Michigan organic listserv-for farmers and gardeners across Michigan

From: Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University

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

February 15, 2021


Farm Safety Comes in Many Forms

This article below from the Michigan On-Farm Safety team and it is focused on food safety, helping you to clean and sanitize the equipment before next season’s use. But in addition to this process, take time to make sure every bolt is tight, moving parts sharpened and lubed and the engine is running well with good belts.   The farmers need to be safe to operate the equipment without being harmed. When all equipment is well maintained and operating well there is much less chance for injury.  I hope that you can take advantage of this non-growing season and get all of your equipment in shape for this next growing season.  If you are having difficulties to continue your farm operation you can get assistance through AgrAbility, a program through the USDA and operated in Michigan by Michigan State University Extension and Easter Seals. This program can help you modify your farm equipment and farming practices to better accommodate your abilities so you can continue to farm and get the job done.  Michigan AgrAbility can be reached at +1 (800) 956-4106 or www.MichiganAgrability.org. When you modify equipment or a system on your farm try to take all possible points into consideration, food safety, ergonomics, the safety of the workers and of course efficiency and economics. Review the resources and incorporate what you can in your management plan, it can save you time, money and promote a healthier farming system.

Michigan organic listserv-for farmers and gardeners across Michigan

From: Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University

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

February 15, 2021

Check Out these Resources for Maintaining Production Equipment!

Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment

Basic Equipment Maintenance Record


Video Resource: Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment




Are you considering to add solar panels to your farm? There is $upport for that!!


 USDA Rural Development is currently accepting applications for FY2021 funding.   Round one applications are due March 31, 2021. Visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency for fact sheet and details to apply for grants.


Future competitions will be Oct. 31st & March 31st of said year. 


I am including REAP Grant Application Template for your proposed project.


·         Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less


This e-mail also provides a copy of the REAP Score Sheet and the required grant application forms.  


Please note additional items that should also be included in REAP Application:


·         Documentation to verify number of employees

·         Energy Audit, if applicable

·         3 Years Income Tax Returns or Projections

·         Organizational Documents for Entity, if applicable

·         Copy of most recent Property Tax Bill to verify Site Ownership & Control


Projects that involve buildings in excess of 50 years of age require notification and clearance from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). It is very important that you Do Not Start the Project until clearance has been received from USDA Rural Development.


 For Questions Contact: 

Rick Vanderbeek | Business Program Specialist

Rural Development

U.S. Department of Agriculture

3001 Coolidge Rd., Suite 200 | East Lansing, MI  48823

Phone: 517.324.5218 | Fax: 855.813.7741





Michigan Northern Small Farm Conference-Goes Virtual

Feb 17-21, 2021.

The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference brings together farmers and gardeners from across Michigan to learn and connect. Visit: http://www.smallfarmconference.com/ to register.

This year's conference offers farm education and virtual spaces to gather with peers. So, put on some comfy pants, make some tea, grab that favorite blanket and settle in for a different kind of farm conference.

The 5-day conference will consist of pre-recorded presentations you can view on your own time prior to conference week.

During the conference week of February 17 to February 21, there will be two roundtable sessions each day, one at the lunch hour (noon ET) and one at the after-dinner hour (7pm ET). Here, you can have a conversation with the presenter and your peers about the pre-recorded presentations.

This has been a tough year, so the price is low—just $25 per household covers the entire week: every pre-recorded presentation, every roundtable, all conference week. Attend one, attend them all. The flexibility is all yours.



Growing Stronger Collaborative Conference on Organic and Sustainable Farming – 5 in 1!!

Five organizations have teamed up to offer one awesome conference this year. You have MANY sessions to choose from and can watch recorded versions if you do not make the ones you intended.

MOSES (the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service) provides training, resources, mentoring, and practical advice to help farmers succeed in organic and sustainable farming. Free resources include the Guidebook for Organic Certification, Midwest Organic Resource Directory, and the Organic Broadcaster newspaper. Talk to a specialist on the Organic Answer Line (888-90-MOSES). 

GrassWorks is a grassroots membership organization that provides leadership and education to farmers and consumers for the advancement of managed grass-based agriculture to benefit present and future generations. GrassWorks links farmers with the resources and training they need to be successful grazers.

Midwest Organic Pork Conference will offer several workshops including;

Iowa Organic Association (IOA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of Iowa’s organic food and farming system. IOA was founded in 2006 and serves all of Iowa’s organic farmers, gardeners, food and farm businesses, and consumers in building a more sustainable Iowa.

The Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN) offers an educational framework for developing organic grain production in the Upper Midwest. OGRAIN offers the latest organic grain research and information generated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW Extension, and collaborating farmers.

FairShare CSA Coalition supports and connects farmers and consumers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The nonprofit provides robust resource-sharing, trainings, and discussions for CSA practitioners and advocates. 

University of Wisconsin Extension in Dane County supports educational programs for farmers, businesses, communities, families, and young people to help them understand and solve problems.


Visit: https://web.cvent.com/event/b1fcc89f-d903-4e65-9a18-c63297078800/summary to register and see the exciting list of workshops.

Here is a preview of what is to come:

They will offer sessions with info of content you need to make critical decisions for your farm:

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MIFFS is Hiring!

Two positions with MIFFS ARE NOW OPEN!


MIFFS (Michigan Food and Farming Systems) is hiring to fill two positions on our team! Visit MIFFS.org to learn what MIFFS does and this organization helps Michigan farmers and those seeking to become farmers.


MIFFS Veterans in Ag Network Coordinator position description can be found at here

Michigan Family Farms Conference Coordinator position description can be found here

Applications are due by COB March 1st.

Email any questions to [log in to unmask]



Seeking participants of Early Child Care Educators in Focus Groups

You are invited to participate in a focus group discussion about farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) with the Michigan Farm to ECE Network. Participants will be compensated for their participation.


We’re asking childcare providers, farmers, and families to join us for virtual on the topics of local food, nutrition education, and gardening with children between the ages of 0-5 in childcare settings. We are interested in talking with people who have experience with farm to ECE as well as those who have not had a chance to use farm to ECE.


Farm to ECE is a group of strategies and activities that childcare providers can use to increase children’s access to healthy local foods, gardening opportunities, and education about food, nutrition, and agriculture. Classroom taste tests, farm field trips, and including local foods in menus are some examples of farm to ECE that you may be familiar with.


The Michigan Farm to ECE Network is a collaboration between organizations, ECE providers, farmers, and families that seeks to improve access to healthy food, increase nutritional awareness and health outcomes, and support ECE providers as they work to improve children’s learning environments.


Would you be interested in joining us? Visit CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE: information, including dates and times for discussions, as well as a brief questionnaire to help us learn more about potential participants.


If you have any questions, please contact Meagan Shedd at [log in to unmask]. 






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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)

[log in to unmask]


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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