Michigan Organic Listserv

Center for Regional Food Systems

October 10, 2019

Desk of Vicki Morrone [log in to unmask]


What’s on offer?

Organic Info

USDA Organic Cost share due Oct 30: find forms at https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/usda-nop-organic-certification-cost-share-2019

Educational events:

National field school

         Stone Barn Intensives

Midwest Cover Crop Council and Conference

Grant opportunities

Farm to School Grant available

Ag Service Opportunities

     Urban Garden Board Member

     North Central SARE Grant review team



Educational events


2019 National Field School

Come join us in Ithaca, NY - November 4 - 6, 2019!


The 2019 National Field School supports professional development and network building for Incubator farm project staff and those engaged in Apprenticeship Learning from across the country. The Field School will involve farm field trips, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, and a reception in downtown Ithaca.

Early bird registration is back open until October 18th! 
All technical difficulties with our payment system have been fixed Thanks for your patience!

2019 National Field School combines our 8th Annual National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) Field School and our 3rd Annual Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network (AgALN)! 


The National Field School will be held in Ithaca, NY
November 4-6, 2019 at
The Hotel Ithaca.
The 2019 National Field School supports professional development and network building for Incubator farm project staff and those engaged in Apprenticeship Learning from across the country. The Field School will involve farm field trips, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, and a reception in downtown Ithaca.
A limited number of scholarships are available to the Field School, please apply
here if interested. Scholarship applications are due October 11 at midnight.

Questions? Please contact Jennifer Hashley at [log in to unmask] or Cynthia Hellmann at [log in to unmask]


Register Early and Save! 

Join us for our annual day-long tour as we visit leading farm markets in Western Michigan and experience farm marketing and agritourism at its best. Engage with other farm marketers as you share ideas, explore opportunities and discuss profitable market enhancements and challenges. Moderated by Michigan State University Extension staff 



Entrepreneurship Intensive opportunity at Stone Barns

Stone Barns Center Accepting Applications for Entrepreneurship Intensive
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for its
Entrepreneurship Intensive for Farmers, in collaboration with Idea garden and Blue Hill. This immersive, experiential program from January 12-17, 2020, in Pocantico Hills, New York, gives farmers the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts and one another. Farm leaders with five to 10 years of management experience, as well as a demonstrated commitment to forming collaborations with culinary partners, are encouraged to apply by October 13, 2019.




Cover Crop Council annual conference and meeting opportunity

Midwest Cover Crop Council annual conference and meeting heads up!

If you are interested to learn more about cover crops, want to really gain practical knowledge and talk with the practitioners then this is your conference!

Please mark your calendars for February 11-12, 2020 for the MCCC annual meeting and conference in Kansas City, MO.


The 11th will be our typical annual business meeting with state, province, and partner reports. The conference portion on the 12th is packed with great speakers. Check out the draft agenda here: http://mccc.msu.edu/about/meetings/


Sponsorship and vendor booth space is available. Please see the attachment or website for details.


Registration will open soon!

Anna Morrow

Program Manager, Midwest Cover Crops Council

317-392-6417  - [log in to unmask]

1600 East State Road 44, Suite C, Shelbyville, IN 46176




Grant opportunities


2020 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now AVAILABLE!

The Office of Community Food Systems is very excited to celebrate another Farm to School Month by announcing the official release of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA). Farm to school programs support local communities through a variety of activities, including taste tests, farm visits, local purchasing, food and agriculture education, and farmer and producer training.

USDA will award up to $10 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2020. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools providing students with nutritious meals, while also supporting local producers. In FY 2019, USDA awarded a record 126 grants across the United States.

The RFA includes three tracks—Implementation, Planning, and a new State Agency track—to support a variety of projects and implementation stages. Each track provides funding for a specific range of activities:

A wide variety of entities are eligible to compete for funding through this grant opportunity. Schools and school districts, local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Planning and Implementation grants. State agencies may apply for a State Agency grant. Please see sections 3.0 through 3.4 of the RFA. A Frequently Asked Questions document will be available soon on the Farm to School Grant Applicant Resources Page (https://www.fns.usda.gov/cfs/resources-farm-school-grant-program-applicants).

The Grant RFA can be found online here.  Complete applications must be submitted onwww.Grants.gov, by 11:59pm ET on December 13, 2019.

Check out the OCFS resources for grant applicants and see a list of prior grantees’ project descriptions for proposal inspiration!

Stay Tuned for a Two Part Webinar Series on the FY 2020 Farm to School RFA

Join OCFS for a special webinar on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, at 3:00 pm Eastern Time. On this webinar, OCFS will review the RFA itself and address questions regarding the application process. OCFS will also host an additional webinar featuring some tips regarding the application writing process; the date and time for this webinar will be announced soon, so look out for more news in upcoming issues of The Dirt.

All webinars will be recorded and made available on the OCFS resources for grant applicants page.


Agriculture Organizations Seeking Board Members




Please spread the word to help us find great candidates to lead the Lansing Urban Farm Project!


The Lansing Urban Farm Project (501c3) has been recognized as a model for urban agriculture in the Lansing area since 2010. Recently, its Board of Directors has refocused LUFP’s mission to address the collective needs of small-scale Lansing farmers and thereby strengthen the city’s food and farming system – economically, culturally, and ecologically. To this end, LUFP seeks to expand its Board of Directors to lead the organization through the next phase of its important work. We are looking for people with energy and ideas from across Lansing who can help shape innovative LUFP programming and carry a new mission forward. We seek people who are dedicated to the Lansing area with expertise, experience and/or interest in urban agriculture, local and sustainable food systems, and social responsibility. Those with data management, website design, and marketing skills are especially welcome to apply.


For more information about what a Board position requires and for an application, please contact the LUFP Board at [log in to unmask]. A review of applications will begin in mid-November and will continue until all positions are filled.


Jeno Rivera, Board Member

Lansing Urbandale Farm Project

Phone: 517-303-4495

Email: [log in to unmask]



North Central SARE seeking advisory team members

The North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is seeking nominees for the following grant review committees: 

For more info visit SARE.org.

  • Research and Education Grant Program Review Committee (Technical Committee)
  • Farmer Rancher Grant Program Review Committee
  • Partnership Grant Program Review Committee
  • Professional Development Grant Program (PDP) Review Committee
  • Graduate Student Grant Program Review Committee
  • Youth Educator Grant Program Review Committee

*Review committee members must live and work in 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.

NCR-SARE’s review committees review proposals and make recommendations to the Administrative Council, which can be a rewarding and educating experience for those interested in sustainable production and the grant-making process. Liz Brownlee says serving on an NCR-SARE grant review committee made her a more hopeful producer. Brownlee and her husband, Nate, farm on her family's 250-acre farm in Crothersville, Indiana. Brownlee is also the President of the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition.

“It was encouraging to get to know the farmers on the review committee since we all have similar challenges and hopes,” said Brownlee. “And maybe, more importantly, it was inspiring to read the grant applications. Farmers all across the region were doing useful and interesting research and outreach. It was uplifting to know that these farmers were hard at work, and that by serving on the committee, I was helping in a small way to make their work possible. Last but not least: I became a better producer because I felt connected to SARE's resources. I got to know the folks behind the scenes, and understood just how much knowledge was at my fingertips, thanks to SARE.”

Each NCR-SARE review committee has varying requirements, but generally, review committee members are required to review proposals, discuss the proposals on a conference call or in-person, and provide recommendations to the Administrative Council. Members of an NCR-SARE review committee may not apply to that particular grant program during their time serving on that committee.

To nominate yourself for one of NCR-SARE’s review committees, submit the following information using our online form. In addition to completing the online form, we request that you provide a 1-2 page resume or curriculum vitae (CV) if you have one and email it to [log in to unmask]. Recommendations can also be sent to that email address. We will acknowledge receipt of the materials and send a reply regarding the outcome of the selection process.  

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 $50 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).




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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