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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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19 Feb 2024    Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

This weekend, Saturday, February 24, is the Central Michigan Seed Swap. If you are in the Midland area come see us at the MOFFA table and browse our collection of seed saving related books. If you call the Kalamazoo area home, you can see us at the Michigan Family Farms Conference 2024 on Saturday, March 9. Visit our Educational Opportunities page for more details about these events.

13 Nov 2023    OI 2024

Organic Intensives 2024

Registration is open for MOFFA's Organic Intensives 2024. For the past 10 years, we have hosted this day-long, concentrated learning experience for farmers and serious gardeners. Those who have attended since have found the sessions to be of greater than expected value. If your acreage is small or large, rural or urban, animals or vegetables, you will find something of interest at the next Organic Intensives!

When: Saturday, January 6, 2024, 9-5 AM EST.

Where: Plant and Soil Sciences Building, Michigan State University, 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI 

Visit the Organic Intensives 2024 page to register for one of our three fantastic sessions.

  • Innovative Ecological Farming and Growing
  • Building a Just and Equitable Seed Community
  • Locally Sourced and Manufactured Fibers: An Important Part of Sustainable Living
27 May 2023    Farm Tours 2023 Announced

Farm Tours 2023 Announced

MOFFA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Farm Tours again for 2023 after a two year break.  If you attended the Organic Intensives this past January you will be interested to hear that two of our farm tours will allow attendees to see the locations and operations that some of our speakers spoke about.  We will also be promoting the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Alliance schedule of Sustainable Farm Tours and Workshops.  You can find the link to the OFFEA guide, including MOFFA’s tours, and more here.

1 Mar 2023    Membership 2023

MOFFA has existed for over 30 years and the legacy and people involved brings a smile and a thank you. But there is oh so much more we can do together. So many folks to reach, so much to pass on and to learn from one another.  Never in our lifetimes has it been more imperative to rise to the challenge of participation. Join us, show us, teach us in solidarity for our children’s, children’s, children!

20 Feb 2023    Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Do you have plans for this Saturday?  We do.  MOFFA is a part sponsor and will be attending two events with our book table this Saturday, February 25.  The MIFFS 19th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference is back in-person. This conference offers beginning, small-scale, and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. It is an energizing, hands-on event featuring multiple tracks of breakout sessions plus a youth track to engage the whole family. 




If you can't make it down to K-zoo maybe you will be near Midland and can attend the Central Michigan Seed Swap at the Chippewa Nature Center.  Community seed tables and buy-sell-trade will be available.  MOFFA is proud to be a part sponsor of this event also and we will be attending with a portion of the book table.    

16 Dec 2022    MAEAP Credit

MAEAP Credit for Organic Intensives 2023

You can receive MAEAP Phase 1 educational credits for attending the MOFFA 2023 Organic Intensives.  If you are participating in the program, simply request the form to fill out and return to your local MAEAP technician. The Organic Intensives are January 7, 2023 in East Lansing.  Register today for one of our three exciting sessions:  Keeping Outside the Box: A Comprehensive Understanding of Sustainable Beekeeping in Today’s Declining Environment; High Costs and Supply Scares of Nutrients: Overcoming Organic Crop Fertility Challenges;  Diverse, Vigorous, and Hardy Fruits and Nuts - Native and Beyond.

29 Nov 2022    Organic Intensives Scholarships

Scholarships for Organic Intensives 2023

Our vision is a vibrant and diverse community working together for healthy food that is available to everyone and for agricultural practices that support the long-term viability of our ecosystem.  To make this vision a reality, MOFFA endeavors to make resources, connections and experiences available to all who seek them.  Each year we have scholarships available for our Organic Intensives.  The first is made available by funding from SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.  This full scholarship is available to persons who are teaching others about sustainable agriculture in some capacity.  This can be anything from MSU Extension personnel to elementary school teachers to farmers who are teaching interns on the farm, and just about anything in between. 

Our second type of scholarship is made possible thanks to generous donations from the Maynard Kaufman Estate and lifetime members Dr. George and Anne Bird and is available to anyone for whom the full cost of registration represents a barrier.  These scholarships ask that you contribute $25 toward the registration fee and the scholarship will cover the rest.  Additionally, a full scholarship is also available if this reduced fee presents a difficulty.  Please contact us at moffaorganic@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more.  
14 Nov 2022    Survey for Certified Organic Handlers

ATTENTION Certified Organic Handlers


A study being led by New York University and the National Center for Appropriate Technology is seeking certified organic handlers to participate in a survey. Your your input is needed on an important nationwide study funded by USDA* examining the economic issues in the organic handling sector. 

The survey has several intended benefits for the organic industry, including identification of: 
• barriers to and direction of industry growth; 
• different procurement methods, including contracting, that may reduce handler costs; and 
• supply chain challenges, such as shortages in the supply of specific ingredients. 
They would also like to hear about challenges pertaining to your business. 
The online survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and can be found at: 
Those responding will have the opportunity to enter a lottery for a $50 visa gift cards (10 will be awarded). 
Thank you in advance for helping us with this important study! 
Carolyn Dimitri, New York University (carolyn.dimitri@nyu.edu) 


Andy Pressman, National Center for Appropriate Technology (andyp@ncat.org)
10 Oct 2022    Organic Intensives Announced

MOFFA 2023 Organic Intensives Announced 

The 2023 Organic Intensives will be held Saturday, January 7th, at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building on Michigan State University campus. The Organic Intensives are a day long event during which three separate sessions are presented giving the attendees an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners. This event also includes an organic lunch, breaks, a few booths to browse (including the MOFFA book table), and time to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Our selection of courses this year will include

  • Keeping Outside the Box: A Comprehensive Understanding of Sustainable Beekeeping in Today’s Declining Environment
  • High Costs and Supply Scares of Nutrients: Overcoming Organic Crop Fertility Challenges
  • Diverse, Vigorous, and Hardy Fruits and Nuts - Native and Beyond.
17 May 2022    ATTENTION Organic Growers


ATTENTION Organic Growers

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2022 – Agricultural producers and handlers who are certified organic, along with producers and handlers who are transitioning to organic production, can now apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) and Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), which help producers and handlers cover the cost of organic certification, along with other related expenses. Applications for OTECP and OCCSP are both due October 31, 2022. 


“By helping with organic certification costs – long identified as a barrier to certification – USDA has helped producers participate in new markets while investing in the long-term health of their operations,” said Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We launched the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program to build on the support offered through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program and provide additional assistance to organic and transitioning producers weathering the continued market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, in response to stakeholder feedback, we have aligned the signup dates for these two organic programs and encourage producers to work with the local USDA Service Centers and State agencies to complete the applications. The FSA, and the USDA broadly, are committed to making sure our Nation’s organic producers and handlers have the tools they need to continue positively shaping our local and regional food systems.” 

28 Mar 2022    Open Federal Funding Opportunities Round-Up

Open Federal Funding Opportunities Round-Up

From the hard working folks at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the following is a list of the currently available federal funding opportunities. Some have rapidly approaching deadlines so read carefully.

23 Feb 2022    Membership 2022

We need you!  Become a member today!

The This year marks MOFFA’s 30th anniversary, and for many other reasons including this important milestone, there is no better time to renew your membership or become a brand new member! 
Your membership fee will help MOFFA move forward in 2022 in a big way! 
MOFFA’s focus this year will include the following initiatives: 
Bring organic education and programs to the youth 
Redesign our website and farm guide for easier access 
Organize Farm Tours
Sponsor sister organizations 
Connect more consumers to organic produce
Provide education and support for those farms that want to transition to organic farming
25 Jan 2022    REAL Organic Symposium

REAL Organic Symposium

The REAL ORGANIC SYMPOSIUM starts this Sunday.
If you care about the food you eat or the environment and want to learn more about:

The possible loss of 140 New England organic dairy farms and how to save them.

Real Organic food and the Real Organic Project.

Why this matters for our health and nutrition.  

The connection to the health of our soil, communities, and climate.

Please join the Real Organic Symposium to hear leading farmers, scientists, journalists, environmental activists, chefs, and authors address the importance of reclaiming the integrity and transparency of our food system.
Speakers include Michael Pollan, Paul Hawken, Leah Penniman, Vandana Shiva, Dan Barber, Joan Gussow, Eliot Coleman, Senator John Tester, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, David Bronner, Linley Dixon, as well as many deeply articulate farmers.
The Symposium is on Sunday, January 30, and Sunday, Feb 6 from 3-5 PM, but can be viewed anytime after for 3 months. There will be a special 45-minute session on Wednesday, Feb 6 at 6 PM featuring Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield and Dave Chapman of the Real Organic Project discussing the efforts to save the 89 organic family dairy farms being dropped by Danone/Horizon. 
Watch a short preview by clicking here or buy tickets at  Real Organic symposium 2022.
14 Jan 2022    Do You Need an Intern?

Do You Need an Intern?

As you plan for next season are you looking to hire an intern?  A farm manager?  Someone to help at the farmers market?  If so consider a post on our Employment & Internships page.  Send your request to moffaorganic@gmail.com.  Include a description of the job, in as much detail as you like, and your preferred method of communication.  We will post it on our page to help get the word out.  Links to webpages and Facebook may also be included as well as farm logos. 

* Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

21 Nov 2021    Organic Intensives Scholarships

Scholarships for Organic Intensives 2022

Our vision is a vibrant and diverse community working together for healthy food that is available to everyone and for agricultural practices that support the long-term viability of our ecosystem.  To make this vision a reality, MOFFA endeavors to make resources, connections and experiences available to all who seek them.  Each year we have scholarships available for our Organic Intensives.  The first is made available by funding from SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.  This full scholarship is available to persons who are teaching others about sustainable agriculture in some capacity.  This can be anything from MSU Extension personnel to elementary school teachers to farmers who are teaching interns on the farm, and just about anything in between. 

Our second type of scholarship is made possible thanks to generous donations from the Maynard Kaufman Estate and Dr. George and Anne Bird and is available to anyone for whom the full cost of registration represents a barrier.  These scholarships ask that you contribute $25 toward the registration fee and the scholarship will cover the rest.  Additionally, a full scholarship is also available if this reduced fee presents a difficulty.   
27 Oct 2021    Registration is open for the 2022 MOFFA Organic Intensives!

Registration is open for the 2022 MOFFA Organic Intensives!

MOFFA Organic Intensives is a day-long concentrated learning experience for farmers, serious gardeners and anyone passionate about what they eat. For 2022, MOFFA is proud to host a mix of local experts, farmers and growers presenting the following frequently requested topics:

The Farm Ecosystem:  Managing for Pollinators, Beneficials, and Pests

In-Row Weed Control Strategies:  Fine Tuning Equipment . . . The Details for Success

Organic Mushroom Cultivation and Management
Learn more about the speakers, presentation topics, and the day long experience here
11 Oct 2021    In Memoriam

In Memoriam

MOFFA has recently lost two very devoted and important people, Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson. Both these individuals contributed to making MOFFA what it is today and their absence will be felt for a long time.  Please visit our in memoriam page to read more about two extraordinary lives.

20 Aug 2021    USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs for Organic Certification

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs for Organic Certification

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that organic producers and handlers can now apply for funds to assist with the cost of receiving or maintaining organic certification. Applications for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) are due Nov. 1, 2021.  
OCCSP provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent during the 2021 and any subsequent program year. Producers can be reimbursed for expenses made between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021 including application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.  View the USDA's full announcement here.  For more information on organic farming and the OCCSP visit this website
25 Jun 2021    Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Organic Livestock & Poultry Practices Final Rule

Secretary Vilsack Releases Statement In Regard to The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) Final Rule

“We intend to reconsider the prior Administration’s interpretation that the Organic Foods Production Act does not authorize USDA to regulate the practices that were the subject of the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule. I have directed the National Organic Program to begin a rulemaking to address this statutory interpretation and to include a proposal to disallow the use of porches as outdoor space in organic production over time and on other topics that were the subject of the OLPP final rule. We anticipate sending the proposed rule to OMB within six to nine months from the date of the remand. We look forward to receiving public comments on those topics and, after reviewing the comments, USDA will publish a final rule.”

4 Apr 2021    Value-Added Producer Grant

Have You Applied for the Value-Added Producer Grant?

Administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of the USDA, VAPG provides grant funding to independent producers, including farmer and rancher groups and collectives, to develop or expand value-added producer-owned businesses. There are two types of grants awarded through VAPG:
Planning projects
provide grant funds of up to $75,000 in economic planning activities such as the development of business and marketing plans and feasibility studies needed to establish viable marketing opportunities for value-added products
Working capital projects
are directly related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added products with a maximum award amount of $250,000. In general, applications with requests of $50,000 or more must be supported by an independent feasibility study and business plan. 
Who is eligible? Viable entities that are eligible to apply include: 
  • Independent, individual agricultural producers
  • Groups of agricultural producers
  • Majority-controlled producer-based business ventures
  • Farmer or rancher cooperatives
How to apply: More information can be found on USDA’s VAPG grant page, where you will find toolkit guides for both grant projects, with your state office's Business Program Specialist to walk through your project and see if it is eligible for grant funding.
Deadline: The FY2021 application window is currently open now through May 4, 2021
All materials for paper applications must be submitted and/orequired documentation, and steps on preliminary actions your operation should take prior to submitting an application. Get in touch postmarked by May 4, 2021 to be considered for funding this cycle. 
Electronic applications are permitted via http://www.grants.gov only and must be received before Midnight EST on April 29, 2021
You may also opt to submit your application via email or in-person over to your local field office– in-person submissions must be done before COB at 4:30pm local time on May 4, 2021. 
29 Mar 2021    NRCS Seeks Comments on Conservation Practice Standards

NRCS Seeks Comments on Conservation Practice Standards

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to 23 national conservation practice standards through a posting in the Federal Register. The proposed revisions were published March 9.  Comments due April 8.  See the proposed revisions here.

11 Mar 2021    National Organic Standards Board Spring 2021 Meeting – Comment Period Open

National Organic Standards Board Spring 2021 Meeting – Comment Period Open

The public comment period is now open for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2021 Meeting. Interested parties are encouraged to review the online meeting materials and provide feedback on topics included on the agenda.

Meeting materials available online include the tentative agenda, proposals and discussion documents. Proposal documents are available in a single combined PDF, as well as in individual proposals on each corresponding subcommittee web page.

Deadlines: To be considered during the Spring 2021 Meeting, written comments and requests for oral comment speaking slots must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Details on how to comment are available on the NOSB Spring 2021 Meeting webpage.

11 Mar 2021    Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.

Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central U.S.

A current survey seeks to document the frequency, severity, management, and economic impact of drift damage among specialty crop growers in the North Central states. This is the first attempt to document this issue on a regional scale and we need your help! 

If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to complete this survey at go.osu.edu/drift43.

The survey should take 5-20 minutes depending on your personal experience with herbicide drift. Results will help document needs for related research, education, or policy review around herbicide drift and drift management. Find more information at go.osu.edu/ipm-drift.

22 Jan 2021    USDA Seeks Members for Advisory Committee on Urban Agriculture

USDA Seeks Members for Advisory Committee on Urban Agriculture

Press Release: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking members for a new advisory committee on urban agriculture, part of a broader effort to focus on the needs of urban farmers. The 12-person committee will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices as well as identify any barriers to urban agriculture.

USDA is seeking nominations for individuals representing a broad spectrum of expertise, including:
  • Four agricultural producers (two agricultural producers in an urban area or urban cluster and two agricultural producers who use innovative technology).
  • Two representatives from an institution of higher education or . . . (more)
11 Jan 2021    Survey For Farmers

Survey for Farmers, COVID Impact 

In the wake of COVID-19, many people are interested to learn the impacts on our food system and farmers.  This survey from a research team at the University of Michigan is intended for farmers in Michigan to find out more about your operations, the customers you serve, and the impact of COVID on your operations. This is an opportunity to share with the rest of the country what is happening in Michigan. The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and the authors are offering $35 compensation to anyone who finishes the survey.  The survey can be found at this link.

31 Dec 2020    See You In 2022!

See You In 2022!

During our September meeting, the MOFFA Board made the decision to not host in-person Organic Intensives as originally planned on January 9. We will seek to reschedule a day with Jean Martin Fortier on Market Gardening for 2022. Our perception is that there are multiple on-line opportunities to learn about organic market farming that are affordable and a good return on investment. In recent newsletters we have identified some of the online/electronic opportunities. Our OI priority has been to offer live and in-person learning opportunities and although we will not be able to do that this January, we hope to be able to plan for farm tours in the summer of 2021. 

Each year we have offered one of the Organic Intensives with speakers and content that would benefit homesteaders and serious gardeners as well as farmers. Our plan for 2021 included a session to support a new cohort of organic gardeners and those looking to grow some of their own food, perhaps for the first time due to current conditions. However, our session planned for the topic on organic gardening we will instead be developing as a set of recorded presentations to be made broadly available. The date of availability is yet to be determined. 
MOFFA Board members are excited about working on and developing these presentations. As always, we welcome the ideas and help of MOFFA farmer and gardener members and future members.  In the meantime, keep safe and healthy.
3 Dec 2020    OEFFA Conference Registration Open

Registration is Now Open


17 Nov 2020    Farmers' Market Managers and Vendors; Your Opinion, Please.

Farmers' Market Managers and Vendors; Your Opinion Please.

From the researchers at Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University – Their team is assessing the impact of COVID-19 on farmers markets nationwide. They are seeking input from farmers market managers and vendors on business practices implemented in response to COVID-19. They hope to use this data to better understand how resources can be developed for these groups.  Please fill out their survey at the following link. Approximate time, 10 minutes.  Click here for the survey
10 Nov 2020    Fresh Off the Press! – MOFFA's Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms, Paper Book is Available

Fresh Off the Press!

The 2020 paper edition of MOFFA's Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms is available from our website. The Farm Guide has always been a useful resource for growers and consumers, but its importance has been amplified by recent events.  Consumers can use this guide to find who in their area may be producing organic vegetables in CSA shares or livestock feed; growers are able to find neighbors who may have experience to share or want to collaborate on large orders of supplies. 

“I am currently on the farm directory and someone in my area contacted me about helping them set up a pollinator preserve on an old farm! I’m excited for that opportunity and glad that my listing on your site made the connection possible.”
—Patrick Madden, Mastodon Farm
“The MOFFA Farm Guide is my go-to resource to find the best produce for my family no matter where I am in the state of Michigan. I want to make sure I support my family's health, the environment, and the Michigan farmers that work tirelessly to ensure we have access to these invaluable resources!”
— Stacey Wilcox, Consumer, Advocate and Concerned Citizen
The farm guide is available online in an electronic format. The online version, where farmers and growers are indexed by region, county, name of farm and products, is always being updated as we gather more listings or when something needs to be changed.
If you are an organic, ecologically sustainable, farmer or grower, please consider listing your operation in our Farm Guide.
9 Nov 2020    Apply Today for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications from farmers for a second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funding. 
CFAP 2 will provide $14 billion in financial assistance to farmers growing specialty crops, livestock, dairy, grain, eggs, aquaculture, nursery crops, and cut flowers.
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept CFAP 2 applications until December 11, but funding is limited so apply today!
Producers can apply online or take applications to their county FSA office. The CFAP 2 Application Generator and Payment Calculator can be used to easily pre-generate the application and determine estimated payments.
28 Oct 2020    Fall 2020 NOSB Meeting

The Cornucopia Institute begins its coverage of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) fall 2020 meeting on October 28, and continues through October 29 and 30.

Last week, Cornucopia staff and board provided passionate testimony in the Public Comment Webinars:

● Helen Kees on the need to restore the integrity and value of the USDA certified organic seal.  Listen to Kees' testimony.
● Cornucopia Director Melody Morrell on the failure of the USDA to protect the integrity of the organic label with respect to dairy production.  Listen to Morrell's testimony.
● Marie Burcham, JD, on the necessity of protecting the organic label in the face of hydroponic operations growing without soil, thus failing to meet any of the numerous baseline requirements of both the Organic Food Production Act and the regulations.  Listen to Burcham's testimony.

Follow the play-by-play of this week’s meeting on Cornucopia's website.

The folks at Organic Eye will be providing a brief video recap of the NOSB meeting at approximately 5 PM (EST) Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30.  You can watch the broadcast directly on Facebook Live or register to view it on Zoom here for Thursday's recap and here for Friday's recap.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join us. The videos will also be archived on the OrganicEye YouTube channel and Facebook page for later viewing.

Transcripts of virtual testimony given before the NOSB during last week’s public comment period by OrganicEye leadership (Jay Feldman, Mark Kastel, and Dr. Terry Shistar).  Organic Eye also offers an analysis of agenda items including all petitioned or renewing materials, by Dr. Terry Shistar.

22 Oct 2020    All Land is not Creating Equal: Unleashing Family and Community Wealth through Land Ownership
From The Aspen Institute: When it comes to the roots of wealth inequality in the United States, what is the “worst problem you never heard of”?  For many, that answer is a confounding phenomenon called “heirs’ property” or “fractionated land.” 
Heirs' property is land . . . . 
16 Sep 2020    Job Openings at Eden Foods

Eden Foods in Clinton, Michigan has several job openings available.  If you are interested in joining this natural foods company, visit our Employment and Internship Opportunities page to see where you might fit in.  

15 Aug 2020    Do you Have a Crop to Sell?

Do you have a crop to sell?  Have you been to the MOFFA Buy/Sell Organic page lately?  This page is where we post requests for crops to be bought or sold.  These three organizations are looking to buy a crop this year.  Check out the page to see if you have what they want.  We also have pages telling about farm land for sale and equipment and supplies.  If you want to buy it or sell it we will post it for our community.


16 Jun 2020    BIPOC Producers – Sowing the Seeds of Liberation

BIPOC Producers – Sowing the Seeds of Liberation

US agriculture’s roots in colonization and enslavement mean that Black and Indigenous and communities of color still have limited access to capital, financial support, and markets—this is changing, slowly but surely, thanks to the work of food and farm organizations, leaders and communities that are dismantling racism and white supremacy, and imagining alternate ways to be in relationship with land, nature and each other.   Join us to hear from some of these leaders and HEAL members in our upcoming webinar
What: A discussion based on the second plank of HEAL’s Platform for Real Food, Opportunity for all Producers. The webinar will address:  
  • How the legacy of colonization and enslavement has shaped the US food and farm system today
  • Challenges and opportunities faced by farmers and fishers who are Black, Indigenous and People of color (BIPOC).
  • Ways to support BIPOC transforming our food and farm system
Victoria Quevedo, La Semilla Food Center 
Niaz Dorry, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Sonia Galiber, Soil Generation
Roberto Nutlouis, Black Mesa Water Coalition
Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists
When: Thursday, June 18th at 1pm EST / 12pm CT / 11amMT / 10am PT
18 May 2020    Tell Congress: No More COVID-19 Contaminated Factory Farm Slaughterhouses!

Tell Congress:  No More COVID-19 Contaminated Factory Farm Slaughterhouses!

From the Organic Consumers Association:  On May Day, Reps. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced legislation to help small farmers during the COVID-19 crisis by, among other things, making it easier for them to get grants to process grass-fed and pasture-raised meat.  

TAKE ACTION: Ask Congress to help grass-fed and pasture-raised meat producers by supporting H.R. 6682!

As COVID-19 outbreaks shut down factory farm slaughterhouses across the U.S., producers of organic regenerative pasture-raised and grass-fed meat are trying to fill the void. 
For small farmers, getting their meat processed is challenging because there are so few local and regional processing facilities. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture already provides grants to help farmers and ranchers with “value-added” activities, such as the processing and marketing of their products.
But under the current Value-Added Producer Grants program, farmers have to put up 50% of the project’s total cost before they can qualify for a matching grant.  Most small farmers can’t come up with that kind of cash. Under H.R. 6682, they wouldn’t have to.
TAKE ACTION: Ask Congress to help grass-fed and pasture-raised meat producers by supporting H.R. 6682!
29 Apr 2020    Northwest Michigan Victory Growers

Northwest Michigan Victory Growers

Calling all new and experienced gardeners! If you have land, tools, seeds, or plants to share—or are in need of land, tools, seeds, or plants—let us know! Working with a team of neighbors, Crosshatch is looking to pair those in abundance with those in need so that we can grow more food together (but, you know, apart by a little ways).
Click here if you want to grow food, but could use some land, tools, seeds or plants.
Click here if you have land, tools, seeds or plants that you can share or give away.
Please respond by May 8 so that we can pair growers in time for the growing season.
Questions? Email Daniel at daniel@crosshatch.org.
26 Mar 2020    American Farmland Trust – Farmer Relief Fund

American Farmland Trust – Farmer Relief Fund

American Farmland Trust is excited to announce that the application for AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund is now live!  AFT will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. If this describes your farming operation, apply here.  The application (available in both English and Spanish) is easy to complete but will require applicants to include sufficient detail to ensure AFT is awarding producers that have the greatest needs. Applicants will be asked to estimate their financial loss.
The initial application period goes until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. 
18 Mar 2020    Are You Concerned About Lost Income from COVID-19?

Are you Concerned About Lost Income from COVID-19?

OEFFA Can Help Farmers Receive Zero Interest, Zero Fee Loans from Kiva.  Social distancing strategies intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) are already closing farmers' markets, schools, restaurants, and events. As the farming season begins to pick up, continued closures and reduced market attendance could have significant, negative economic consequences for farmers who rely on sales into local markets (including direct-to-consumer and restaurant sales). This uncertainty comes just as farmers are buying supplies for the year, paying their certification fees, and hiring help for the season. If you need help bridging the gap this year, click here to learn more about how OEFFA may be able to help you receive a zero interest, zero fee loan through Kiva. You can also contact OEFFA at (614) 421-2022 or kivatrustee@oeffa.org for more information or encouragement.

18 Mar 2020    National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Survey

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Survey

I you are familiar with our Organic Resources page, you may have used some of the resources from NCAT.  If you have, please take 10 minutes to fill out this survey.  NCAT is looking for your feedback on how you use ATTRA resources, how satisfied you are with those resources, and the impacts and benefits that you have seen from using these resources. The results will be used to identify the strengths and opportunities for improvement in the ATTRA program, and to provide evidence of the ongoing need for ATTRA resources and services.  All results from this survey are confidential and will remain anonymous.

Any questions about survey questions or the goals of the evaluation can be directed to Kristal Jones, External Evaluator (kristal@jgresearch.org). Questions about the ATTRA program and resources can always be submitted through the ATTRA website.

6 Mar 2020    Livestream of Leah Penniman: "Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty"

Livestream of Leah Penniman

Join us on MSU's campus March 10th, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, at Bessey Hall, Room 113, to watch a livestream of Leah Penniman's talk, "Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty" at U of M's Food Literacy for All Lecture Series. You will have an opportunity to ask Leah some virtual questions!  This event is free and open to community members, students, staff, and faculty. We will be providing light refreshments.
“Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty”
Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programs such as the Black-Indigenous Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid. Join us to learn how you too can be part of the movement for food sovereignty and help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.
21 Feb 2020    National Organic Producer Survey Open

National Organic Producer Survey Open

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) have released two national surveys—one for certified organic producers and the other for producers transitioning to organic certification. This collaborative effort is part of a USDA-funded project seeking to learn more about the challenges and research priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, and those transitioning land to certified organic production. 

OFRF, OSA, and a broad coalition of organic champions were instrumental in securing an increase in federal funding for organic research from $20M to $50M in the 2018 Farm Bill. This increase provides an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to tackle the challenges that inhibit the growth of organic production—strong farmer participation in these surveys is critical to informing that investment.
Survey results will be published in updated versions of OFRF's National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) report and OSA’s State of Organic Seed (SOS) report, both of which have been invaluable resources for ensuring research funding is relevant and responsive to the needs of organic producers, while also identifying gaps where additional investment is necessary. By collaborating on these surveys, OFRF and OSA hope to reduce survey fatigue and increase grower participation.
If you are a certified organic farmer/rancher, please respond to this survey:
If you are a farmer/rancher transitioning to certified organic production (this means no land currently certified organic), please take this transitioning producer survey:
13 Feb 2020    Cornell's Dry Bean Growers Survey

Dry Bean Growers Survey

Do you grow dry beans? Help to guide upcoming research and variety development for organic and specialty dry bean production by completing this short survey (Est. time to complete: 7 minutes).  The purpose of this survey is to seek input from organic and specialty dry bean growers on current growing practices, agronomic challenges and needs for variety improvement. To our knowledge, this type of needs assessment has not previously been completed.  The survey is being conducted by researchers in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section at Cornell University, but results will be shared with growers, public bean breeders and Extension specialists across the United States as well as Canada.  Follow this link to the Survey: Take the Survey
16 Jan 2020    Recycling Greenhouse Films

Recycling Greenhouse Films

Do you use Ag./Greenhouse and/or Marine Film Plastics or know a business/landowner that does? Wouldn't it be great to see Agricultural/Greenhouse & Marine Film Plastics Recycling available throughout the State. The Michigan Recycling Coalition has put together a survey about the developing film plastic recycling program. This is a well-needed program with an opportunity to divert a great deal of material from being burnt onsite, stack/piled long-term, or sent off to the landfill. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey if you use these plastics and spread the word to others.
You can follow this link to the survey:  https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/YDBUt3
20 Nov 2019    Sign Up to Form Organic Grain Raising Hubs

Sign Up to Form Organic Grain Raising Hubs

Wish you had a community of producers in your area where you could share knowledge and opportunities? MOSES and OGRAIN are setting up farmer-led groups to build supportive communities for organic grain farmers around the Midwest. Sign up here and encourage farmers in your area to join, too!

2 Oct 2019    Organic Intensives Announced for 2020

Organic Intensives Announced for 2020

MOFFA held its first Organic Intensives in March, 2015, and those who have attended year after year have consistently found the sessions to be of greater than expected value. On January 11th, MOFFA will offer the sixth annual Organic Intensives educational event, providing current and future farmers, as well as serious gardeners, an opportunity to focus intensely on subjects for which there is substantial interest and a desire to reach a level of deep understanding.

For 2020, MOFFA is working with individuals who are nationally recognized experts and educators in one of three topic areas:  Successful Biological Orcharding with Michael Phillips, Organic No-Till Farming with Andrew Mefferd, and Local Organic Herbs for Health with jim mcdonald.  Plan to join us!


5 May 2019    Annual Report 2018

MOFFA's Annual Report for 2018

MOFFA’s Annual Report for 2018 is now available on the website, joining other reports going back to 1992, the year of our founding.  The year 2018, marking MOFFA’s 26th anniversary, was a year of looking inward, with significant time spent discussing our collective values, priorities, and vision.  We greatly appreciated Julia Darnton from MSUE traveling to the meeting to facilitate a long discussion resulting in consensus on several key values that we all, as an organization and as individuals, hold dear: environment, community, cooperation, health, inclusiveness, and education.  We discussed these values and more, including the word “organic” and its continued shifting political economy.  The statement we settled on remains, like much in life, both imperfect and fully functional. It has been a reminder to all of us why we volunteer our time to discover, share, and promote an agricultural system we believe in. 

MOFFA's Vision:

A vibrant and diverse community working together for healthy food that is available for everyone and for agricultural practices that support the long-term viability of our ecosystem.

MOFFA lost one board member in 2018, when Collin Thompson moved to take up a new position in Virginia.  Unfortunately the first months of 2019 saw the loss of four more members -- Amy Newday, Emily Shettler, Julie Studier, and Emily Nicholls, all of whom needed to have more time for family and farm.  We elected one new board member, Tony Browne, at the Annual Meeting in April, and elected Jessie Smith Chair, replacing Emily Nicholls.  Once again, we encourage MOFFA members to let us know if they are interested in contributing to the spread of organic practices in Michigan by serving on the organization's board.

22 Apr 2019    Maynard Kaufman at Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

Sunday Social with Maynard Kaufman

We hope those of you in Southwest Michigan will join us at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven on Sunday, April 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm to hear Maynard Kaufman talk about his recently published memoir, From James Joyce to Organic Farming.  Maynard was present at the creation of both Organic Growers of Michigan (1973) and MOFFA (1992), and previously edited a book about the history of the organic movement in Michigan, with contributions from fifteen of those who were involved in the movement over the past 45 years. 

4 Feb 2019    It's Conference Season

It's Conference Season!

Chris Wright instructs in the mushroom sessionMOFFA completed its fifth annual Organic Intensives on January 12, 2019.  This year for the first time we offered four in-depth sessions:  Healthy Organic Livestock, Organic Mushroom Production, Technology in Organic Row Crops, and Advanced Organic Soil Management.  And once again, participants expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the material and the presenters—over 75% characterized both the content and the presenters as "excellent" and 97% and 99% called the content and the materials either "excellent" or "above average", respectively.

MOFFA also attended the Northern Michigan Small Farm Confrerence in January, and plans to have a presence at MIFFS' Family Farms conference in Kalamazoo on February 9 and the Central Michigan Seed Swap on February 24.  We'll hope to see you there!  Other major conferences coming up in the near future are the 40th Annual OEFFA Conference in Dayton, Ohio on Feb. 14-16; MOSES, Feb. 21-23 in La Crosse, Wisconsin; and the Indiana Organic Grain Farmers' Conference March 6-7 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

11 Jun 2018    2018 Farm Bill: Senate Edition

Draft Farm Bill Released in the Senate

On Friday, June 8, the Senate Agriculture Committee released their draft of the 2018 Farm Bill.  Chairman Roberts requested that proposed amendments be submitted on Monday and the bill is expected to move to the markup stage on Wednesday, June 13, and to be brought to a vote on the floor of the Senate before the July 4th recess.   

The Senate bill is a rare example of bipartisan cooperation, and contains several provisions that are advantageous to organic agriculture, including language to improve the integrity of the import supply chain, a substantial increase in funding for the Organic  Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), and mandatory funding for the organic cost share.

The Organic Farmers Association has made the full text of the bill (1006 pages) available online.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has posted articles on six aspects of the bill of greatest interest to family-scale farms and organic production: Conservation, Agricultural Research and Plant Breeding, Organic Agriculture, Local Food and Regional Development, Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, and Commodity Programs and Crop Insurance.

The House version of the Farm Bill, in contrast, was deeply flawed from a sustainable agriculture perspective, and did not find enough votes for passage last month.  NSAC's take on what might happen next in the house is available here.

16 Apr 2018    2018 Farm Bill

Draft of 2018 Farm Bill Introduced in the House

On April 12, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) introduced his draft of the 2018 Farm Bill.  While the bill contains limited provisions in support of organic, there are several serious threats as well.  The bill would end funding for the Organic Certification Cost Share.  It would also legitimize the practice of naming employees of industrial organic operations to seats on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that were clearly meant to be held by small-scale farmers, handlers and retailers. The bill also threatens a number of conservation initiatives and programs that benefit small-scale farms both organic and conventional.

The National Organic Coalition has prepared a Scorecard evaluating issues of importance to organic farmers and consumers.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has published a series of blog posts concerning six major issues: beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, crop insurance and commodity subsidies, local/regional food systems and rural development, research and seed breeding, conservation, and organic agriculture.

All in all, this bill represents a significant threat to organic on several fronts.  It will go through an amendment process -- make sure your Representative knows where you stand as the House debates these issues.

15 Apr 2018    Annual Report 2017

MOFFA's Annual Report for 2017

MOFFA’s Annual Report for 2017 is now available on the website, joining other reports going back to 1992, the year of our founding.  The year 2017, marking MOFFA’s 25th anniversary, saw the addition of three new board members (pictured at left), publication of The Organic Movement in Michigan and several new fact sheets, and significant changes in the political and regulatory landscape affecting organic production, in addition to another successful year of Organic Intensives, participation in seven state-wide and regional conferences and events, and continued publication and improvement of Michigan Organic Connections, our quarterly newsletter, and our website. 

Earlier this month MOFFA held its annual meeting, at which the organization elected a new Chair, Emily Nicholls, and Vice-Chair, Jessie Smith.  We would like to express our gratitude to John Biernbaum, who served as Chair for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, and whose leadership is reflected in the accomplishments documented in the annual report as well organizational underpinnings which will give us a strong foundation as we move into our second 25 years; and to Dan Rossman, who contributed his years of experience with both organic farming and organizational management as Vice-Chair during the same period.  Both John and Dan will continue as members of the board.

1 Jan 2018    USDA Withdrawal of Livestock and Poultry Rule

USDA Moves To Withdraw Livestock and Poultry Rule (Updated)

We don't always agree with the Organic Trade Association, but we are with them on this:  "After over a decade of stakeholder input, unanimous NOSB recommendations, and a thorough rulemaking process that yielded overwhelming support, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has taken an egregious action and all-out assault on the integrity of the USDA organic seal by opening a 30-day comment period on its INTENTION TO WITHDRAW the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule that was released on January 19, 2017."

The Livestock and Poultry Rule was a long time coming, having been in development since the the "Final Proposed Rule" for Organic certification first went into effect in 2002.  We wrote a bit about the history of the Rule in September of 2016.  The implementation of the Livestock and Poultry Rule, initially scheduled for March 19, 2017, was postponed by the incoming Trump administration until May 19, then by another six months until November, and finally by another six months, until May, 2018.  Then on December 18, the Department published its intent to wthdraw the Rule.  This action flies in the face of public opinion, which was documented by the Department's own request for public comment earlier this year to be in favor of immediate implementation of the rule by an overwhelming majority.  

The OTA filed a lawsuit in September to attempt to force the USDA to stop delaying the implementation of the Rule, and has amended the lawsuit in response to the USDA's action in December.

The USDA public comment period is open now through January 18.  It is extremely important that every person, business, and organization with a stake in the integrity of the Organic label SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT in their own words during this period. 

(Updated to provide a link to a very informative summary of the issue.)

16 Sep 2017    Fall NOSB Meeting

Fall NOSB Meeting (Update)

The Cornucopia Institute will live tweet from the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, beginning Tuesday morning, October 31. They will be sharing the play by play with Twitter followers under #NOSB, or simply follow the Cornucopia stream.  Periodic reports will also appear on Cornucopia's website at cornucopia.org/2017/10/follow-national-organic-standards-board-meeting-jacksonville-fl-nosb/

The National Organic Standards Board will hold its fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, October 31 - November 2.  The board intends to discuss organic imports, review sunsetting of accepted inputs for organic operations and new petitions, a proposal to eliminate the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic crop production, and, for the third time, the question as to whether hydroponic/aquaponic operations should be allowed to be certified organic. We encourage everyone who has a stake in organic production to make their opinions known in advance of this meeting.  For more information, see the Policy Page.


21 Aug 2017    Organic Certification Cost Share

Organic Certification Cost Share

Organic farmers and ranchers now need to visit their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in order to apply for cost share reimbursement through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).  This represents a change from prior years.

OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.

Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.  Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.

To learn more about organic certification cost share, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic or contact a local FSA office by visiting http://offices.usda.gov.


27 May 2017    The Organic Movement in Michigan

The Organic Movement in Michigan

On May 26, 2017, MOFFA published the book The Organic Movement in Michigan, which contains a wide variety of information: historical summaries of the major organic organizations, reports on various organic activities, and essays about the past, present and future of organic farming.  Edited by Maynard Kaufman and Julia Christianson, with contributions from sixteen of those who were a part of the movement spanning the last 45 years. 

Wes Jackson says, "Perhaps the best documented history of The Organic Movement generally comes out of Michigan. The writers—practitioners beginning in the early 70s—have bothered to write a comprehensive history of the local, organic, community supported story that de facto can serve as a primer for other states less far along. Sharing of ideas has long been a way of life for the movement so the already seasoned are sure to gain from a reading of this as well."



12 Apr 2017    Producing Fresh Milk

Producing Fresh Milk — Goat Edition

The Farm to Consumer Foundation announces the publication of Producing Fresh Milk — Goat Edition which joins the previously published Cow Edition.  These books are for readers who are interested in starting a dairy to provide fresh milk to families, producers currently shipping raw milk to the dairy industry, but are interested in providing fresh milk to families, or those currently providing fresh milk who would like to improve their dairy operations.  Learn step by step starting from the dairy business, going into about the farm, the quality of fresh milk production and ending with about the milk. The can be purchased on the Farm to Consumer Foundations website at https://f2cfnd.org/shop/.  Download the poster here.

27 Mar 2017    Let Your Voice Be Heard

drawing of a hand, writing

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

There are a number of issues on the national stage at the moment that stand to have a profound effect on organic agriculture for many years to come.  MOFFA strongly encourages farmers, consumers, and everyone who cares about the future of organic to take advantage of public comment periods on the following issues:

Keep the Soil in Organic—The public comment period has ended on the question of whether hydroponic operations should be able to be certified organic.  The issue will (we hope) be decided at the Spring NOSB meeting in Denver on April 19-21.  For those who would like more information, MOFFA's Chair Dr. John Biernbaum served on the hydroponics task force, and reported on his experience in our September and December newsletters. 

The Organic Check-Off—The public comment period on this issue ends at midnight on April 19.  The “check-off” program would use funds collected from producers and handlers of organic products for promotion and research—it’s the program that brought us the “Got Milk?” and “Incredible Edible Egg” campaigns.  Again, the vast majority of organic farmers are opposed to this additional “tax”, feeling that promoting organic sales now will not increase organic acreage in the US but may well increase demand for lower priced organic imports.  The check-off has been strongly promoted by the Organic Trade Association, representing corporate interests, and the public comments are already full of their form letter.  There is more information on the check-off at noorganiccheckoff.com.  You can view the proposed rule and submit your comment at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=AMS-SC-16-0112-2265.

The 2018 Farm Bill—The last item we want to mention does not require an immediate response, but we want people to be aware of what’s coming.  Legislators in Washington have already begun to talk about the 2018 Farm Bill, and given the current climate, there is a real danger that we might lose a major source of support for organic agriculture when this bill becomes law.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been blogging about the hearings on the Hill; the initial report is here, and subsequent posts can be viewed at http://sustainableagriculture.net/category/farm-bill/.  We encourage everyone who cares about the future of organic to join NSAC’s email list or RSS feed, and stay informed.  There are opportunities to sign up for the email newsletter and the RSS feed on the left hand side of both webpages mentioned above.


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