farming http://michiganradio.org en Michigan entrepreneurs want the saskatoon to be the next big fruit http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-entrepreneurs-want-saskatoon-be-next-big-fruit <p>An unusual berry should be widely available at farmers markets in northern Michigan this summer. In fact, the region has become the center of saskatoon growing in the United States.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Most people who grow </span>saskatoons<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> around Traverse City were not farmers until a few years ago, but the berry could have a bright future in northern Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:22:12 +0000 Peter Payette 18033 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan entrepreneurs want the saskatoon to be the next big fruit The new right-to-farm requirements and backyard animals http://michiganradio.org/post/new-right-farm-requirements-and-backyard-animals <p></p><p>Recent changes in the Michigan right-to farm requirements have drawn criticisms from those worried it may curtail their ability to keep bees, chickens, or other farm animals in their backyards.</p><p>But are these changes as threatening to urban farming as detractors fear?</p><p>Writer Anna Clark has looked into the revisions in the right-to farm requirements and she believes the answer is “no.”</p><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.</em></p><p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:04:25 +0000 Stateside Staff 17829 at http://michiganradio.org The new right-to-farm requirements and backyard animals Report: Climate change is a challenge now for Michigan farmers http://michiganradio.org/post/report-climate-change-challenge-now-michigan-farmers <p>Climate change is making Michigan farmers more vulnerable to dramatic weather shifts, according to <a href="http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/">a new report.</a></p><p>The U.S. Global Change Research Program released a report this morning claiming&nbsp;climate change is no longer a future threat but is a reality now.</p> Tue, 06 May 2014 15:01:22 +0000 Steve Carmody & The Associated Press 17492 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Climate change is a challenge now for Michigan farmers 'Poor soil and a short growing season': How U.P. farmers are building a new ag. industry http://michiganradio.org/post/poor-soil-and-short-growing-season-how-farmers-are-building-new-ag-industry <p>With its rocky soil, thick forests and painfully short growing season, the Upper Peninsula is never going to look like Iowa or Kansas&nbsp;<i style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif;">–&nbsp;</i><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and that's okay. For more than a century, a hardy batch of growers and livestock farmers have managed to survive and prosper in these less-than-ideal conditions. Thanks to new technologies and some decidedly low-tech solutions, the U.P.'s latest generation of </span>ag<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> workers are more productive than ever. Ultimately, the fruits of their labor may be felt&nbsp;</span><i style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif;">–&nbsp;</i><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and tasted&nbsp;</span><i style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif;">–&nbsp;</i><span style="line-height: 1.5;">far beyond the region's borders.</span></p><p><strong>Age-Old Limitations</strong><br />If you're a U.P. native, you don't need an advanced degree to understand why agriculture is challenging here. But&nbsp;<a href="http://msue.anr.msu.edu/county/info/alger" target="_blank">Alger County MSU Extension</a>&nbsp;Director Jim Isleib has one, so people tend to listen to his thoughts on this issue. "Poor soils and a short growing season&nbsp;<i style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif;">–&nbsp;</i><span style="line-height: 1.5;">that about sums it up," he says.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:32:25 +0000 Brian Martucci 17328 at http://michiganradio.org 'Poor soil and a short growing season': How U.P. farmers are building a new ag. industry Network aims to boost Michigan-produced food http://michiganradio.org/post/network-aims-boost-michigan-produced-food <p>LANSING –&nbsp;A new network aims to connect farmers, food processors, and food service directors as part of an effort to increase the amount of Michigan-produced food served in institutions.</p><p>The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the nonprofit Ecology Center environmental group&nbsp;on Thursday&nbsp;announced the launch of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network.</p><p>Organizers want schools, child care centers, hospitals, colleges and universities to get 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020. The Center for Regional Food Systems says food service directors have expressed interest in the idea.</p><p>The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center is working with Michigan hospitals on the effort. A campaign called "Cultivate Michigan" aims to help institutions reach the goal.</p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:34:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17093 at http://michiganradio.org Network aims to boost Michigan-produced food Federal agency wants you to help improve honeybees’ diet http://michiganradio.org/post/federal-agency-wants-you-help-improve-honeybees-diet <p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to give honeybees more and better-quality food in the Midwest.</p><p>Dan Zay is a biologist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Michigan. He says the agency hopes a better variety of high-quality flowering plants will help honeybees rebound from major population losses over the last eight years.</p><p>“It’s said that one in three mouthfuls of food and drink that we consume involves the efforts of honeybees,” Zay said.</p> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16855 at http://michiganradio.org Federal agency wants you to help improve honeybees’ diet More action needed to clean up Lake Erie, says international agency http://michiganradio.org/post/more-action-needed-clean-lake-erie-says-international-agency <p>Massive algae blooms and dead zones in Lake Erie: T<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hese used to be major environmental problems around the most urbanized Great Lake back in the '</span>60s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and '</span>70s<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, but they are problems once again.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now, an international agency that keeps an eye on the health of the Great Lakes is calling for more action.</span></p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:43:42 +0000 Mark Brush 16640 at http://michiganradio.org More action needed to clean up Lake Erie, says international agency More women are becoming farmers in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/more-women-are-becoming-farmers-michigan <p>The face of farming in America, and here in Michigan, is changing.</p><p>More and more often, that farmer raising crops or tending to a dairy herd is a woman.</p><p>As women move from a supporting role to a starring role on Michigan farms, how is this changing agriculture?</p><p>Sue Raker is the owner and operator of Cloverland Apiary and Farm on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.</p><p>And Wynne Wright is a professor in community sustainability and sociology at Michigan State University. They both joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:22:57 +0000 Stateside Staff 16599 at http://michiganradio.org More women are becoming farmers in Michigan Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-feb-25-2014 <p>We've almost all done it – you might have even done it just today: Made a purchase online.<br /><br />But have you ever wondered why you have to pay sales tax on online purchases from some retailers like Target, but not others, like Amazon? There's new legislation in Lansing that might change that. We found out more on today's show.</p><p>Then, close your eyes. Now, picture a farmer. What comes to mind? You probably pictured a man, but more women are raising crops now in Michigan. We took a look at what's behind the rise in female farmers.</p><p>And, it was the most infamous event of one of the most painful and divisive times in Michigan's history. A new play at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History explores the Algiers incident which occurred during the Detroit riots.&nbsp;</p><p>First on the show, i<span style="line-height: 1.5;">t's been five days since emergency manager Kevyn Orr released the bankruptcy reorganization blueprint, which maps out a way to wipe out billions in debt, spend over half a billion in tearing down abandoned buildings and invest $1 billion to improve city services.</span></p><p>Now that all stakeholders have had a chance to digest the blueprint, the battle lines are being drawn.</p><p>Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined us today to give us a look ahead.</p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:19:05 +0000 Stateside Staff 16603 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 Think winter was tough for you? Try being a dairy farmer http://michiganradio.org/post/think-winter-was-tough-you-try-being-dairy-farmer <p>We've all had plenty to grumble about as this long, cold, snowy winter drags on: s<span style="line-height: 1.5;">idewalks and driveways to shovel, grueling, slow freeway commutes.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But let's take a moment to try on winter from the perspective of the hard-working Michigan dairy farmer. Winter has a whole different feel when you're hauling yourself out to the barn to milk and feed your herd.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Karen Curry, a dairy farmer near East Tawas, knows this life very well. She joins us today to tell us how she's coping with this brutal winter weather.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:09:19 +0000 Stateside Staff 16576 at http://michiganradio.org Think winter was tough for you? Try being a dairy farmer New farm bill shakes up the way we pay for land conservation http://michiganradio.org/post/new-farm-bill-shakes-way-we-pay-land-conservation <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The farm bill has about $57 billion for conservation.</span></p><p>Director of the <a href="http://healthylakes.org/">Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition</a>&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Todd&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ambs</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says a lot of people don't realize the farm bill is where we find the largest source of conservation money from the federal government.</span></p><p>"That’s because there are so many activities that happen on the land that bring us our food, that if done improperly can have a very adverse impact on the soil and also to surrounding waterways," he says.</p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:10:53 +0000 Rebecca Williams 16488 at http://michiganradio.org New farm bill shakes up the way we pay for land conservation Backyard farmers to lose Right to Farm protection? http://michiganradio.org/post/backyard-farmers-lose-right-farm-protection <p>Life could soon get a little harder for backyard farmers.</p><p>A law passed in 1981 protects Michigan farmers from nuisance lawsuits. It’s called the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1599_1605---,00.html">Right to Farm Act</a>.&nbsp; It was created to protect farmers from angry neighbors who were moving out into rural areas from cities.</p><p>At the moment, the law also protects people who raise chickens and other animals in their backyards.</p><p>Wendy Banka lives in Ann Arbor.&nbsp; She has seven chickens with orange feathers living in a coop in her backyard.</p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:52:02 +0000 Rebecca Williams 16428 at http://michiganradio.org Backyard farmers to lose Right to Farm protection? Farm bill likely to help preserve N. Michigan farms http://michiganradio.org/post/farm-bill-likely-help-preserve-n-michigan-farms <p>The new <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/03/us-usa-agriculture-farmbill-idUSBREA121MZ20140203">farm bill</a> should help farmland preservation efforts in northern Michigan.</p><p>The way farmland preservation works is farmers sell the right to develop their land, so it can never be divided up for houses or strip malls. The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to protect farmland, and that will continue under the new farm bill.</p><p>But the federal dollars need to be matched locally, which can be a challenge in a region where land is so valuable.</p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Peter Payette 16290 at http://michiganradio.org Farm bill likely to help preserve N. Michigan farms A closer look at the future of ethanol and our renewable energy future http://michiganradio.org/post/closer-look-future-ethanol-and-our-renewable-energy-future <p>It’s been seven years since America hit the accelerator on corn-based ethanol fuels. Homegrown corn became the centerpiece of a push to find an alternative to foreign oil.</p><p>President Bush signed this expansion of the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007, promising it would make us “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”</p><p>But, as is so often the case, something that offers great promise on one hand, takes its toll on the other hand. So the view of corn-based ethanol very much depends upon which side of the fence you’re standing on.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 22:28:55 +0000 Stateside Staff 15924 at http://michiganradio.org A closer look at the future of ethanol and our renewable energy future Slow enrollment for Obamacare in rural counties http://michiganradio.org/post/slow-enrollment-obamacare-rural-counties <p>People in rural areas trying to enroll for health insurance as part of the new Affordable Care Act can face special challenges. Registration must happen online, and many people in Michigan’s rural counties do not have a home computer or access to the Internet.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:16:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 15874 at http://michiganradio.org Slow enrollment for Obamacare in rural counties Ypsilanti family finds happiness in living off the land http://michiganradio.org/post/ypsilanti-family-finds-happiness-living-land <p>Meet the Gold family. They're modern day homesteaders.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Their goal is to live as self-sufficiently as possible on their three-acre farm in </span>Ypsilanti<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. (They often say they use yesterday's knowledge combined with today's technology.)</span></p><p>Two years ago they started the <a href="http://www.mifolkschool.com/">Michigan Folk School. </a>The school promotes traditional folk arts and the preservation of forest and farmland.</p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 13:06:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 15758 at http://michiganradio.org Ypsilanti family finds happiness in living off the land Cattle farmer from the Upper Peninsula charged with animal cruelty http://michiganradio.org/post/cattle-farmer-upper-peninsula-charged-animal-cruelty <p>According to John Barnes of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/michigan_wolf_hunt_farmer_char.html#incart_m-rpt-2">MLive.com</a>, a cattle farmer who has "the state's highest number of reported wolf attacks" was charged with animal cruelty.</p><p>John Koski is from Bessemer, in Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula. He was charged with a misdemeanor, which is "punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine." His hearing is on December 17.</p><p>The charge involved Koski's treatment of "guard donkeys." Three guard donkeys were provided to Koski&nbsp;by the by the state to protect his cattle.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Donkeys are used because they aren't afraid of canines and have a "powerful&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">double-hooved</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;kick."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Koski is accused of "neglecting two &nbsp;donkeys provided by the state that died. A third was removed from the farm because of ill health, officials said."</span></p><p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:55:31 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15625 at http://michiganradio.org Cattle farmer from the Upper Peninsula charged with animal cruelty Big changes are coming to wetland regulations in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/big-changes-are-coming-wetland-regulations-michigan <p>Michigan has <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-waterwords-2013-10-08_436561_7.pdf">lost millions of acres of wetlands </a>over the last century. But the state’s still got roughly five million acres left.&nbsp;</p><p>“Wetlands are really, really important to clean water. They’ve been called nature’s nurseries and nature’s kidneys,” said Grenetta Thomassey, who heads <a href="http://www.watershedcouncil.org/">Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council </a>in Petoskey.</p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:30:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15575 at http://michiganradio.org Big changes are coming to wetland regulations in Michigan Michigan farmers talk broadband access, road funding and other topics at annual meet up http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-farmers-talk-broadband-access-road-funding-and-other-topics-annual-meet <p>The big, yearly meet up of Michigan farmers is this week in Grand Rapids. The annual Michigan Farm Bureau meeting helps cement policy stances important to agriculture.</p><p>There’s <a href="https://www.michfb.com/MI/News/Press_Releases/Road_funding,_broadband_access_top_Farm_Bureau_policy_slate/">dozens of issues up for discussion</a>. Some, like immigration reform and road funding aren’t new issues.</p><p>In fact, the poor condition of Michigan’s road was the issue that brought the MFB to fruition back in 1919.</p> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15484 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan farmers talk broadband access, road funding and other topics at annual meet up Some Michigan farmers leaving crops to rot because of labor shortage http://michiganradio.org/post/some-michigan-farmers-leaving-crops-rot-because-labor-shortage <p>A couple dozen Michigan farmers gathered in Grand Rapids Thursday to again draw attention to a big labor shortage.</p><p>They&rsquo;re calling on Congress to pass legislation that would allow guest workers to get jobs in the U-S without becoming citizens.</p><p>Don Coe is a managing partner of Black Star Farms. He grows grapes and cherries in Suttons Bay in Northwest Michigan.</p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:10:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14808 at http://michiganradio.org Some Michigan farmers leaving crops to rot because of labor shortage