This month, the Vermont-based local food advocacy group "Strolling of the Heifers" released its second annual Locavore Index. The index ranks states based on their commitment to local food. Michigan earned a spot at # 22 on the list.
The Michigan Farmers Market Conference takes place today and tomorrow as part of Agriculture and Natural Resources Week. The growth and expansion of farmers’ markets is one of the most visible aspects of Michigan’s vibrant local and regional food renaissance. This rapid market growth has created a need for educational and advocacy programs that protect and grow these venues and highlight the benefits and importance of Michigan agriculture.
Today on Current State: Michigan's energy future; Michigan radio legend Mike Whorf talks about life and love songs; MSU research on cyberbullying; a Public Poetry Announcement featuring Jack Gilbert; and Michigan farmers voice their concerns.
More than 400 Michigan farmers had a chance to meet with state legislators this week to talk about their priorities for 2013. The Michigan Farm Bureau has outlined three main focus areas for its agenda: access to markets, workforce development, and regulatory reform.
2012 is already unfolding as a year that many Michigan crop growers would like to forget. The state’s warmest March ever led to the destruction of almost all of its apples and tart cherries--a combined loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As summer settles in, a prolonged dry spell has thousands of mid- and south-Michigan corn growers praying for rain.
U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager is praising the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion farm bill. Tonsager was in mid-Michigan Friday to meet with farmers and homeowners.
The farm bill that cleared the Senate Thursday cuts some $24 billion over the next decade. It would end direct federal subsidies to farmers who’ve relied on those payments since the 1980’s. Tonsager says farmers are doing well enough economically that there’s less need now for government assistance.
Warm weather has promoted fruit trees in Michigan to bloom four or five weeks ahead of schedule. That means that bees need to be here early, too, but most of the bees that pollinate orchards in Michigan are still wintering in Florida or are busy pollinating crops in California.