Michigan Organic Listserv

Feb 16, 2019

Center for Regional Food Systems

Questions or contributions?  Contact Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]) 517-282-3557

News to help you and your farm grow!


Educational Events

Hoophouse Management and Marketing 

Saturday, February 23, 2019, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
North Central Michigan College, HESC (Science) building 

1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI 49770

1:00 Registration

1:15 Speakers:
•    Erin Caudell, MIFMA; Pricing for wholesale and market sales.
•    Brian Bates,  Bear Creek Organic Farm; Lean farming for profit and prosperity.
•    Susan Sharp, Open Sky Organic Farm; Flowers and specialty herbs.

Business advisors will be available for consultation 


Register online

Fee: $20

For more information call or email Larry Dyer: 231-881-2784 or [log in to unmask]


This field day is a collaboration with Crosshatch, www.crosshatch.org, and the Local Food Alliance with funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency. 

The USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider

Information or questions contact: Larry Dyer-231-881-2784



Join us for the fifth annual Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference, February 28 - March 2 at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan!


The conference will feature an introductory preconference for beginners on February 28th, individual hop and barley tracks covering advanced topics on March 1st, and an exciting plenary session as well as two post conference tour options on March 2nd.  We are also excited to again partner with the Michigan Brewers Guild for a special networking reception for attendees.


The hop track will feature John Taberna (Western Labs) discussing soil and plant nutrient testing and management, Doug Walsh (Washington State University) taking a deep dive into mite biology and management, presentations by the Hop Quality Group and Hop Growers of Michigan, as well as many Michigan State University specialists covering topics ranging from disease management to nutrient leaching.


The barley track will include a presentation on malting grains for function and flavor by Aaron MacLeod (Center for Craft Food and Beverage, NY), information on barley contracts by Ryan Hamilton (Michigan Barley Association), the 2018 barley quality report from Christian Kapp (MSU), and numerous research reports by MSU specialists.


The combined plenary session will feature a value chain, sales and marketing panel with industry experts, a sensory panel training with Roy Desrochers (Tufts University), and an exciting cover crops presentation by world renowned expert Dr. George Bird (MSU).


During the registration process, participants will be asked to select their preferred track for Friday in order to determine space needs at the facility.


February 28: Optional Pre-Conference Session - Introduction to Hop and Barley Production

March 1: Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference - Keynote presentation, Hop Track, Barley & Malt Track, Michigan Brewers Guild Reception

March 2: Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference - Plenary session including sensory training and cover crop presentation (Morning)

March 2: Option Tour - MI Local Hops or Great Lakes Malting Company (Afternoon)


Register today by clicking below.   




J Robert Sirrine, Ph.D.

Senior Educator

Michigan State University Extension

Suite 107, 8527 E. Government Center Dr.

Suttons Bay, MI 49682


[log in to unmask]





Mixing Forages for Sustainability

Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference

March 5, 2019 9:00 A.M. -- 4:00 P.M.


Join forage producers, grazers, custom forage harvesters, agribusinesses, MSU Extension Specialists and Educators for this annual conference and trade show.


Location of Event: 

AgroLiquid - 3055 W. M-21 - St. Johns, MI 48879

(1.5 miles W. of Old 127)


9:00 - 9:45 Registration & Trade Show Open


10:00 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ray Smith   "Combining Reduced Lignin Alfalfa with Cool Season Grasses”


11:00 MFC Mini Grant Results

Grazing Residual Height Comparison, 1 vs 4_” _. - Boyd Byelich and

Methods of Enhancing Summer Pasture Sods with Warm Season Annuals - Dick Divelbiss


11:20 Forage Research Update  Dr. Kim Cassida, MSU

Noon - Lunch


12:30 Michigan Forage Council Annual Meeting


1:00 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ray Smith “Optimizing Pasture Grass Productivity” University of Kentucky -Professor & Forage Extension Specialist –


1:45 Forage Spokesperson Contest - A showcase of Michigan forage producers vying for the opportunity to represent Michigan at the 2020 AFGC Conference.


2:30 Tradeshow Break


3:00 Hay Drying Techniques   Producer & Industry Panel Discussion


4:00 Adjourn


To register go to: MSU ANR Events Management https://events.anr.msu.edu/2019GLFGC/  or call 810-667-0341


Early registration deadline:   Friday, March 1, 2019

(Those without Internet call Lapeer MSU Extension) - 810-667-0341

After March 1 all registrations will be at the door

Sponsored by the Michigan Forage Council, NC SARE and Michigan State University Extension.


2019 Michigan Farmers Market Conference
March 5-6 | East Lansing, MI

>> Register for 2019 Michigan Farmers Market Conference Now!

Join us for March 5-6, 2019 for the Michigan Farmers Market Conference: Roadmap to Resiliency! at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

This annual conference focuses on bringing together the numerous individuals necessary to create and support a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products in Michigan including market managers, farmers, vendors, educators, volunteers, non-profit and municipal employees, as well as an array of persons involved in local food systems work. Engaging educational sessions, roundtable discussions, as well as excellent networking.


The cost to attend is $150 for MIFMA members (or $100 for and exhibitor opportunities will offer up-to-date information on timely topics related to farmers market cultivation and management.  one day only) or $300 for non-members (or $200 for one day.  

Refund Policy: Conference registration fees are fully refundable up to 14 days prior to the event. No refunds will be given after that date.


Starting and Sustaining a School Garden

Register at:  events.anr.msu.edu

Participants will learn about starting a school garden and how to keep it going. The theme for the conference this year is "Exploring Seasons in the Garden."

 Payment can be made by credit card or check. An invoice will be emailed immediately after registration is completed. If paying by check please mail check to address on invoice. The registration deadline is Friday, April 26, 2019.  For information about partial scholarships, contact Kristine Hahn (248) 802-4590 or [log in to unmask]


Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341 



Farming for the Future - March 20, 2019


8:30-3pm. VanBuren Conference Center, Must register but free event!



We have finalized our meeting agenda and we are excited to share it with you! Registration is required and lunch is included for this free event. There are 6 RUPs and MAEAP Phase 1 available. 


We have great topics lined up for this year’s conference. We are bringing in Gary Zimmer as our Keynote speaker to talk about how carbon drives nutrients in our soils. He will also discuss incorporating composts, biologicals and cover crops into your current system. Other topics include: improved sprayer technology, organic transition, DEQ permits for wetlands, Lessons from a farmer on building soil health and how to prevent agriculture’s next SWD.



8:30 A.M.

Registration & Refreshments


9:00 A.M.

Welcome & Introductions; VBCD Programs



9:30 A.M.


Biological Farming: How to make it work for your farm

Keynote Speaker: Gary Zimmer (Midwestern BioAg)



11:00 A.M.


Breakout A: Do I need a permit from DEQ to farm here? Wetland rules and regulations for farmers (Derek Haroldson & Amy Berry, MDEQ)



Breakout B: Best practices for grain spraying: more spray where you want it,

less where you don’t! (Mark Ledebuhr, Application Insight, LLC)







Breakout A: Best practices and cutting-edge tech for fruit and vegetable sprays (Mark Ledebuhr, Application Insight, LLC)



Breakout B: Lessons from a farmer: One farm’s evolution toward soil health (Brock Gobrogge, Dykhuis Farms)











Breakout A: How to prevent the next SWD - Lessons from Pennsylvania management of Spotted Lanternfly and other invasive pests (Heather Leach, Penn State Extension).  



Breakout B: Transition to organic farming – the “What,” “Why” and “How” (Mark Seeley, On Mark Certification Services & Joel Layman, J D Layman Farms)




2:50 P.M.




You can find more information or to sign up go here: https://vanburencd.org/event/farming-for-the-future-2019/

Or give us a call at 269-657-4030 x 5




Starting and Sustaining a School Garden:  Exploring Seasons in the Garden May 10 8-3:30 Tollgate Educational Center


This conference is designed for hands-on teachers, parents & volunteers involved in school gardens.


The conference will be held on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Tollgate Education Center and Farm located at 28115 Meadowbrook Road Novi, MI 48377.  


The registration fee is $85.00 for the entire day and includes lunch.  

Online registration is available at https://events.anr.msu.edu/SchoolGarden2019/



Save The Date…July 26, 2019


2019 MSU Ag Innovations Day; Focus on Precision Technology that Pays 


The event is July 26, 2019 at University Farms in East Lansing, Michigan.   With a theme of “Focus on Precision Technology That Pays,” experts will detail how implementing technology that aids in decision-making can improve yields, increase profit margins and reduce environmental impacts. 


The free event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., features nine field-based sessions focused on specific issues and includes lunch.

To find additional information on the event and to register please visit: visit https://www.canr.msu.edu/msu_agriculture_innovation_day/




Grant Opportunities


Funds for School Gardens

We are pleased to announce a new garden grant opportunity for school and early care and education sites:


The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program is now accepting applications for the 2019 grant year.


With funding from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Michigan State University Extension will award approximately 20 grants for schools or early care and education sites that are planning or implementing school garden programming. Grant awards will range from $500 - $1,500. In addition to funding, grantees will receive technical assistance, training and connection to a network of peers.


The grant year is from April 8th, 2019 – April 7th, 2020.


The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program offers planning and implementation grants to schools or early care and education sites located in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The application must be submitted by an employee of the school or ECE site affiliated with the garden.


Note: For schools located in Detroit, we are partnering with local organizations which currently provide support to school gardens, including the Detroit Public School Community District’s Office of Nutrition and Keep Growing Detroit to avoid duplicative efforts and maximize resources available to schools. We encourage schools to connect with these organizations (links below) and consider the resources offered before applying for this grant. We hope this grant will offer opportunities to complement these resources and contribute to sustainability of the network of resources available in the City.


Planning grants help schools and early care and education sites that are in the beginning phases of creating a school garden. Planning grantees will create a school garden action plan and form a school garden team by the end of the grant period.


Implementation grants help schools and early care and education sites that are ready to establish a school garden or will expand their school garden program. Expansion can include expanding the physical garden, curriculum implemented, students reached or other program additions. Having a school garden team is a prerequisite to apply for an implementation grant. Implementation grantees will create a school garden sustainability plan to maintain the garden and activities beyond the grant period.  


Please visit the Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant page for more details regarding the grant program, eligibility, and requirements.



Applications are due on Monday, February 25th at 5pm.



Questions or additional information?


Kaitlin Koch Wojciak

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

21885 Dunham, Suite 12

Clinton Township, MI 48036

Work: 586-469-6088

Cell: 313-695-7746



Work Opportunities

Michigan Food Corps Openings!

A great opportunity to share, gain valuable experience and demonstrate your passion and abilities!


The application portal for 2019-2020 FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Members is now open through March 15, 2020. Members for the program year must, at a minimum, serve 1,700 allowable hours between August 1, 2019 and July 15, 2020.

FoodCorps offers service positions in 18 states and cities, including communities throughout AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC metro area, GA, HI, IA, ME, MA, MI, MS, MT, NJ, NM, NYC, NC, and OR. To see a list of our State Partners, please visit FoodCorps Service Sites . 

In Michigan, we currently serve in the following communities: Battle Creek, Boyne Falls, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Muskegon, Pellston, Suttons Bay, and Traverse City. For a description of these sites, visit: FoodCorps Michigan Website . If applying for a Michigan placement, be sure to select the state as a preferred location on your application.

Who We Are

In order to successfully complete your term of service, you must, at a minimum, serve 1,700 allowable hours between August 1, 2019 and July 15, 2020.


FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. We do that by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Serving under the direction of local partner organizations, our service members focus on three areas of service:

·      Hands-on learning: students grow, cook, and taste new foods, which builds their skills and changes food preferences

·      Healthy school meals: the cafeteria experience steers students towards the healthiest options and gets them excited to try new healthy foods

·      Schoolwide culture of health: as a whole, the school community and environment – from hallways to classrooms to cafeteria to grounds – celebrates healthy food. We measure our success in terms of changes in children, schools, and systems.

What We’re Looking For

•        Passion for building a healthier future for schoolchildren

•        Commitment to working hard in order to make a difference

•        Demonstrated leadership ability

•        Motivation to serve full-time in a limited resource community

•        Perseverance in the face of challenges and creativity in finding solutions

•        Respect for diversity of opinion, experience, and background

•        Experience working in or studying food systems, agriculture, public health, education, community organizing, or public service

•        Experience working or volunteering in education, youth development, or other teaching settings

•        Knowledge of the culture, history, and/or language of the communities we serve

•        Desire to gain hands-on experience for your career

•        Demonstrated ability or dedication to performing the activities listed below


To be considered for a FoodCorps service member position, you must:

•        Be 18 years or older by the start of your service term

•        Be a legal, permanent resident of the United States

•        Hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent

What You’ll Do

Service members work with schools, service site organizations and local communities to build healthy school food environments. They do this in a variety of ways:

What You’ll Gain

·      $18,250 living stipend paid out in biweekly increments over your 11-month term

·      $6,095 AmeriCorps Segal education award upon successful completion of your term of service, which can be used for additional schooling or to pay off student loans

·      Student loan deferral or forbearance upon approval from your lender

·      Health insurance if you aren't already covered

·      If you have children, you might be eligible for childcare reimbursements

·      Numerous training and professional development opportunities

·      The experience of a lifetime!

For More Information

Contact FoodCorps Michigan Program Coordinator Ana Cristina Cujar - [log in to unmask]

Apply Today!


Addell Austin Anderson | FoodCorps

Michigan Program Director

440 Burroughs Street
Suite 306
Detroit, MI 48202

[log in to unmask]


(313) 241-7203



Promote an Outstanding Farmer or Educator for NCR SARE Hero!


SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension) North Central Program is seeking nomination for their 2019 NCR SARE Hero!! These are persons who have done great work toward promoting sustainable agriculture in their communities.


In recent past Michigan was the home to two of NCR SARE Heroes, Dr. Dale Mutch (the “cover crop king” for Michigan and Dr. George Bird “The nematode guru”.  If you have a person that you would like to nominate please take a moment and sent their name and info to North Central SARE by March 20, 2019.


To bring awareness of, recognize, and pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sustainable agriculture in the North Central region, the North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting nominations for the “NCR-SARE Hero” recognition.

Recommendations received by the end of the day on March 20, 2019 will be considered for the 2019 recognition. The NCR-SARE Hero recognition will be announced in July 2019.

Coordinated by the NCR-SARE Alumni Organization, the recognition will acknowledge the leadership, vision, contributions, and impact that these heroes have made in the field of sustainable agriculture in the region. The NCR-SARE Hero Award recognizes individuals (living or deceased) who have:

  1. provided service to NCR-SARE and/or national SARE,
  2. shown leadership in sustainable agriculture locally and regionally, and
  3. made lasting impacts to sustainability in the North Central region. 

Nominations may be submitted by anyone. The official nomination form is available on the NCR-SARE website: https://www.northcentralsare.org/About-Us/Regional-Initiatives/NCR-SARE-Hero-Recognition-Program. The NCR-SARE Alumni Heroes Committee will review and recommend candidates to the NCR-SARE Administrative Council. Applications received will be kept on file and retained for future consideration.

NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that administer the SARE program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. Since 1988, NCR-SARE has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.





Vicki Morrone

Organic Farming Specialist

Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-282-3557 (cell)

[log in to unmask]


sorrone11 (skype)



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