Tag Archives: Agriculture

USDA grants $1.4 million to protect and restore wetland and agricultural lands

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is using a $1.4 million grant from the federal government for two land easement programs in the state.

The programs focus is on keeping wetlands and agricultural lands precisely that: wetlands and agricultural lands. Continue reading

Planting season is around the corner

CropsAs warmer weather finally returns to Michigan, farmers are gearing up for the planting season.

Crop analysts are hopeful that the 2015 planting season will be relatively normal, compared to last year when cold weather delayed farmers from taking to their fields. Continue reading

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visits CMU for symposium

Stabenow
Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow delivered the keynote address at today’s “Great Lakes Science in Action” symposium at Central Michigan University.
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“Sprout Lab” hits the road to spur statewide innovation

sproutA program for agricultural entrepreneurs is coming to Mid-Michigan, with the goal of fertilizing new ideas.

The “Sprout Lab” is an entrepreneurship program focused on identifying agricultural innovators, and engaging them in the state’s entrepreneur ecosystem. Continue reading

Central Michigan University is launching a STEM-Agriculture partnership

CMU is partnering with a rural school to help students with STEM- that’s science, technology engineering and math.

And the partnership has an agricultural twist.

Officials at CMU are launching the partnership this month between student-teachers, and classroom teachers in St. Johns-an agricultural community. Continue reading

The Christmas tree industry

Imagine 33 million Christmas trees. That’s how many holiday trees were brought home just last year in the United States according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Marcia Gray, Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said Christmas trees are actually considered one of Michigan’s cash crops!

“Well, first of all, Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. This holiday season we’re going to estimate that we harvest 2 to 2-and-a-half million trees. About 3-quarters of those trees leave Michigan. Our trees are going elsewhere and bringing dollars back.”

Gray said she expects the tree industry to bring in roughly 40-million dollars to the state this year, and that’s at wholesale price.

She also said the agriculture industry is much more influential on Michigan’s economy than people give it credit for.

For more information on the Michigan Christmas tree business visit this website.

High school students grow produce for school lunches

October is National Farm to School Month and at one northern Michigan school, students have been in the garden growing their lunches. Now it’s harvest time.

Students at Northern Michigan Christian School in McBain have been growing vegetables for lunches and for agricultural education for six years now.

Nikki Witbeck teaches agriculture classes at the school.

She said the students weren’t getting enough healthy food. So the school decided to discontinue the federal hot lunch program and plant its own garden. Continue reading

Michigan farmers fear new rules could jeopardize their operations

 Local farmers worry about the impact proposed new regulations will have on their ability to provide affordable produce to Michigan communities. Photo courtesy of Nic Welty.

Local farmers worry about the impact proposed new regulations will have on their ability to provide affordable produce to Michigan communities. Photo courtesy of Nic Welty.

In light of the rise in food-borne illness outbreaks, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations for produce farms and food processors, and Michigan’s local farmers fear the changes could unfairly burden their operations and reduce options for consumers.
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