MACD News Blog

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.

Patrick Costello Oakland Conservation District Chairman Receives Director of the Year Award

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Patrick Costello, Chairman of the Oakland Conservation District with the 2017 Director of the Year Award on Thursday, November 3rd during the MACD Fall Convention held in Bellaire, MI. 

The Director of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a Conservation District director; one who has provided strong leadership, advocacy and promotion of conservation practices within the community. "Patrick Costello exemplifies the qualities of an engaged leader," said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director. "Patrick is a very active director, working diligently to build the District's programs and partnerships to provide quality natural resource programs and services to the citizens of Oakland County."

Mr. Costello has successfully positioned the Oakland Conservation District (OCD) as the local provider of natural resource management services within the community and has led the development of strong partnerships to expand the reach of the District within the community. The OCD now hosts educational events at the Oakland County Farmer's Market and provides assistance to local farmers and residents in the control of Black Swallow Wort, a high priority invasive species targeted by the Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA). Additionally, Patrick has worked diligently with the OCD to fulfill their role as local partner with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service in the delivery of state and federal natural resource programs.

The Oakland Conservation District is a special purpose unit of government, governed by a locally elected five-member board of directors who provide leadership to the District's activities and programs. The Oakland Conservation District promotes conservation, stewardship and sustainable use of the natural resources in Oakland County and the surrounding areas through landowner assistance and education. Learn more about the Oakland Conservation District by visiting

MACD Congratulates New Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Thursday, April 27, 2017

EAST LANSING, April 27, 2017 – The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts congratulate Secretary Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   

MACD is encouraged that Secretary Purdue understands that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land.  As the former governor of Georgia, a state with abundant natural resources and diverse agricultural production, Secretary Perdue understands the issues and concerns we face in Michigan.  He also understands the importance of our forest resources and that we are all land stewards and it is our responsibility to care for the land, leaving it in better shape for the next generation.

“MACD appreciates Secretary Perdue’s understanding of the significance of our working lands and the value of good conservation stewardship.  We look forward to working with him to secure reauthorization of a strong conservation title of the Farm Bill, and throughout his tenure to advance voluntary conservation adoption on working lands,” stated Art Pelon, MACD President.

A key principle for Secretary Perdue is that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land, and that our land resources sustain millions of Americans and millions more people around the globe.  As stewards of the land, it is our responsibility to leave it better than we found it.  MACD looks forward to ensuring that Michigan Conservation Districts will continue to play a pivotal role in providing conservation assistance to land owners and managers.  Assuring that Michigan citizens have clean and clear water, high quality wildlife habitat, farmland and forests for today and tomorrow. 


WLEB Phosphorus Reduction Initiative is currently accepting applications now through January 20.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin have another opportunity to obtain conservation financial assistance. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications until Jan. 20, 2017, for funding through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative.

The initiative is a partnership between the USDA and public, private and non-profit organizations to protect water quality in the basin that includes portions of Ohio, and Indiana. Financial assistance is available for implementing conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health. The portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin in Michigan includes Lenawee and Monroe counties and portions of Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

USDA conservation financial assistance must be used for implementing designated conservation practices, some of these include; cover crops, nutrient management plans, grassed waterways, drainage water management, amend soil properties with gypsum products, filter and residue management. Applications may be submitted at local NRCS offices. Applications received by Jan. 20, 2017, will be considered for 2017 funding. Farmers are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.

The Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative was selected for funding through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Partner organizations assist in promoting conservation to landowners and monitoring the impact of conservation practices implemented through the initiative.
For more information about conservation financial assistance for Michigan producers available through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative, CLICK HERE for an informational flyer.  You may also visit the NRCS Michigan website at, and connect with below conservation district involved in the program:

Lenawee Conservation District & 
NRCS Adrian Field Office 
1100 Sutton Road Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 265-5887

Washtenaw Conservation District & 
NRCS Ann Arbor Field Office 
7203 Jackson Road Ann Arbor, MI 48103
CD Phone: (734)761-6721 NRCS Phone: (734) 205-0537

Jackson Conservation District &
Jackson Field Office
211 W. Ganson Street Jackson, MI 49201
CD Phone (517)395-2082 Phone: (517) 789-7716

Hillsdale Conservation District &
Jonesville Field Office 
588 Olds Street, Bldg. 2 Jonesville, MI 49250  
Phone: (517) 849-9890

Monroe Conservation District &
NRCS Monroe Field Office 
1137 S. Telegraph Road Monroe, MI 48161 
CD Phone: (734) 241-7755
NRCS Phone: (734) 241-8540