MACD News Blog

MACD Sharing the Work of Conservation Districts at Ag Day at the Capital

Thursday, March 15, 2018

On Tuesday, March 13 MACD participated in Ag Day at the Capital in Lansing. The event was the highlight of Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Month and brought together the diversity of Michigan agriculture to the halls of the State Capital. This very popular event provided MACD the opportunity to share the programs and assistance Conservation Districts provide in support of Michigan agriculture with legislators, commodity group partners and all other attendees.

"It is important to showcase the work of our Districts as members of Michigan’s agricultural community," said Art Pelon, MACD President and Chairman of the Ionia Conservation District. "We offer many programs that benefit farmers, including the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), and this event provides us with one more way to share the work of our local Conservation Districts with legislators.” 

Hosted by Michigan Farm Bureau, this annual event provides the opportunity for participants to connect with legislators and to treat legislators and attendees with agriculture's bounty, sharing food and products grown and made in Michigan.

Thank you to the MACD officers, staff and volunteers who participated in Ag Day at the Capital.  MACD appreciates your outreach to benefit all 75 Conservation Districts in Michigan! Participants included Rachael Ramirez, Saginaw CD Director; Megan DeLeeuw, Manager, Washtenaw CD; Melissa Higbee, Executive Director, Shiawassee CD; Elaine Brown, MACD Secretary-Treasurer and Clinton CD Treasurer; Gerald Miller, MACD Vice President and Kent CD Chairman; Art Pelon, MACD President and Ionia CD Chairman; Steve Law, MACD Consultant and Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director.

Rachael Ramirez, Saginaw CD Director, talking with a visitor. 

Melissa Higbee, Art Pelon, Elaine Brown, Lori Phalen and Gerald Miller.
Volunteers not shown: Megan DeLeeuw and Steve Law

MACD Attends Event with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue

Thursday, February 01, 2018

On Thursday, February 1st, Jerry Miller, MACD Vice President, attended the townhall breakfast meeting in honor of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue's visit to Michigan.  The meeting held at Robinette's Orchard in Kent County, was hosted by Michigan Farm Bureau, Kent County Farm Bureau and the Robinette family.

The event was attended by 150+ participants, including Kent Conservation District staff members Lexi Feutz and Samantha Braman.

During the open Q&A Jerry provided the following three points for Secretary Perdue’s consideration in the FY18 Farm Bill:

1. Don’t cut conservation funding
2. With cuts in NRCS personnel budgets CDs across Michigan and the nation are stepping up to provide I&E for conservation programs. This needs to be recognized in NRCS budgets
3. Delete the requirement for SAMS & DUNS for enrollment in FB Conservation programs 

Secretary Purdue also unveiled the new website:, during the meeting.  This is the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). To learn more about the website, click here to view the USDA press release.

Cass County Conservation District Shares History of Conservation Partnership at Annual Meeting

Friday, December 15, 2017

On the evening of December 5th, 2017 the Cass Conservation District held its annual meeting. 

A group of 75 community leaders and District supporters were in attendance and enjoyed the great food, reports of program accomplishments and awards ceremony. Steven Law, MACD Consultant, was the keynote speaker and provided a presentation on the rich history of Michigan's Conservation Partnership and the important role Michigan Conservation Districts play in the delivery of conservation and natural resource programs to land owners and managers throughout the state.  

Several individuals were recognized for their volunteer service to the Cass County Conservation District.  Special recognition was given to the following individuals:  Conservationist of the Year (posthumous): Gertrude “Gertie” Temple; Conservation Farmer of the Year: Chris Rosselit; Ag-Tourism: A-Mazing Acres; and Conservation Educator: Nelson’s Herbs.  To learn more about the awardees, please visit the Cass County Conservation District website.

The Cass County Conservation District has been experiencing a period of growth and now includes a successful Michigan Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Program (MAEAP), Invasive Species Control program as part of the SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, and the District is the Designated County Enforcing Agency for the County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control permitting program.

MACD wishes to congratulate the Directors and Staff of the Cass Conservation District for the leadership and extra efforts they put forth throughout the year to address the key resource concerns and to serve the residents of Cass County


Shelby Burlew Wins Friend of Conservation Award

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Shelby Burlew, Michigan State University Extension Livestock Environmental Educator with the 2017 Friend of Conservation Year Award on Thursday, November 3rd during the MACD Fall Convention held in Bellaire, MI. 

MACD annually presents the Friend of Conservation Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual for their efforts to improve the public's understanding of natural resource conservation, to work in partnership with Michigan Conservation Districts, and to further the mission of Districts as the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our state's resources for a cleaner, healthier, and economically stronger Michigan.

"MACD is pleased to honor the Shelby Burlew with the 2017 Friend of Conservation Award," said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director. "Shelby has a great understanding of the important role of Conservation Districts in the delivery of conservation programs to farmers and landowners, including the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). She is a strong partner and collaborator with Conservation Districts and is a true champion for conservation in Michigan."

Ms. Burlew works closely with the MAEAP program and provides education and information to Conservation District technicians on manure management, nutrient management planning, and other livestock concerns. She also works directly with farmers throughout the state to mitigate or prevent environmental impacts, and develops educational programs and tools to on livestock management topics. 

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. For more than 100 years, MSU Extension has helped grow Michigan's economy by equipping Michigan residents with the information that they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower our children to dream of a successful future.