EAST LANSING, Mich. — Farmers can seek organic certification for their farm for several different reasons—to be acknowledged for reduction in pesticide use, to sell to specialty markets and fetch a price premium, or to differentiate farm products from other farms in the area. Whatever the reason, the same process for all organic farmers is required to become certified with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). This process requires more than completing and submitting forms. During the June 10, 2021, Field Crops Virtual Breakfast, Michigan State University Extension organic specialist Vicki Morrone will share examples of how a few Michigan farmers have transitioned land to produce organic crops.
Morrone will also provide a check list to guide you towards organic certification and producing a quality organic crop. To certify a farm, the farmer must develop a farm plan to that includes soil health, integrated pest management and building plant resilience. A weather update for the week will be provided by MSU agricultural climatologist Jeff Andresen, and there will be an opportunity for participants to have their questions answered.
The Michigan State University Extension Field Crops Virtual Breakfast Series are held every week during the growing season via Zoom video or phone conference. These virtual meetings will take place every Thursday morning from 7-7:30 a.m. April 1 through Sept. 23, 2021. There will be a 30-minute Q&A session following the presentations.
Participating is easy and free! You can join the live meeting via Zoom using a computer, tablet, mobile device or regular phone line. If you are new to Zoom, simply download the Zoom app and you will be ready to join online every week to see visuals shared by presenters. A call-in by phone option is also available but note that you will only hear the audio portion.
Restricted use pesticide (RUP) credits and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) CEUs are now available for attendees who attend the live meeting.
Participants must sign up to receive an email notification with instructions for joining the Virtual Breakfast. You only need to do this once and you will receive the Zoom link and call-in phone number, as well as weekly reminders every Wednesday. Participants receiving emails can opt in or out at any time.
If you cannot participate in the live session at 7 a.m., you can view the recorded version at any time. However, only the live session will be eligible for RUP and CCA credits. Recordings will be closed-captioned and available at the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast webpage and the MSU Extension Field Crops Team social media platforms: Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Twitter.
If you are unable to sign up online, call the Lapeer County MSU Extension office at 810-667-0341.
— Monica Jean, Michigan State University Extension
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