Blog Archive

Friday, July 31, 2009

FW: Organic Farmer Training Program Accepting Applications for 2010 (please forward)



Now excepting applications for 2010 Cohort of the

Organic Farmer Training Program

@ the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm!!!!!!


The Organic Farmer Training Program is a 9 month intensive training program in year round organic farming focusing on diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets. Students engage in the management of the 10 acre certified organic farm including passive solar greenhouses used for year round production in cold climates and heated only by the sun. Students also engage in the management of SOF garden and field production for the farm?s primary markets, including a 48week CSA, 6 month on campus farm stand, and sales to campus dinning services. Students develop competencies in farm skills through skills trainings and by engaging in the day to day work and operation of the farm. Hands-on training is combined with workshops, lectures, readings, and assignments that build participants? knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices. The program is designed to give participants a strong background in production skills as well as the knowledge, management, and decision making skills necessary to operate a diversified small farm. 

Program participants include new and beginning farmers, urban and community farmers and gardeners, educators, and those interested in local or organic agriculture.


Program Dates for 2010 are March 1st to November 19th for this full time intensive program


Space is limited

Rolling admissions

Application review begins Sept 1.


See attached flyer for more information

Visit our website for full program description and application


or contact us at


Jeremy Moghtader
MSU Student Organic Farm
Organic Farming Training Program
Farm 517-230-7987
Campus 517-355-5191 ext 1411

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Farm to School Meet & Greet


Farmers and school food service directors, please join us for a Michigan Farm to School Meet & Greet!


This Meet & Greet event will give school food service directors and farmers a chance to meet each other and develop farm to school programs in their areas. School food service directors from Calhoun, Ingham, and Oakland Counties, among others, are expected to attend.


If you are a school food service director who is ready to bring local foods into  your school meals program or a farmer interested in selling your products to local schools, please join us for this event and get connected!


Where: Community Room at MSU Federal Credit Union

600 Crescent Rd., East Lansing, MI


When: Monday, August 10th, 2009

1-3 pm


The Meet & Greet will be followed by an optional tour from 3:30 – 5 pm of the Student Organic Farm (3291 College Rd in Holt, MI) and its six hoophouses with Outreach Coordinator Adam Montri.


Space is limited! To register for this event, please contact me at or 517.432.0310 by Friday, August 7th.



Feel free to pass along this notice or the attached flyer!



Colleen Matts

Farm to School Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University

303 Natural Resources Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-1222



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Clarkston Community Schools produce bid

Hi all,

I wanted to pass along Clarkston Community Schools’ request for bids for fruits and vegetables for all of the local growers and vendors that may be interested in this market opportunity. Note that bids must be submitted by noon on August 11th. Please direct any questions to Janet Allen, Nutrition Supervisor at Clarkston Community Schools; her contact information is included in the attached letter.




Colleen Matts

Farm to School Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University

303 Natural Resources Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-1222



Friday, July 17, 2009

Michigan Farm to School News


Here are the latest Michigan Farm to School news bites:


Child Nutrition Reauthorization of 2009: Every five years or so, our lawmakers work to reauthorize the federal Child Nutrition Programs, which include the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, the Summer Food Service Program and the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), among others. Attached is a summary of bills that have been introduced as part of the up-coming Child Nutrition Reauthorization, compiled by Megan Elsener Lott with the Community Food Security Coalition. This list will be updated as additional bills are introduced.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has released the National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs Reimbursement Rates for the 2009-2010 school year. Reimbursement rates for “paid” meals increased slightly, but free and reduced price meals reimbursements increased by more than $.10 from the 2008-2009 school year’s rates.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senator Debbie Stabenow(D-MI) and Representative Mark Schauer (D-MI) met with Michigan residents at the Country Mill in Charlotte, Michigan on July 13. This stop is part of a series of town hall meetings on Secretary Vilsack’s Rural Tour. The proposed Food Safety Enhancement Act (HR 2759) was one topic of conversation. Check out a video of the event at the Sustainable Farmer website!

Federal Program to Receive More Funding to Increase Schools’ Access to Fresh Produce: As part of the 2008 Farm Bill, funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides daily healthy snacks in schools separate from the school meals program, is set to increase. To learn more about the program in Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Education’s website.

Glyen Holmes, the Executive Director of the New North Florida Cooperative, provided testimony to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry in the United States Senate about the benefits of Farm to School Programs. Please see the attachment to read the testimony.




12th Annual Detroit Agriculture Network Garden Bus & Bike Tour of Urban Farms and Gardens

Sponsored by the Detroit Agriculture Network

August 5th, 2009

Tour begins at the Catherine Ferguson Academy, 2750 Selden in Detroit.

Register today by contacting Ashley Atkinson at 313-237- 8736 or via email at

Please see the attachment for more details!


Select Michigan Farmers Market on the Capitol Lawn

Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS)

East Lawn of the Capitol building in Lansing

July 23rd, 2009

10 am – 3 pm

See the flyer attached



Colleen Matts

Farm to School Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University

303 Natural Resources Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-1222





Thursday, July 9, 2009


Greetings all,
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, along with
Senator Stabenow and Congressman Schauer, will hold an open meeting in
Charlotte, MI next Monday July 13th from 12:30-2. Feel free to attend
and share your valuable feedback about USDA efforts!


Colleen Matts
Farm to School Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222

>-----Original Message-----
>WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009 - On Monday, July 13, U.S. Secretary of
>Agriculture Tom Vilsack will hold a rural community forum in Charlotte,
>Mich., as part of the Obama Administration's Rural Tour. At the forum,
>Vilsack will share information with local residents about the work USDA
>is doing to revitalize and rebuild rural America and ask local
>how USDA can be helpful in supporting and initiating other programs and
>projects to help the community participate fully and successfully in
>new, 21st century economy. Vilsack will also highlight American Renewal
>and Reinvestment Act projects improving communities in Michigan and
>benefiting people throughout rural America.
> Last week, President Obama announced that Secretary Vilsack
>lead the Administration's Rural Tour, during which Vilsack and other
>officials will visit rural communities in states throughout the
>Vice President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked
>off the Rural Tour last Wednesday in Wattsburg, Pa., at an event
>announcing Recovery Act funds to expand broadband service in rural
>America. This week the Rural Tour continued with a forum in Concord,
>Rural Tour events are currently scheduled in Alaska, Louisiana,
>Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and
>Wisconsin. These upcoming events follow the rural listening sessions
>that Secretary Vilsack held earlier this year in Danville, Ind.,
>Geneseo, Ill., Harrodsburg, Ky., Ludowici, Ga., Portageville, Mo., and
>Brush, Colo.
>USDA is encouraging all Americans to follow the Rural Tour's progress
>a new website, or on Twitter at
>The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources
>and touches the life of every American. Secretary Vilsack and the USDA
>are working to promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious
>food supply, ensure that America leads the global fight against climate
>change, and revitalize rural communities by expanding economic
>WHAT: Rural Tour Community Forum with USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack
>He will be joined by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Mark
>WHEN: Monday, July 13, 2009
> 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
> (doors open at noon)
>WHERE: Country Mill Farm
>4648 Otto Rd.
>Charlotte, MI 48813

Monday, July 6, 2009

FW: Greening K-12 Schools on a Budget and Mich Farm to School


I thought some of you may be interested in these pre-conference sessions at the GreenTown Conference in Grand Rapids (see below). Please note that the pre-conference will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd, which includes a Michigan Farm to School session from 3:30-5 pm.




Colleen Matts

Farm to School Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University

303 Natural Resources Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-1222




From: Gary Cuneen []
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 11:03 AM
To: Colleen Matts
Subject: Greening K-12 Schools on a Budget and Mich Farm to School


Please join us for informative pre-conference sessions on Greening K-12 Schools on a Budget and Michigan Farm to School Programs (agenda attached).

July 22, 2009 Grand Valley State University

If this message is not downloading properly, view it here.




2009 Pre-conference Workshops
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Greening the Campus: How Educational
Institutions Combat Climate Issues

Sponsor: Integrated Architecture

Join the signatories of the American College & Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment and Grand Valley State University to discuss climate change and share strategies for integrating sustainability into the curriculum and operations to help achieve climate neutrality. Campuses that address the climate challenge by eliminating global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.

Greening the K-12 School System
Sponsors: Nichols & GMB Architecture + Engineering

This session draws from local practioners supporting statewide efforts to make Michigan a leader in the green schools movement. Learn from farm to school advocates and food service directors about initiatives that are changing the face of school food in Michigan, and providing Michigan farmers opportunities to serve school lunch programs. Discover zero waste school programs, and how schools are saving thousands of dollars through energy efficiency, reducing ghg emissions and educating the next generation. Learn about schools using LEED green building standards, and create a green action plan to get you started with greening your school on a budget!


Register for these events

Sponsor information


Why attend GreenTown?

Whether you are a mayor, city manager, public works director, planner, developer, builder, engineer, architect, landscape architect, school leader or other community stakeholder, gather to hear from inspiring speakers, learn from been-there case studies and discuss actionable procedures to make communities more eco-effective.

This event brings together visionaries, national and local leaders who are at the forefront in sustainable urbanism, economics of sustainability, renewable energy, municipal food scrap recycling, transit-oriented development, energy-efficient housing, zero waste schools, local food systems and more.


To sponsor/exhibit at GreenTown, contact:
Jill Armstrong, a5 group inc. 616.583.0281 /

Sponsors & Exhibitors


Community Sponsor:
City of Chicago, Department of Environment


Architectural Roof
Beyond Properties
GMB Architecture +
Land Vision
  Companies, Inc.
Nevin Hedlund
Ozinga Bros.
Perkins + Will
Pizzo & Associates
Serosun Farms
Technical Concepts


Grand Rapids

Community Sponsor:
City of Grand Rapids


Calvin College
Custom Printers
GMB Architecture +
Grand Valley State
i4 Group
Land Vision
  Companies, Inc.
Nevin Hedlund
Perkins + Will
Pizzo & Associates
Prince Conference
Technical Concepts
Tower Pinkster
The Wege

Media Sponsor:

Attend the Main Conference

GreenTown Grand Rapids will be held Thursday, July 23, 2009 at Grand Valley State University. Hear prominent speakers such as Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kansas and Doug Farr, Author, Founder of Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design, Inc. recognized nationally for their efforts in reducing their carbon footprint on today's environment.

Register for the pre-conference workshops


GreenTown is produced by a5 and Seven Generations Ahead


This email was sent to
To unsubscribe from this mailing list click here.