The Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) was organized in 1992 as a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting organic agriculture and the development and support of food systems that revitalize and sustain local communities.  MOFFA was one of the first organizations in Michigan and the nation to actively promote these principles.

join our mailing list

16 Jun 2016    2016 Farm Guide

photo of farm guide

2016 Farm Guide
Now Available on Paper!

MOFFA's Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms, popularly known as the Farm Guide, is available on paper, as well as online.  The paper version represents a snapshot of the guide as of June 1, 2016.  Individual copies may be purchased directly from (search for 2016 Farm Guide).  If you are interested in purchasing multiple copies, please contact us.  We are hoping to make a Kindle version of the guide available, as well as smaller regional editions that you can download and print for yourself.  As always, the most up-to-date farm information will be found in the online version.  

23 Feb 2016    Crowdfunding for Urbandale Farm

Crowdfunding for Urbandale Farm

Urbandale Farm,  Lansing’s first urban farm, has just launched a crowd funding campaign to support its apprenticeship program.  The link below will explain in greater detail who they are, what they do, and what their apprenticeship program is about.  Please consider donating to this community-based food and farming program.

Urbandale Farm is operated by the Lansing Urban Farm Project (501c3); all donations are tax deductable to the extent allowed by law.


27 Jan 2016    2016 Organic Reporting Session Announced

2016 Organic Reporting Session Announced

This one day event will be held on Friday March 11, 2016 from 8:30-4 pm at the Brody Complex on Harrison Rd. in East Lansing. An exciting program offering an educational extravaganza during the annual Ag and Natural Resource Week at Michigan State University. We will share research findings and Best Practices for organic farming and managing crops and soil.  Work will be shared by MSU researchers, their graduate students, agriculture educators, and experienced organic farmers that has relevance to organic farming. Each session will conclude with how can a farmer implement this on the farm. Examples of topics that will be shared include crop variety trials, tillage practices and their impact on soil health and weeds, pollinators and how farming impacts their abundance, to name a few. We hope that you can join us for a day filled with new ideas, new friends and great networking. More detail is available on the agenda.  Cost for the program is $25 for farmers and students and $30 for others.  Lunch and materials are included in this cost as well as priceless information and opportunities for new connections and friends. Please join us what promises to be a great day.  To register online visit  If you have questions contact Dan Rossman (

1 Jan 2016    A Message from Healthy Food Healthy Bees
I hope you all had a successful growing season and that your bees are still going strong! At the end of our first year of the Healthy Food Healthy Bees Connection, we have 35 farmers and beekeepers signed up! I am pleased with such a great turnout for year one, and am hoping we can double that number in 2016. Please spread the word to your fellow farmers and beekeepers! They can sign up at
During this first year, many of our farmers live in counties where we had no beekeepers signed up. So it is important that we reach out to as many beekeepers as possible to get good coverage.
If you were successful in connecting with a farmer/beekeeper this year as part of our program, I would love to hear from you. How did it work out? Any suggestions for others? More information about the project is available on Facebook,, and in the 2015 Report.
If you would like to help out in spreading the word about the Healthy Food Healthy Bees Connection, please send me an email and you can join our team. If you have any suggestions for ways I can reach out to the farmers/beekeepers please let me know!
Enjoy your day and thank you for being part of this great effort!

31 Dec 2015    High Tunnel Grant — Final Report

High Tunnel Grant — Final Report

MOFFA partnered with several MSU Researchers during 2014 and 2015 to secure funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program managed by MDARD.  The focus of the work was organic raspberry and sweet cherry production and pest management in a one-acre three-season high tunnel facility located at the Horticulture Teaching and Research Center.  Funds supported both project personnel and infrastructure maintenance.  A report of the project methods and outcomes is available as a PDF download here.

25 Sep 2015    John Biernbaum Appointed to NOP Task Force

photo of John BiernbaumLong-time MOFFA member and current Vice-Chair Dr. John Biernbaum has been appointed to a 16-member NOP task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with USDA organic regulations.

The task force will report to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) about the current state of technologies and practices for hydroponics and aquaponics, as well as how those practices do or do not align with the USDA organic regulations. The NOSB will utilize the report to determine the best path forward regarding recommendations on hydroponics and aquaponics production systems.  For more information, visit the NOSB Task Forces page.

3 Sep 2015    Westwind Milling Fall Film Series

Westwind Milling Fall Film Series

Longtime MOFFA members Lee and Linda Purdy at Westwind Milling inaugurate their Fall Film Series on Friday, September 18th.  The evening begins with a local organic dinner, followed by a showing of Seeds of Time, a story of dwindling biodiversity in agricultural seeds, and food's influence on human culture.  Reservations are required.  Westwind is located between Flint and Ann Arbor, less than an hour east of Lansing.  For more information, take a look at the flyer, or call 810-735-9192.

13 Jul 2015    Farm Guide Now Available on Paper

farm guide cover illustration

2015 Farm Guide
Now Available on Paper!

Twenty years after the first edition of MOFFA's Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms, the guide is once again available on paper, as well as online.  The paper version represents a snapshot of the guide as of May 17, 2015.  Individual copies may be purchased directly from (search for 2015 Farm Guide).  If you are interested in purchasing multiple copies, please contact us.  We are hoping to make a Kindle version of the guide available soon, as well as smaller regional editions that you can download and print for yourself.  As always, the most recent farm information will be found in the online version.  

17 May 2015    USDA Announces 2015 Organic Certification Cost Share

USDA Announces
2015 Organic Certification Cost Share

USDA Organic SealOn Thursday, May 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of approximately $11.9 million in funding for organic certification cost-share assistance for organic producers and handlers through state departments of agriculture. Payments for certification-related expenses incurred from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 can cover up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification.

Specific procedures for applying for the cost share in Michigan have not been announced yet.  When they have been posted, the information will be available on the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Devleopment's website under Organic Resources (toward the bottom of the page.

22 Apr 2015    Organic Stakeholders Sue USDA

Organic Stakeholders Sue USDA

Organic stakeholders have filed a lawsuit in federal court, maintaining that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the federal rulemaking process when it changed established procedures for reviewing the potential hazards and need for allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances used in producing organic food.  A coalition of 15 organic food producers and farmer, consumer, environmental, and certification groups asked the court to require USDA to reconsider its decision on the rule change and reinstitute the agency’s customary public hearing and comment process.

The plaintiffs in the case, represented by counsel from Center for Food Safety, include: Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Equal Exchange, Food and Water Watch, Frey Vineyards, La Montanita Co-op, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, New Natives, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farmers Association Massachusetts, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, PCC Natural Markets, and The Cornucopia Institute.

More information about this action, and the concerns that are behind it, is available here.

14 Jan 2015    Organic Intensives

MOFFA Announces Organic Intensives 2015

We invite you to join us on Thursday, March 12th, for a one-day in-depth learning experience—an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information from experts and practitioners over the course of a day with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners, followed by a social event in the evening with people who are as fired-up as you are.  Our first-ever event of this kind offers farmers and serious gardeners an intensive foray into one of three topics: Compost, Cut Flowers, or Edible Landscaping.

(Read More ...)

27 Oct 2014    Biochar Demonstration

Biochar Demonstration

Join Maynard Kaufman and Karl Kaufman at Maynard’s farm in Bangor, Michigan for a low-tech biochar production demonstration.

Biochar is charcoal from biomass, which effectively sequesters carbon for hundreds to thousands of years. We will utilize the Hawaiian pit pyrolysis technique popularized by Josiah Hunt.

Local wood will be converted to char, and participants will take a bag of biochar home to experiment with.

Biochar has been held up as part of a sustainable solution to climate change, by sequestering carbon and preventing its return to the atmosphere as greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Biochar has also been documented to improve soil fertility by increasing resident soil carbon and resultant improvement in microbiological populations, as well as improving moisture and nutrient retention. The productive deep prairie soils of the Midwest, and the Terra Preta soils in the Amazon are a result of char.

Cost: Free
Where: Maynard Kaufman’s and Barbara Geisler’s Sunflower Farm
25485 CR 681
Bangor, MI 49013
  1.0 miles north of the one blinking light in Bangor, at M43 and CR 681 (Center Street in Bangor), on East side of the Road, look for sign for Sunflower Farm
When: Saturday, November 8, 2014; 1:00 to 6:00 PM

For more information, see the flyer.

13 Oct 2014    MOFFA Social November 1

photo of Vicki Zilke

It's A Party!

Please join us for a fun filled MOFFA social at the Zilke farm in Milan Mi (south of Ann Arbor). 

Saturday, November 1st
3:00 - 5:30

We will be hosted by Tom and Vicki Zilke for a tour of their farm, hoop house and gardens, and equpment shed.  The Zilkes are in the process of transitioning to organic so would love to hear your thoughts too. 

Following the tour we will have a potluck and meet-and-greet so please bring a dish to share.  See the flyer for details, or go ahead and reserve your space at  


14 Sep 2014    Organic Soybean Variety Plots Evalutation Tours

Organic Soybean Variety Plots Evalutation Tours

View of soybean fieldFrom the MSU Extension Service: Over 50 non-GMO soybean varieties are being compared under organic production systems in our region at multiple sites. These varieties are a mix of tried and true brands, new industry releases, and experimental lines from university breeding programs.

You are invited to join other organic producers to view and voice your preference about characteristics that are desirable to you (pod set, plant height, canopy closure, competitiveness, etc). This information (along with yield) will be useful to identify varieties in the breeding program to move forward for seed production and release.

The tours will take place on Thursday, September 25th.  For more information and to register, please see the brochure for the event.

13 Aug 2014    Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers?

Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers?

From Eric Hansen of the National Young Farmers Coalition:

Farmers across the country are responding to the opinion piece in this weekend's New York Times: "Don't Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers." It resonates.

We agree that many growers aren't yet making a living, and we hope that you feel proud to be part of a coalition of farmers and consumers organizing for change.

Author Bren Smith mentions the need for loan forgiveness for college graduates pursuing careers in agriculture. Right now, we're building a campaign to tackle the issue of student debt and we need your help. We are working with Congressional offices to put together legislation that would authorize loan forgiveness for career farmers in the next Higher Education Act and we need stories to illustrate the problem.

If you are struggling with student loan payments while farming, please take this survey and share it widely with your networks. Putting together a bill in Congress is tough and we need your voices.

Please take the survey now!

13 Aug 2014    USDA Seeking Business Listings for Local and Regional Food Directories

USDA Seeking Business Listings for
Local and Regional Food Directories

Two recent announcements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)  highlighted the agency’s progress in developing three new directories that will support local and regional food systems and updated data for the already established National Farmers Market Directory.

The announcements included steps AMS is taking to launch three new local food directories: the National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory, National Food Hub Directory, and National On-Farm Market Directory.  AMS is currently accepting business listings for these new directories through its webpage.

Read More ...

12 Aug 2014    Valuing Michigan's Local Food System

Valuing Michigan's Local Food System

The Michigan State University Center for Economic Analysis and Center for Regional Food Systems collaborated to investigate the economic value of local food in Michigan.  The centers recently released Valuing Michigan's Local Food System, a brief that summarizes findings of an analysis of the economic value of Michigan's farm production that is ultimately consumed as “local food."

You can find the brief at

27 Jul 2014    Organic Certification Cost Share Assistance is Back!

Organic Certification Cost Share Assistance is Back!

Reimbursement Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill
Now Available to Michigan Handlers and Producers

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is pleased to announce that certification cost share assistance will be available to eligible Michigan organic handlers and producers who have been certified for the period of October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. 

Additional information about applying for the reimbursement is available in MDARD's Letter concerning the reimbursement, and he application is available in Microsoft Word format here.  The deadline for applying is October 1, 2014.  More general Information on the certification cost share program is available on the USDA's Organic Certification Cost Share Programs webpage.

19 Jun 2014    USDA Mishandling of NOSB Challenged

Citizen Groups Challenge USDA’s Power Grab

Legal Petition Filed to Restore Organic Board’s Independent Authority Set by Congress

usda organic seal(June 17, 2014 – Washington, DC) Today, 20 organic farm and consumer groups filed a legal petition with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to protect the authority and permanence of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The petitioners object to recent changes to the NOSB charter, renewed on May 8, 2014, that undermine the mandatory and continuing duties of the Board as established by Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990.

Read more ...

4 Apr 2014    Carbon Sequestration, Naturally

Carbon Sequestration, Naturally

Maynard Kaufman, one of the founding members of MOFFA, has written a thought provoking article on Carbon Sequestration which we are pleased to offer to all. Please share widely!  Carbon Sequestration, Naturally

11 Feb 2014    Organic Seed Fund

Organic Seed Fund Announced

The USDA's National Organic Program requires the use of organic seed when commercially available. However, when the organic program began the organic seed sector was almost nonexistent and it has not yet caught up to meet the demand.

The cost of organic seed remains a barrier to the growth and success of organic farming. As such, the Rodale Institute is partnering with Amy's Kitchen to help new and transitioning organic farmers pay for organic seed for the 2014 growing season.  More information and the application form can be found here.

Please note that applicants must be new or transitioning organic farmers. Questions can be directed to  Deadline for applications is March 1, 2014.

4 Feb 2014    A Farm Bill At Last!

A Farm Bill At Last!

After years of wrangling, both the House and Senate have passed a comprehensive Farm Bill, and it is on its way to President Obama for his signature!  And the news is generally good for organic and sustainable agriculture.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has posted a big-picture take on the bill, The New Farm Bill: The Good, The Bad, and the Wait-and-See, and a more in-depth article, What is in the 2014 Farm Bill For Sustainable Farms and Food Systems?

31 Jan 2014    Protecting Organic Seed Integrity

Protecting Organic Seed IntegrityOSGATA is excited to announce the launch of a new book, Protecting Organic Seed Integrity, defining best practices for avoiding genetically engineered (GE) contamination in organic seed.

Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court failed American farmers who had sought protection and their right to self-defense from GE contamination in the landmark lawsuit OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto, OSGATA has printed 5,000 copies of an important handbook dedicated to protecting the organic seed supply.

Beginning today, OSGATA is providing copies of the book to organic farmers without cost. The book can be downloaded at


17 Jan 2014    Food Access In Michigan Project

Food Access in Michigan Project Seeks Farmer Input

The Food Access In Michigan (FAIM) project, a collaboration between six universities and an equal number of community organizations, aims to paint a more nuanced picture of food access and food insecurity across the state of Michigan. In order to do that, we are gathering the perspectives of people who work throughout the food system, from farmers to food retailers, Michigan residents and key stakeholders.

To that end, they will be holding focus groups at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, January 31-February 2.  The project would like to talk with farmers to learn their perspectives on food insecurity in Michigan, including such questions as where you currently sell (or would like to sell) your products, sources of support for Michigan farmers, and ways to address food insecurity in the state of Michigan

The project plans on sharing their results widely across the state through community presentations, press releases, fact sheets and newspaper articles.  They also plan on having a wealth of information, resources and findings on their website, and envision it as a space for anyone in Michigan to visit and learn more about the food environment where they live. 

More info about the focus groups is available on this pdf, and you can find out more about the FAIM project by visiting

31 Dec 2013    "Agricultural Coexistence"

Comment Period Extended on USDA "Agricultural Coexistence"

The National Organic Coalition reports that the comment period has been extended on the issue of "Agricultural Coexistence" — the USDA's proposals for Coexistence of farmers using Geneticaly Engineered Crops and those who don't (Organic and Non-GMO farmers).  The deadline for comments on this issue is now March 4th. 

The NOC continues ... Organic and Non-GMO agriculture has shouldered the burden of GMO contamination for too long. This is our opportunity to tell USDA that it must use its authority to: 

(1) Implement mandatory contamination prevention measures to avoid the problem and protect the non-GMO sector, and 

(2) Ensure shared responsibility for the unwanted spread of GE products, including a fair compensation mechanism that does not further burden those who must avoid, and sometimes are harmed by, contamination. 

Comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by mail to:

Docket No. APHIS–2013–0047
Regulatory Analysis, and Development
PPD, APHIS, Station, 3A–03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737–1238

Also, for Farmers and Handlers, if you would like to send an ANONYMOUS COMMENT outlining your experiences and costs, please go to this site set up by NOC.  NOC will take your comment from this site, and include it as text in their comments submitted to the Docket.  If you have any questions about this process or its anonymity, please call Liana at 914-443-5759.

21 Nov 2013    ATTRA's New Farmer Forum Begins

ATTRA Invites Sustainable-Agriculture Conversations

'Farmer Knows Best' Forum Offers More Than A Dozen Topics

ATTRA, the nation’s premiere source of sustainable-agriculture information, is asking its users to weigh in with ideas and questions of their own.

A new user forum on the ATTRA website, Farmer Knows Best, is a way for farmers, researchers, educators, and anyone else interested in sustainable agriculture to start or contribute to a conversation on more than a dozen topics:

•    Beginning Farmer
•    Water Management
•    Soils & Compost
•    Pest Management
•    Organic Farming
•    Marketing, Business & Risk
•    Local Food Systems
•    Livestock & Pasture
•    Horticultural Crops
•    Field Crops
•    Energy Alternatives
•    What Is Sustainable Ag?
•    Education
•    General

“What better way to support research and sustainable-agriculture education than offering the people who are dedicated and passionate about the subject to share their ideas and insights,” said Carl Little, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) sustainable agriculture programs.


9 Nov 2013    MSU Student Organic Farm 2014 Organic Farmer Training Program

MSU Student Organic Farm 2014 Organic Farmer Training Program

The Organic Farmer Training Program offers nine months of intensive instruction in year-round organic farming. The program focuses on diversified production of vegetables, livestock, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets.  Participants manage all aspects of a 15-acre certified organic farm, including passive solar greenhouses used for year-round production in cold climates. Participants also manage the Student Organic Farm's field and hoophouse production. Produce is grown for the farm’s primary markets, including a 48-week CSA, seven-month on-campus farm stand, and sales to campus dining services.  

Scholarships are available.  Visit their website for full program description and application: The farm may be contacted at or 517-230-7987.

4 Oct 2013    New Page – Educational Opportunities

We've added another new page to the website – Educational Opportunities.  We'll be posting events in Michigan as well as selected out-of-state opportunities and webinars.  Please let us know about any events we may have missed.



join our mailing list

Copyright 2012-2014