several publications including; Sisters of the Soil: Urban Gardening as Resistance Among Black Women in Detroit” and D-Town Farm: African American Resistance to Food Insecurity and the Transformation of Detroit.  She is currently working on her first book, Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, 1880-2010 which summarizes and compares contemporary urban agriculture with the historical legacies of African American farmers fighting to acquire access to land.  Using historical and contemporary examples, Freedom Farmers examines the development of farmers’ cooperatives as strategies of resistance, and documents the ways that these organizations, in general, and Black farmers specifically, have contributed to the Black Freedom Movement.

Register here!


[log in to unmask]" v:shapes="Straight_x0020_Connector_x0020_1">Full Conference Schedule - At a Glance

Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference - Saturday, January 27

7:00 am Registration opens

8:00 am Trade show opens

8:30 to 9:45 am NMSFC: concurrent session 1

9:45 to 10:30 am Refreshment + networking break (Don't miss the Seed Share Lounge in the lower level!)

10:30 to 11:45 am NMSFC: concurrent session 2

12:00 to 1:30 pm Lunch + trade show (Don't miss the Seed Share Lounge in the lower level!)

1:30 to 2:45 pm NMSFC: concurrent session 3

2:45 to 3:30 pm Refreshment + networking break (Don't miss the Seed Share Lounge in the lower level!)

3:30 to 4:45 pm NMSFC: concurrent session 4 + 

4:30 to 5:00 pm Trade show + networking

5:00 pm Trade show closes, conference concludes

Farm School - Friday, January 26

8:30 am Registration opens

10:30 am Trade Show opens (New: Two-Day Trade Show!)

9:15 to 10:45 am FS: concurrent session 1

10:45 to 11:00 am Refreshment + networking break (Be sure to check out the Trade Show  - open at 10:30!)

11:00 am to 12:30 pm FS: concurrent session 2

12:30 to 1:45 pm Lunch

1:45 to 3:15 pm FS: concurrent session 3

3:15 to 3:30 pm Refreshment + networking break

3:30 to 5:00 pm Farm School: concurrent session 4

Keynote and Reception

5:00 to 7:00 pm Opening night cocktails and Networking in the Trade Show

6:30 pm Doors open for Keynote

7:00 pm Keynote: Richard Wiswall

8:30 pm Social dance + live music with The Hardy Dam Ramblers

Download the Registration Brochure for full agenda, session descriptions, and speaker bios in a printer-friendly format. Register Here!



Northwest Michigan Small Farm Conference

Registration is now open for the 19th Annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. The event, which brings over 1,000 farmers and national and statewide experts to Northern Michigan for a weekend of learning and networking, will be held on January 26-27, 2018 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City.  The schedule includes Friday’s Farm School, featuring Dave Jacke, Ben Hartman, and others teaching advanced sessions in three separate tracks, a two-day trade show, a seed-share lounge, renown author Richard Wiswall delivering the Friday evening keynote followed by networking and social activities.


Get your tickets soon —Online registration closes January 19. Learn more and register at




Winter-time reading

This is the time to catch up and plan for next season. Between attending educational conferences, discussing ideas with other farmers, getting your paper work in order, perhaps there is a little time for previewing some new books and papers on topics you hope to improve upon in next year’s farm plan. Here are some suggestions.  If you have books or articles you would like to share please send the complete titles and if there is a WEB link offer that too. We can learn from each other in many ways, and this is just another approach.


New Publication Features Hedgerow Plants to Attract Helpful Insects


The recent ATTRA publication, "A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects," is a meticulously photographed pictorial guide to numerous beneficial hedgerow plant species used in farm-scaping for native pollinators and insect predators and parasites in California. It provides plant names, on-farm photo documentation, bloom times, heights, and descriptions that note considerations for selection and establishment.

You can download the publication for free at


ATTRA has related resources to check out as well. Here are a few:

"Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control"

"IPM Field Guide"

"Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources"



Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers a new WEB site

This site features organic information including stories shared by organic famers across the U.S.  Check it out. It includes organic webinars but what I think will be most useful is up to date information about the NRCS programs that are targeted specifically to orgonic farmers like cost share on cover crops and buffers program with funds just for organic farmers. Visit the site and see what’s useful to you. 


Job Opportunities

Position Announcement

Green Lands Blue Waters Director


Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture &

Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics

 College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities


Position:         Director, 100% time, 12-month Academic Professional/Administrative

                        Job opening ID:  321191


Closing Date:  Applicants will be reviewed starting January 19, 2018, and continuing until a suitable candidate is identified.


Location         MISA/Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics

                        College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

                        University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108



This position will direct and strengthen mission-consistent activities for the overall multi-state Green Lands, Blue Waters Initiative and Steering Committee:


·       Manage communications to grow and maintain positive working relationships across members in six states in the upper Midwest and the Gulf Coast,

·       Serve as a compelling spokesperson for the Initiative at meetings and events,

·       Develop presentation and communication materials. 



The Green Lands, Blue Waters initiative is a consortium of land grant universities, non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies working to support development of and transition to a new generation of agricultural systems in the Mississippi River Basin and beyond that integrate more perennial plants and other continuous living cover crops into the agricultural landscape. The initiative is currently active in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana and operates at multiple scales of watershed, state and basin levels.  A goal of the initiative is to develop and promote profitable enterprises based on the products of continuous living cover systems that contribute to farm profitability while improving water quality.  This will be done through education, outreach, research, and policy development in conjunction with the project partners and participants.  More information about the GLBW initiative, including an overall strategic plan and working group strategies, can be found at:

 This position is dependent upon successful year to year fundraising and has been 100% funded from 2010 to present.  We currently have funds secured for one year with a second year of funding expected; confirmation of the second year funding will be confirmed by mid-summer 2018.


Required Qualifications:


Desired Qualifications


Reporting: This position will report to MISA's Executive Director. 


Salary:  Commensurate with background and level of experience.


Application: Submit a cover letter, resume, names and contact information of three references, and brief writing sample electronically on the U of MN web site ( by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday January 18, 2018. Review of applications will begin on January 19 and will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.


For further information, please contact Helene Murray, MISA Executive Director; [log in to unmask], 612-625-0220.  The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.


Aaron Reser

Watershed Initiative Coordinator, Green Lands Blue Waters

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

University of Minnesota

411 Borlaug Hall

1991 Upper Buford Circle

St. Paul, MN 55108-6026


NOW HIRING: Interns for 2018 Season


Granor Farm, located in Three Oaks, MI, is a 27-acre farm growing a wide

variety of organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, and grains. We also have a

small flock of laying hens and ducks. Granor is Environmentally Verified

through the State of Michigan MAEAP program, and has 10 acres under USDA

organic certification through OEFFA.  We market through an on-farm store, CSA

program, local farmer’s markets, and area restaurants/grocery stores. We offer

extensive programming including weekly Taste of Granor dinners (made by our

in-house chef), workshops, yoga, and a children’s farm camp. We are currently

expanding our grain operation and have a relationship with a local organic

distillery to produce a 100% organic rye whiskey. Granor is located in the

heart of SW Michigan's Harbor Country, close to Lake Michigan beaches and

vibrant small towns, just 90 miles from Chicago.


Job Description:

Granor Farm is seeking 2-4 interns to join the farm approximately May-October,

but we are willing to adjust the length of stay for the right candidate.


Interns work approx. 50-60 hours per week, and will participate in all aspects

of organic vegetable production, from seed to market. This includes weeding,

watering, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, post-harvest handling, customer

service, working farmer’s markets and farmstand, greenhouse and hoop house

management, general farm chores, and care of hens and ducks. Weekend work is

required and there will be farm chores every day of the week.


The main goal of this internship is to offer the opportunity for interns to

gain a season’s worth of experience on an organic farm. There is an

opportunity to participate in the farm-to-table dining experience with our

chef, including processing value-added food, assisting with the dinner

program, and other programming during the season. We welcome an intern’s

interest in additional special projects, but these should be proposed before

the internship start date.



Willingness to work 50-60 hours/week outdoors and in all weather conditions.

Interns help with farm chores which happen every day of the week.

Ability to regularly lift up to 50 lbs. Bending, standing and lifting for long

periods of time is part of the job.

A qualified candidate will possess a strong work ethic, positive attitude,

physical fitness and a good sense of humor.

Absolutely must be a non-smoker

Have a valid driver’s license, must be 18 years or older



We offer farm training, on-farm housing, two staff meals a week (made by our

in-house chef), produce from the farm, as well as a generous monthly stipend.

(Sorry, our intern housing options do not allow us to accommodate couples/

families or interns' pets).


Please email your resume and three references along with a brief statement

about why you’d like to work on an organic farm to [log in to unmask] . Also

include your start and end date availability.


To learn more about our farm visit or visit us on Facebook

and Instagram.





Vicki Morrone-Organic Farming Specialist

Center for Regional Food Systems

480 Wilson Rd

Rm 313

East Lansing, MI 48824


[log in to unmask]


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