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.

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31 Aug 2016    Organic Cost Share 2016

Organic Certification Cost Share Now Available

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is pleased to announce the availability of organic cost share assistance for handlers/producers who have incurred certification expenses during the period of October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. The program is offered on behalf of the USDA National Organic Cost Share Program which is authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. Your operation must have been inspected and certified by a National Organic Program (NOP) accredited certifying agent during this specified time period in order to qualify. MDARD is authorized to pay 75% of the certification and user costs up to $750 per certification. Your application along with all required supporting documentation must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2016. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Josh Grant at (517) 284-5789 or via email at grantj5@michigan.gov.   To get an application click here.

 

 
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 amazon.com (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.    https://www.patronicity.com/project/apprentices_for_urbandale_farm/

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 commerce.cashnet.com/msu_3714.  If you have questions contact Dan Rossman (rossman@msu.edu).

 
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 www.northernbeenetwork.org.
 
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, https://www.facebook.com/healthyfoodhealthybeesconnection/, 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 amazon.com (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.

 


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