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Sutherland appointed to national grain advisory committee

News Digest: A quick look at agricultural news in Michigan.

Bruce Sutherland of Okemos and president of Michigan Agricultural Commodities was recently appointed to the Federal Grain Inspection Service’s Grain Inspection Advisory Committee by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Sutherland is one of 12 members appointed to three-year terms.

Established in 1981, the advisory committee represents the interests of all segments of the U.S. grain industry, from producer to exporter. The 15-member committee typically includes grain processors, merchandisers, handlers, exporters, consumers, grain inspection agencies and scientists.

Woodall hired as Michigan Apple Committee regional manager

The Michigan Apple Committee recently hired John Woodall to be manager of the northern U.S. Woodall replaces Mike Bardon, who retired in June. Cam Harrington remains on staff covering the southern region.

Most recently, Woodall served as produce and floral specialist for Lucky’s Market, based in Denver. Prior to that, he had roles as produce buyer for Crosset Co. and Caito Food Service, with specific experience in the apple category at both companies.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities for Michigan apples.

Padden joins MDARD food safety program

James Padden was recently selected to serve as manager of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Food Safety and Inspection Program in the Food and Dairy Division. Padden replaces Sandra Walker, who retired in June.

Padden joined MDARD in 1995 and has over 22 years of food safety experience. He was a food safety inspector, a processing and labeling senior inspector, and most recently a supervisor for the northern region. He also has 10 years of environmental remediation experience in the private sector.

Padden has specialized training and certification in several food safety processes on the state and federal levels.

GreenStone members elect directors

Members of GreenStone Farm Credit Services have elected four to the cooperative’s board of directors, including two new board members: Michael Timmer and Jed Welder.

Michael Timmer, Allegan County, replaces retiring board member Darl Evers. He was elected to a four-year term on the board, representing Region 4. He operates a diversified farming business, raising replacement heifers and growing corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat. 

Jed Welder, Montcalm County, was elected to a four-year term, representing Region 5.  Welder and his family operate Trinity Farms, raising corn, soybeans and oats, along with a custom-harvesting business. Welder replaces Christine Crumbaugh, who transitioned to the AgriBank board of directors.

The two incumbents re-elected to four-year terms include Edward Reed, Cass County, for Region 4, and Andy) Snider, Oceana County, for Region 5.

VanWoerkom to work on reduced-risk pesticides

Entomology alumnus Anthony VanWoerkom recently joined the North Central Region IR-4 as the new regional field coordinator. VanWoerkom earned his bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at Michigan State University, studying fruit entomology and insecticide toxicology. He worked as a research technician at the Trevor Nichols Research Center and as an IR-4 field research director.

The national IR-4 project serves as the primary avenue for new reduced-risk pesticides and biopesticides to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for minor-use crops and ornamentals.

IR-4 contributes to over 95,000 U.S. jobs throughout the ag production value chain. The North Central Region IR-4 regional field coordinator is the primary point of contact for specialty crop growers in the north-central region, ensuring their pest management needs are included in the annual prioritization process. The North Central Region includes 12 states in the general Midwest.

Gordon appointed to national fruit, vegetable committee

Michigan is being represented on the recently re-established Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The newly appointed members, including Julie Gordon of the Cherry Marketing Institute in DeWitt, will serve through March 26, 2020. The appointees were selected from nominations received in May.

Originally chartered in 2001, the FVIAC advises the ag secretary on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry.

MDARD names outstanding employees for 2018

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development annual employee awards constitute a  commitment to teamwork, leadership, outstanding customer service and dedication to excellence.

Winners are nominated by their fellow MDARD colleagues. Additionally, 46 MDARD employees celebrated from 10 to 40 years of service.

The 2018 award winners include: 
 Leadership Award — Craig VanBuren, Williamston 
 Every Day Hero Award — Elizabeth Dorman, Laingsburg 
 Front Line Ambassador Award — Elizabeth Giem, Boyne Falls  
 Rookie of the Year — Amber Neils, Petoskey 

Black Star Farms wine earns national award

At the 19th Annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) in October, “Best Wine of the 2018 Challenge” was given to the Black Star Farms’ 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling. This is only the second time in CIRC’s 19-year history that an U.S. wine has come out on top.

Black Star Farms is a wine and culinary destination in the heart of Traverse City’s wine country, which features two winery production facilities with tasting rooms on both the Old Mission and Leelanau wine trails.  

Hosted in Canberra, Australia, CIRC was created to highlight the grape that defines white wine, riesling. A record number of rieslings, 567, from six countries — Australia, New Zealand, U.S., Germany, France and Czech Republic — were judged at this year’s challenge.

The Black Star Farms 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling was awarded Best Riesling in the World, scoring 98 points in addition to taking home Best Dry Riesling and Best American Riesling. All six rieslings Black Star Farms submitted took home medals.

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