MACD News Blog

Important: Potential High Risk Bovine TB Area Designation in Presque Isle County

Monday, February 09, 2015

Potential High Risk Areas around TB Positive Deer Established

LANSING – Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), established two “Potential High Risk Areas” for bovine Tuberculosis (TB) after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed two bovine TB positive free-ranging white-tailed deer in Presque Isle County.  

This designation requires all cattle and bison herds located within a 10-mile radius of a TB positive deer be tested for bovine TB within the next six months. If a whole herd test was conducted on a farm less than six months prior to February 9, 2015, the herd will not need another test.  A Potential High Risk Area is established when a TB positive free-ranging deer is found. Cattle farms are tested to assure our trading partners that the disease has not been transmitted from local deer to cattle. 

Cattle and bison farms in Presque Isle County and Cheboygan County townships within a 10-mile radius around the Presque Isle County TB positive deer will have to be tested in the next six months. Cattle farms in the Modified Accredited Zone are already TB tested on an annual basis, so there is no additional TB testing required in those townships. 

All impacted cattle owners will be privately contacted by MDARD and asked to schedule a test to avoid the inconvenience of a quarantine being placed on their farms during fair season or sales.  A meeting will be held to discuss the TB Program and the designation of the Potential High Risk Area at the following time and location:

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015
Time:        7:00 p.m.
Location:   Presque Isle District Library
Address:   181 East Erie Street, Rogers City, MI  49779

For more information on bovine TB in Michigan, visit:                                                                         

USDA Announces Funding for Conservation Stewardship Program

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

$100 million Expected to Attract Enrollment of 7.7 Million Acres for Conservation

EAST LANSING, Jan. 27, 2015 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make $100 million available this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to maintain and improve their conservation efforts. Producers should submit applications by Feb. 27, 2015 to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding.

“CSP is a way to encourage farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land to adopt even higher levels of stewardship,” said State Conservationist Garry Lee of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “By focusing on multiple resource concerns, landowners are able to achieve a sustainable landscape and maintain or increase the productivity of their operations.”

Through CSP, participants take additional conservation steps to improve the resource conditions on their land, including soil, air and habitat quality, water quality and quantity, and energy conservation. NRCS accepts applications for the program on a continuous basis but only applications submitted before the deadline will be considered for 2015 funding.

The 2014 Farm Bill brought changes to CSP including an expanded conservation activity list that will offer participants greater options to meet their conservation needs and protect the natural resources on their land. These conservation activities, called enhancements, include cover crops, intensive rotational grazing and wildlife friendly fencing.

Applications should be submitted to local NRCS offices.  As part of the CSP application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete a resource inventory of their land, which will help determine the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant's conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or a local USDA service center.

Today's announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life.


MAEAP 2500 Verification Celebration

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) celebrated the 2500 verification on October 30, 2014, at Darling Farms in Monroe County. The event was held to celebrated the half way point to achieving the goal of 5,000 verifications within the program.

I was pleased to be present at the event, along with several Conservation District employees and MAEAP technicians, to celebrate this milestone.  And, I made sure to capture the moment with a picture of attending Conservation District staff members with Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director.

MAEAP is an innovative, proactive, and voluntary program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks and Michigan Conservation Districts are the main delivery system, providing program technicians whom assist farmers and landowners work through the three phase process to become verified.  To learn more about MAEAP, visit

Thank you Conservation Districts for all you do!

MACD Presents Kenny Price with 2014 Director of the Year Award

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Kenny Price, Chairman of the Jackson Conservation District, with the 2014 Director of the Year Award on Tuesday, October 28th. The award, presented during the MACD Annual Convention held in Bellaire, honored Kenny Price for his outstanding support, advocacy and leadership in natural resource conservation at the local level.
The Director of the Year is named annually by MACD to recognize the outstanding contributions of a Conservation District director. As local, special purpose units of government, each Conservation District is governed by a locally elected, five-member board of directors. These directors provide leadership and make decisions regarding the District's programs and activities. Michigan's 78 Conservation Districts are local special purpose units of state government which provide resource management services and assistance to help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan.
"MACD is pleased to honor Kenny Price with the 2014 Director of the Year Award," said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts. "Kenny is an enthusiastic director, dedicated to the mission of Conservation Districts. He is willing to share his knowledge and roll up his sleeves to assist the District, whether it is advocating the benefits of District programs with county officials, or cleaning local rivers. Kenny is a true steward of our environment and an integral part of Michigan's conservation community and we are pleased to honor him with this award."

Left to Right: Lori Phalen, Ex. Director MACD; Lori Fitzgibbons, Jackson County Conservation District Manager, Kenny Price, Jackson County CD Board Chair; Kandice Karll, Jackson County CD Watershed Manager, Art Pelon, MACD President and Mike Krcmarik, Jackson County CD CTAI Engineer. 

Kenny Price was elected to the Jackson Conservation District Board in January of 2012 and voted in as Chairman in 2013. With Kenny's dedication to the mission of the Conservation District and his knowledge and willingness to help, wherever and whenever needed, he has been a true asset to the Jackson Conservation District. Kenny has cleaned highways and rivers, volunteered to work at District events, spoke at outreach events, and has consistently attended board, regional and state meetings. Kenny also serves as the President of the Grand River Environmental Action Team and is a member of the Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance.
Congratulations Kenny, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Jackson County Conservation District!