farming

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Oxford University Press

Current State's Scott Pohl talks to Paul Thompson about his new book From Field to Fork, which deals with the ethics surrounding the American food system.


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Many Michigan farmers are wrapping up their spring planting this month.  But this season, there’s a cloud hanging overhead...and it’s not bringing nourishing rain.  It is, however, all about water.   Last week, the U-S Environmental Protection Agency issued its final rule on what it calls the “Waters of the United States.”  The action expands the EPA’s jurisdiction over more waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.   The agency says the action is necessary to keep the nation’s waters clean.

 Wednesday on CS means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about Lansing Roots, a business incubator for aspiring farmers with limited means.  To learn more about the program, Current State talks to Alex Bryan, from the Greater Lansing Food Bank, the organization behind the program.

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Nitrogen plays an essential role in plant growth, but it’s a scarce resource in nature. Farmers used to have to use beans or legumes to fix the nutrient into their fields. But with the advent of artificial fertilizers, agriculture has been able to bypass that step and put the nitrogen directly into the soil. While this has allowed farmers to increase production of nutrient intensive crops like corn, it’s had some other, not so great, side effects.

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Michigan State University has always been known for its strong Agriculture and Natural Resources programs. The university is in the midst of its 100th annual ANR Week, which showcases the sciences of farming and environmental stewardship. One recent conference highlighted farm sustainability into the 21st century.

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