Cultivating Food Safety on the Farm

Saturday, March 12
Marquette Charter Township
300 Commerce Drive
Marquette, MI 49855

Food safety is a significant consideration for all farms, especially those selling wholesale produce. If the thought of navigating certifications, wading through paperwork, and creating a farm food safety plan seem daunting, this training is for you. Come get an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act, learn the latest in farm food safety, find out about GroupGAP in Michigan, and get help developing or updating your farm's food safety plan. you will be in good company as you join farmers from around the UP who are working together to create a culture of food safety. This training is required for farms supplying produce to the Marquette Food Co-op. 

Register by March 4 at or by calling 906 225-0671 x 711.


educational events and opportunities

2016 Agriculture & Food Symposium: Tools for Resilience

Friday, February 5 7pm
The third annual RAIN Agriculture & Food Symposium will be held at the Bruce Station Community Hall Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th, 2016.

This year’s symposium will focus on three distinct areas related to longevity and resilience on and within your farm:

– Succession Planning and budgeting with Len Davies 
– Testing Feasibility of New Products: Malted Barley with Michigan State University’s (MSU) Ashley McFarland
– Season Extension Techniques and Technologies with MSU’s Collin Thompson

MSU Extension Master Gardener Class Begins In March


Thursdays, 6-10pm
March 3-June 2 2016
315 Armory Place
Sault Ste Marie, MI 49783

Did your garden not turn out the way you had hoped last year? Did those pesky weeds take over your garden space? Was your harvest more or even less than you expected? If you experienced any of these issues or one of many others, then March is a great time to begin talking and learning about gardening for the upcoming spring!
Start this year’s garden season out right by taking time this spring to learn the basic science of growing plants. Whether it is plants in your landscape or plants in your vegetable garden, the Extension Master Gardener Class can help you become a better gardener! You can also connect with other gardeners and learn from them too.
The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a volunteer leader training program offered by MSU Extension to those who are interested in learning more about general gardening and have the desire to pass that knowledge on to others. No experience or prior knowledge is required!
Participants will gain access to world class gardening knowledge. Instructors will cover a series of 13 topics based on university research including: plant and soil sciences, annuals and perennial flowers, small fruits, tree fruits, vegetable gardening, lawns, woody ornamentals, diagnostics, integrated pest management, household and nuisance pasts, and gardening practices to protect water quality.
The cost of the 14-week program is $300, which includes the 1,000-page training manual. There are partial scholarships available to help offset this cost; you can apply for these online.  To enroll in the Master Gardening training, please complete the registration and agreement forms online at  The last day to register online is Feb. 19th.  Register by Feb. 5th if paying by check)

UP Ag for Tomorrow Conference

Tuesday, March 8
Bay de Noc Community College Main Campus
Joseph Heirman University Center 
2001 N Lincoln Road 
Escanaba, MI 49828

Do you farm for profit? Do you want the latest crop, livestock and farm management information for the U.P.? If so, the Michigan State University Extension’s Agriculture for Tomorrow Conference is something you won’t want to miss. Get the latest information and ideas from Upper Peninsula farmers, Michigan State University Extension and industry experts.

Opening session keynote speaker will be Diane Hanson, Delta County Farmer, MI Ag Commission Member on the theme "Advocating for Upper Peninsula Agriculture".

Register early to receive a $10 discount!!! Cost to register is $25 for pre-registration. After Feb. 24, the cost is $35 to register. Lunch and materials are included in the cost.

Online registration is available until March 2, 2016.

Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference

Thursday, March 16-17
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd.
Acme, MI 49610

The conference will feature separate basic and advanced sessions for hop growers as well as a barley session and malting tour that is designed for both growers and brewers. Several prominent speakers from around the country will be on hand to discuss: horticultural practices, pest and disease control, harvest and post-harvest practices, nutrient management, and much more. Click here for more information and to register. 

USDA Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

The USDA's Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy and is available in all counties nationwide. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets.


work with good food

Production Assistant – Michigan State University North Farm

The North Farm at the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, MI is a production, education, and research farm that stresses sustainable practices focused on soil health leading to nutrient rich food production and serves as the center for educational and extension programming. Research is also conducted on season extension technologies, year-round farming in northern latitudes, and cold tolerant varieties. 

The North Farm Production Assistant, under direct supervision of the Farm Manager, will be responsible for day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of farm facilities, vegetable production and harvest. The Assistant will help the Manager conduct variety trials on various vegetable crops both in a hoophouse and in the field. Trials will be on-going to examine the efficacy of cold storage methods as well. Developing the infrastructure on the farm will be another primary task in preparation for the Apprentice and Novice farmer program. 

Deadline for applications is January 31, 2016

News & Events

recent and coming happenings

How Do New Food Safety Rules Impact Your Farm?

By Sophia Kruszewski, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized two major rules—known informally as the “Produce Rule” and the Preventive Controls or “Facilities Rule”—under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These rules were the subject of significant grassroots advocacy from the sustainable agriculture community during the drafting or “rulemaking” stage, which resulted in a number of important changes in the final rules. As we enter FSMA’s implementation phase, this article lays out some of the main issues in the rules for farmers.

The information in this article is only an overview, intended to alert you to the rules’ key issues and point you toward more information specific to your operation. Both MOSES and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) have resources available to help you navigate the rules in more detail, and more information will be coming from USDA, FDA, and others to help farmers understand and adapt to new requirements.

Good Food Financing Fair Applications Now Being Accepted

The 2016 Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference creates channels to access capital and finance the growth of farm and food businesses. The conference, which convenes on Thursday, March 24, brings together national and regional leaders in finance, farming, food production, distribution, processing and manufacturing to offer insight, information, and inspiration to entrepreneurs in the expanding local food business sector. By attending the conference, entrepreneurs learn about the tools, strategies and best practices that will help them grow their businesses.
The Conference includes a juried Financing Fair that fosters investment in farm and food businesses by connecting entrepreneurs with investors, lenders and other funders. The Fair is presented in a walk-around format, and each company selected to participate will host an exhibit table to showcase information about its business and offer product samples, if appropriate.
To apply to participate in the Financing Fair, please submit the online Financing Fair Application Form and upload required documents at A LinkedIn or Facebook account is required to log on to the application’s host site. There is no cost to apply, but those accepted to participate in the Financing Fair must purchase a ticket to attend the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference (cost $95 advance purchase online at
The deadline to apply is Monday, February 29, 2016. The selection process will be completed and accepted applicants notified by Friday, March 11, 2016.


Michigan's Emerging Farmers – Strategies and Tools to Enhance Success 
Matching Funds Program Application

Deadline for submission is March 14, 2016

Through a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS), Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) and MSU Student Organic Farm will provide a limited number of $2,000 stipends to beginning farmers in Michigan. Each $2,000 stipend requires applicant matching savings of at least $1,000 intended for farm-related costs. The stipends are designed to help people in their first years of farming to develop and stabilize their farming business, increasing its long-term viability. 
Click here to access the application. For questions and comments, please email Shakara Tyler at

Central Food Hub Upcoming Meetings

UPFE Policy Commitee Meeting

(First Tuesday of every month) 

Tuesday March 1, 9am at the Marquette Food Co-op
Contact Natasha Lantz at or 906-225-0671 x 711 for more information

CUP Farm to School Committee Meeting

Wednesday February 3 at the Marquette Food Co-op
Contact Sarah Monte for more information at or 906 225-0671 x 723

Western Food Hub Upcoming Meetings

WUP Food Hub Steering Committee

Meetings are held at the Health Department in Hancock, 540 Depot Street, behind McGanns Hardware in the blue building. Contact Ray Sharp at (906) 482-7382, Ext. 163 for more information.

Eastern Food Hub Upcoming Meetings

EUP Healthy Access and Food Hub Steering Committee

(Third Wednesday of the month)
February 17, 9-10:30AM CLM Conservation District Office

Please contact Michelle Walk at or 906-635-6368 or Heather Hemming at if you would like to become involved in this committee.
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