Michigan Organic Listserv

Oct 5, 2020

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Desk of Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask])


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Organic News


Organic Cost Share Application Process (due Oct 31)


2020 Good Food Summit


Educational Events


Grants Available



News for Organic Farmers


The Organic Cost Share Program is now accepting applications

What this means is… If you paid for NOP organic certification you can be reimbursed up to $500 or 50% for each certification scope (for each organic system you have certified and have a certificate).

What you need to participate in this program: Your receipts of payment for certification, a copy of your recent certificate(s) and fill out the form. It is easiest to complete this process at your local FSA office (Soil Conservation District office). They will provide the application and walk you through the process. It should only take tops 30 minutes to complete. Payment is direct to your checking account so no worries about the cows eating the check.  Bring a voided check (yes from your account) and your certificate(s) and receipts. They will make copies there and return originals to you during your visit.

For more information on organic certification and regulations, visit the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s organic website

Process to apply

Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices or they may apply through participating State agencies.

To apply visit your local FSA county . Find the address at Service Center Locator. The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA's eForms site, by selecting "Browse forms" and entering "OCCSP" in the "title or keywords" field on the search page. OR the FSA office will have the forms at their office for you to complete.

CERTIFIED ORGANIC Producers/growers/processors may apply for cost share assistance for organic certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020. Applications are due the next business day after Oct. 31, 2020.


Organic news shared by the Organic Center


Virtual organic field day video shows long-term organic corn-soybean rotation is outperforming its conventional counterpart 
The Organic Center’s Science Advisory Committee member Professor Kathleen Delate takes viewers on the first virtual Organic Field Day at the Iowa State University Neely-Kinyon Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) experiment to demonstrate why a long-term organic rotation of corn and soybean is outperforming its conventional counterpart. The study was started in 1998 to compare the agronomic, economic and environmental outcomes of the conventional corn-soybean rotation with an organic corn-soybean rotation that also includes oats and alfalfa…READ MORE




Hedgerows and flower strips increase natural pest control and pollination, but not all floral plantings are considered equal

 Hedgerows and flower strips are often planted among crops to boost beneficial insect populations, but there are few comprehensive studies that compare different types of floral plantings for their impacts on the services beneficial insects can provide like natural pest control and pollination. A recent quantitative synthesis published in  Ecology Letters  brought together studies from across the globe to show that while floral planting can increase services by beneficial insects, not all plantings are equally effectiveREAD MORE



When farmers are forced to choose: Exploring the tensions between farming for food safety and environmental sustainability

Farmers are faced with pressures to meet societal visions of good and “better” farming, but the ability to meet those expectations may be hindered by the capacity of a given farm or farmer. Sometimes, the definitions of “better” can be contradictory, forcing farmers to choose between differing “rights” as found by a recent study published in the journal Agriculture and Human Values. The study showed that in the face of such a dilemma, a farmer will be more likely to choose the most feasible path, and that conflicts in policies will have to be overcome if farmers are to accomplish multiple societal visions for

better farming…READ MORE



2020 Michigan Good Food Virtual Summit

Moving Forward with Equity & Resilience

October-November 2020

Presented by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

Registration for the 2020 Michigan Good Food Virtual Summit is now open!

This event will take place during the week at various times in October and November. Having this meeting virtually allows a more flexible time table and hopefully you more opportunity to participate. Check out the Schedule at a Glance for the times and topics.

Since 2010, people across the state and country have gathered at the Michigan Good Food Summit to network, share, reflect, and learn about good food work happening in Michigan.

The 2020 Michigan Good Food Summit is a series of virtual gatherings that will bring together people from across Michigan to celebrate achievements and launch a renewed effort to advance good food systems in Michigan that promote equity, health, sustainability, and thriving economies.

This event is valuable opportunity for youth, individuals, businesses, and organizations to collaborate and set the stage for the next 10 years of good food systems in Michigan!

We'll discuss


·         What’s the most significant change in Michigan food systems over the last 10 years?


·         How are individuals, communities, and organizations in Michigan advancing good food systems that promote equity, health, sustainability, and thriving economies?


·         What impacts, opportunities, or issues you are seeing in the food system as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?


·         How do we create educational opportunities that support individuals and communities to shape their food systems?


·         How can institutions like schools and hospitals use their substantial purchasing power to affect positive changes in the food and agricultural systems? 


·         What can we do to ensure that everyone can equitably participate in decision-making in our food systems?


·         What are the top 3 food and farm policy issues you see facing Michigan as we head through 2020 and beyond?

·         How can people take action for good food?

























































































Educational Events


Food Animal Concerns and Trust (FACT) offers free educational webinars…


Scaling Up Pastured Poultry Production
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Join FACT and expert presenter Bruce Hennessey of Maple Wind Farm for this interactive webinar that will provide you with the tools necessary to make informed farm scale decisions based on both financial viability and quality of life goals. Topics will include cost-benefit analysis, cash flow analysis, and holistic decision-making. We hope to see you there! 

> Register 
Please scroll down for other upcoming webinars. 

Upcoming Webinars

Please join us for one or all of these free sessions.

October 7: Scaling Up Pastured Poultry Production 
Are you evaluating a major change to your poultry business model such as scaling up or dropping an enterprise? Presenter is Bruce Hennessey, co-owner/operator of Maple Wind Farm in Vermont, will discuss cost-benefit analysis, cash flow analysis, and holistic decision-making. > Register

October 26: Designing Silvoculture Plantings 
Part 1 of a 3-Part silvoculture webinar series. Our presenter is Steve Gabriel from Wellspring Forest Farm in NY. He is also an agroforestry extension specialist for the Cornell Small Farm Program. > Register

November 2: Why Trees Die in Silvopasture (and how you can help save them!) Part 2 of a 3-part silvoculture webinar series. Our presenter is Steve Gabriel from Wellspring Forest Farm in NY. He is also an agroforestry extension specialist for the Cornell Small Farm Program. > Register

November 9: Choosing the Right Animal, for the Right Place, at the Right Time This is the third and final part of a three part silvoculture webinar series. Our presenter is Steve Gabriel from Wellspring Forest Farm in NY. He is also an agroforestry extension specialist for the Cornell Small Farm Program. > Register





Grant Opportunities


FACT Fund the Farmer Grants

This is a competitive grant for up to $2500 for farming with animals.

Visit: https://foodanimalconcernstrust.org/grants to find application and learn the details.

In summary: FACT awards competitive grants of up to $2,500 to working, independent family farmers located in the U.S. who raise beef cattle, bison, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, sheep and/or turkeys. Before submitting your online application, please read the complete set of eligibility guidelines below. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm CT on December 1, 2020 to be considered for this round of funding. Grants will be awarded in February 2021.



North Central SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant Applications are now being accepted


The 2021 Farmer Rancher Program call for proposals is now available. Proposals are due December 3, 2020. Read the call for proposals (instructions for applying), and then start your proposal.  This grant offers funds for farmers to try out a new approach or system on their farm. The farmer can work solo or with a group. As a group the approach is tried out in more than one farm and it offers a higher amount of support. This is an annual grant program and aims to bring farmers together to try approaches that will approve the environment, the bottom line and their ease of performing an operation.


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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)

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sorrone11 (skype)


Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.



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