Category Archives: Agriculture

Conservation projects designed to connect Saginaw residents with nature

725bd576d952f37e90c1e578afa59c57 (1)
The Saginaw Basin Conservancy has launched several major projects in Saginaw… designed to create natural beauty and reconnect residents with nature.


The conservancy is calling these “tipping point projects.”

There are four total, including a trail system at Saginaw State University, the cleaning of 10 vacant lots across the city, the renovation of 16-acres at Celebration Square, and a newly paved trail along the city’s riverfront.

Zachary Branigan is the executive director of the Saginaw Basin Conservancy. He said they decided to launch projects in the city a few years ago…

“One thing we really wanted to do is reach out the the community. So over the past year before we started these projects we did a community engagement process. That really involved us going into the community and listening and looking for projects that made sense.”

Branigan said the conservancy is performing around 300 thousand dollars worth of work in the city. He says if all goes as planned, the projects should be completed next year.

State plans trade mission; hopes to boost exports to China

Arnhem Market Sep 20 2013 (23)Michigan and China have a larger trading relationship than many consumers know. In the past decade, Michigan exports to China have grown by over 200 percent… and the state wants to see that number increase even more.


Officials with the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said, Chinese consumers like Michigan dairy products and cherries, and they hope to introduce more Michigan products to Chinese distributors.

Jamie Zmitko-Somers is the International Marketing Program Manager for the department. She said the trade mission aims to represent all Michigan companies.

“This would be for any Michigan companies looking to further their exports into the Chinese market or break into the China market for the first time. So it could be smaller companies or larger companies as well.”

Zmitko-Somers said, the trade mission is planned for this upcoming November. Companies interested in participating can find a link to the application at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/China-Company_profile_form_528113_7.pdf

Michigan vineyard owner loving the warm weather

Bowers Harbor in Winter

Bowers Harbor in Winter

After two years of harsh winters have taken their toll on Michigan vineyards, this year’s warmer weather is being seen as a blessing.

That’s according to Justin Leshinskey, Director of Sales for Bowers Harbor Vineyards in Traverse City.

Leshinskey said he couldn’t have asked for better conditions for their vineyard’s silver anniversary.

“We’re hoping for a wonderful year this year, in fact this year is going to be our 25th anniversary. We’re hoping, if mother nature and the farming Gods allow, that we’ll have the best 25th harvest that we can.”



This year he expects the best yield he’s had in years.

“It’s been warmer, like I said the bay hasn’t frozen over, we’ve had some great snow, and that’s insulated the vines. Also too, ya know, the vines, after not really producing a lot of fruit the last few years, they’ve got a lot of energy stored up. They’re ready to do their job as long as mother nature allows them to.”

Leshinskey said Michigan is the 4th largest producer of grapes in the nation.

Leshinskey said although it’s been warm, it hasn’t been warm enough for the vines to wake up just yet.

Due to that, he’s not afraid of a late winter frost damaging the crop.

Route to prosperity event coming to Northwest MI

Event Breakdown

Event Breakdown

The Northwest Michigan Food Farming Network is attempting to boost the amount of locally sourced food bought and sold in state.

In order to kickstart that goal, the network is holding an event at the end of the month in Traverse city.
Continue reading

MSU Extension bridges generational gap in agriculture with technology

Msu extension logoMichigan State University Extension will host an event in mid-March aimed at helping those new to agriculture get a head start.
Continue reading

Season extension technologies allow farmers in the Upper Peninsula to offer fresh produce year round

 

IMG_0843Season extension technologies allow farmers in the Upper Peninsula to offer fresh produce year round. Most recently,  winter spinach has been added to the menu for the local food co-op the UP is working to launch.

Continue reading

Late winter and invasive pests poses concern for Michigan fruit growers

cherries

The late winter is a concern for many Michigan area fruit growers.

Fruit growers met in Traverse City this week to talk about things like invasive pests, marketing skills, and damage to vegetation. Continue reading

Michigan beet crop could be threatened by warm weather

Lancaster Pennsylvania Open Farmland and Field

The same warm weather that allowed the Michigan Sugar Company to take in a record-breaking harvest may be threatening those same beets, as they sit in storage, awaiting processing.

Ray Van Driessche is the director of community and government relations for Michigan Sugar Company. He said the size of the yield was unbelievable.

Continue reading

Waters of the United States rule faces copious amounts of scrutiny

Logo of the EPA

Logo of the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS, is facing heavy scrutiny from around the country.

WOTUS is intended to clarify which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act. Instead it’s prompted a heated debate.
Continue reading