Michigan Organic Listserv

Center for Regional Food Systems

August 13, 2019

Desk of Vicki Morrone [log in to unmask]


What’s on offer?

Educational programs

        Cover Crop walks

        MOFFA Farm Tours

Food safety training for farmers

Employment Opportunity

        Farm Manager at Goshen College Environmental Center



2019 MSU Extension Cover Crop Field Walks


Do you want to know about cover crop varieties and how they grow?

You can see over 30 varieties growing on farm. Michigan State University Extension Cover Crop Team has demonstration sites established across Michigan and each one is hosting a field day. So get ready to make your soil happy and grow a cover crop at any time-there’s a variety for every season!!   Hope you can join us for one or more!


As dates get closer, see our website at

MSU Extension Cover Crops Team will be hosting, or partnering on, a series of field days

and field walks, looking at a variety of cover crops and how they work in cropping systems.

This is an opportunity for producers and agriculture professionals to visit field sites to

observe and discuss cover crop use, management, benefits, and challenges with MSU

Extension educators and producers in various locations throughout Michigan.

*all times in EST unless

otherwise noted


Registration now open. Please share with your networks!


Registration link:




MOFFA Farm Tours 2019

Register Now!

Nature & Nurture — Organic Vegetable, Mushroom, and Seed Production Farm 
7100 Marshall Road, Dexter, MI
Sunday August 18, 2:00 - 5:00
For almost two decades, Erica Kempter and Mike Levine have operated a residential landscaping service and plant nursery, specializing in edible and native gardens, while also growing and marketing organic, log-grown shiitake mushrooms. On this tour, discover an organic seed production farm, plus experience their fruit orchard and see how they produce gourmet shiitake mushrooms.


Compostponics and Vermicompost: New Perspectives
3291 College Road, Holt, MI
Saturday, Aug. 24, 3:00 - 6:00
This tour, conducted by John Biernbaum, will focus on methods of making compost for organic growing in containers and raised beds, growing vegetables and herbs in containers and raised beds, and making vermicompost for fertility and microbiology.  We have been producing 15 to 20 cubic yards of vermicompost in a high tunnel for the last five years and are excited to demonstrate this simple method that does not require screening out worms.


Plymouth Orchards & Cider Mill — Certified Organic Orchard, Grain, Produce, and Cut Flower Farm Tour and Workshops
10685 Warren Road, Plymouth, MI
Thursday August 29, 1:00 - 5:00

The afternoon will begin with two great workshops: Matt Sattelberg and Harold Wilkens will discuss large scale organic grain, corn, soybean and dry bean farming and organic milling; John Edgerton will present the results of the trials he has been conducting with small grains (including upland rice) on his farm in west Michigan. Participants will also tour the 8-acre vegetable farm and the 100-acre orchard, both certified organic, and taste some of the season's first apple cider.


Crane Dance — Multi-species Rotationally Grazed Livestock Farm
4601 N. Johnson Road, Middleville, MI
Monday, September 16, 4:00 - 7:00
The farmers at Crane Dance, Jill Johnson and Mary Wills, raise GMO-free, pasture raised pork, turkeys and chicken eggs as well as 100% grassfed beef and lamb.  They are passionate about the connection of their farm to the heath of the planet, their livestock and people. They believe that their farming philosophies and techniques are better for the earth, better for the animals, and, ultimately, better for the humans. Participants may visit the animals and talk with the farmers about their sustainable, regenerative, pasture-based farm practices. 


For more information and to register:


MOFFA's farm tours, and our other educational activities, are made possible by our members. Half of us are farmers, and just over half of the farmers are certified organic. The rest are people who are involved with the food system through their employment (30%), and people who just plain care about what they eat (20%). If you are not already a member, we invite you to join us in working to achieve our vision of a vibrant and diverse community working together for healthy food that is available to everyone and for agricultural practices that support the long-term viability of our ecosystem.


Farmworker Produce Safety Training Tools for English-speaking Managers


This free workshop will train farm managers and crew leaders to conduct successful produce safety training programs that meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and contribute to a positive workplace culture that supports produce safety.





Who should attend:

Crew leaders, managers, designated farm food safety individuals, owners and anyone responsible for farmworker training and day-to-day management of employees engaged in harvesting, packing or other produce handling tasks


Locations and dates:

Monday, August 19 at Fox Farms 

500 18th Ave, Shelby, MI 49455


Tuesday, August 27 at Edible Flint Educational Farm 

1638 Beach St., Flint, MI 48503


For more information contact:

Mariel Borgman

[log in to unmask]



Garrett Ziegler

[log in to unmask]



Register at:


Employment Opportunities


Farm Manager at Goshen College at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center.  The Merry Lea Sustainable Farm is an educational, demonstration, and experimental farm specializing in perennial agriculture, carbon farming, regenerative agriculture, food literacy, and environmental education.


Our #3 nationally-ranked college farm is set within a 100-acre landscape that includes pastures, woods, prairie, wetland, orchards, vegetable gardens, and a historic farmstead. Students gain experience with annual vegetables, fruit and nut orchards and livestock. One unique feature is a 5.5-acre Woody Perennial Polyculture mixed crop and animal system. The farm supplies food to local food pantries, Merry Lea programs, the Goshen College dining services, and a student CSA.


Curricularly, the farm serves the Agroecology Summer Intensive, Merry Lea’s PreK-12 programs, the Masters in Environmental Education program, public programs, and the wider community. 


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Links for applying can be found here:


1.  GC HR link - abbreviated job description and application portal


2.  Link to pdf - full job description including salary


Any questions can be sent to John Mischler the farm director ([log in to unmask])


Director of the Agroecology Program 

Assistant Professor - Sustainable Food Systems

Sustainability and Environmental Education Department

@ Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen College


(309) 264-6946 (cell)




To add events contact:

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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