MSU Farms Go Green!
The Eaton Conservation District is pleased to announce that the first three research farms on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) have achieved verification under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MSU Cow Calf Teaching & Research Center, MSU Swine Teaching& Research Center and the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center received recognition June 30 from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for becoming verified under the MAEAP Farmstead and Livestock Systems.
Joe Kelpinski, MAEAP verifier with MDARD applauded MSU’s verifications. “It was a pleasure to work with MSU through the verification process. As one of the premier land grant research colleges in the United States, MSU is known for their teaching and research. By obtaining their MAEAP verifications, the MSU facilities that were verified have shown not only their commitment to continued research on improving animal production, but that they are focusing on doing so in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Their continued efforts in this area have enabled them to meet the rigorous MAEAP standards and show that production and environmental commitment can coexist to the benefit of both in livestock production systems. These facilities are to be commended for their efforts.”
All three MSU centers are utilized by faculty, staff, and students to develop successful graduates, conduct innovative research, and engage stakeholders. The facilities are used to advance agriculture using multidisciplinary approaches to teach, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge in livestock biology and management
while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students.
The Cow Calf Center, established at its current location in 1954, is a 340-acre, pasture-based operation that focuses on the breeding and management of beef cattle. The Swine Center, established in 1997, has a closed breeding program which produces animals that are used for research in nutrition, behavior, genetics, environmental management, meat science and muscle biology, and production management. Animals are also used for class projects and experiences for all MSU students, as well as many 4-H, FFA, and other youth and adult activities. The Beef Cattle Center, established in 1964, conducts basic and applied beef cattle (ruminant) research and teaching that benefits beef cattle producers and ultimately the consumers of Michigan.
“Becoming MAEAP verified was a logical step for our South Campus farms. Although we are mandated to implement best management practices, with so many of our stakeholders investing time and resources to achieve MAEAP verification we felt it was important for us to do the same. We are proud to plant the MAEAP verified sign in front of our facilities and look forward to having all our farms verified.” said Dr. Janice Swanson, Chair of the MSU Department of Animal Science. Other farms and facilities on campus are in the process of achieving MAEAP verification. This process can take anywhere from a few months to several years depending on the size of the farm and their ability to dedicate time to working on the MAEAP process in addition to normal farm responsibilities.
MAEAP focuses on helping farmers adopt management practices that proactively prevent pollution on the farm. Producers are encouraged to use soils tests to assess fertilizer demands of crops and minimize nitrogen and phosphorus loading of Michigan’s groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. The program also focuses on responsible soil erosion, manure management, odor management, well water testing, pesticide use and storage, irrigation management, water conservation, fuel storage, and a number of other issues that pertain directly to the farmstead. MAEAP is a voluntary program that allows farmers to access free, confidential, technical assistance to protect natural resources on the farm. It offers a nonregulatory route for farms to be assured they are in compliance with Right to Farm and applicable laws.
For more information on MAEAP or other conservation programs please contact your local technician, Jennifer Silveri, at the Eaton Conservation District, (517) 543-5848 ext 112 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the farms on MSU’s Campus visit http://www.ans.msu.edu/facilities.
Properly planted trees can provide a variety of ecological and economic benefits including retaining and filtering stormwater, improving air quality, reducing soil erosion, reducing energy costs, and increasing real estate values. To continue to bring these benefits to Michigan communities, the Eaton Conservation District and the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance are announcing their Go Green Youth Challenge Tree Planting Grants.
The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance’s Go Green Youth Challenge (GGYC) engages Michigan youth in environmental stewardship, community development, and service-learning through a statewide effort to plant trees in Michigan. Children, pre-K through 12th grade, are challenged to collect coins as an individual, classroom, or club each spring. The coins collected fund community tree plantings and program outreach efforts. In the spirit of the GGYC, the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance offers local units of government, public educational institutions, public libraries, non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, churches, and tribal governments the opportunity to apply for a grant for up to $2,000 to plant trees.
Grant applications are available online at www.miarbordayalliance.com. Applications are due by mail no later than August 15th, 2014. Funded tree planting projects must be completed by December 31st, 2014.
The 2014 GGYC exceeded previous monetary goals and had over 1,100 students from across the state participate! Planting projects in Potterville and Dimondale were funded by this grant in 2012 and we would love to see more applications from Eaton County.
The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance would like to thank everyone who participated, including the sponsors: ITC, Lansing Board of Water and Light, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Eaton Conservation District, WKAR, and Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.
The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance is a coalition of organizations and agencies dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Arbor Day throughout Michigan. Our dedication comes from our belief in the importance of trees and their role in community health and well-being. Since 1993, MADA has provided educational programs and services to Michigan communities.
The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance is a program of the Eaton Conservation District.
The recent oil spill mystery in Lansing on the Grand River reminds us that everything we do, affects our local waterways. The fluids that leak or drip from your automobile eventually end up in our rivers, lakes, and streams. Did you know that even though your home may be miles away from a lake or a river, the chemicals that spill on your driveway or parking lot find their way to our local waterways? Eaton County is home to three separate watersheds: the Grand River, Thornapple River, and Battle Creek River Watersheds. The rainwater, soiled water from washing your car, and any toxic chemicals which are allowed to enter drainage ditches and storm sewers end up flowing into these watersheds. Keeping hazardous chemicals from entering the watershed is an important task for everyone to keep in mind. Here are suggestions how the proper maintenance of your automobile plays a key role in
keeping our surface water clean.
Repair any leaks and drips from your automobile. This includes: motor oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze/coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, gasoline and other lubricants. Remember, these chemicals are also dangerous to your pets.
If you choose to change your own oil, do not dump the used oil in the yard, on your driveway, or in a storm drain. Find a local firm that will recycle the used oil.
Do not use used motor oil to control dust on gravel drives.
Wash your car on the grass to filter out impurities or take it to a commercial car wash where the water is reclaimed (check local ordinances first).
Basic automobile maintenance such as tune-ups, proper tire inflation, and efficient driving practices saves on fuel, as well as water and air pollution.
Abandoned automobiles should be taken to a scrap yard or donated to a local charity. Old cars sitting out in a field will leak oil and fuel.
Having a clean environment is of primary importance for our health and economy. Clean waterways provide recreation, commercial opportunities, fish habitat, and add beauty to our landscape. All of us benefit
from clean water - and all of us have a role in getting and keeping our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater clean. For more easy steps on protecting our lakes and streams, visit www.pollutionisntpretty.org or contact the Eaton Conservation District at 517/543-5848 x 5.