MACD News Blog

Galaxy Gals from Glen Lake Named State Champs Michigan Envirothon

Friday, May 15, 2015

Glen Lake High School Team Named State Champions, Michigan Envirothon

Seniors Bryanne Palmer, Jane Lively, McKenna Turrill, Skylar Gleason and freshman Caleb Gleason from Glen Lake High School were named Michigan Envirothon State Champions Friday May 8th, 2015 at Ft. Custer training base in Augusta, MI.  In addition to bragging rights, and representing Michigan at the North American Envirothon this summer, each member of the team member received a scholarship to MSU and other awards and prizes. Finishing second and third for overall score were Sandy Loam from Roseville High School and Track Pack from Branch Area Career Center respectively.

The state champs will represent Michigan this summer at the North American Envirothon Competition, where they will battle it out against other top teams from the U.S and Canada in Springfield, Missouri. Caleb and the Galaxy Gals, as they named themselves, finished first among teams from across the state after putting their knowledge and skills of natural resource science, public speaking and civic engagement to the test.   

The 21st annual Michigan Envirothon State Competition hosted remarkable students from around the state.   Twenty four teams qualified and received invitations to the state competition held May 6th – 8th at Ft. Custer training center in Augusta, Michigan. Teams qualified through regional contests held around the state throughout the month of March.

During the State Competition, teams utilized “eco-stations” for hands-on testing in the areas of forestry, urban forestry, soils, aquatic ecology, wildlife, energy, and agriculture. This year’s eco-stations featured a prairie, with active and ongoing prairie vole studies, a fen, forest habitats, and a pasture dairy and automated LEED certified milking facility.

Teams also identified and remedied a natural resource concern in their communities as part of the challenge to be named state champ. A panel of judges evaluated oral and written presentations given by each team and detailing their community outreach project. As always, all of the teams implemented impressive community action and outreach projects.  Caleb and the Galaxy Gals revived a community garden in the small town of Empire, Michigan and encouraged the consumption of local food for their community outreach project. 

Michigan Envirothon is a high school environmental education and community action program administered by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, a 501(C)3 non profit organization.  High school students from anywhere in Michigan are eligible to compete. For more information about Michigan Envirothon go to or contact Angela Sandusky, Michigan Envirothon coordinator at or (517)930-7449.

Fort Custer Training Center Hosts 2015 Michigan Envirothon State Competition

Friday, May 01, 2015

High school students from across the state will converge on the Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta on May 6 to compete in the 2015 Michigan Envirothon State Competition.

EAST LANSING - May 1st - Twenty four teams of high school students from across the state will be competing during the three-day Michigan Envirothon State Competition at the Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta.  The competition runs from May 6 to 8.

The high school teams competing at the state competition qualified for the event by competing at regional competitions held around the state throughout the month of March. Teams moving on to this state level event are from the Branch Area Career Center, Career Line Tech Center FFA, Caro High School, Glen Lake Community School, Hillsdale High School, New Buffalo High School, New Lothrop High School, Oakand Technical School NW and SE, Owosso High School, Roseville High School, Valley Lutheran High School, and West Michigan Lutheran High School.

The competition's overall winner will be named the Michigan Envirothon State Champion and will move on to the final round of competition, the North American Envirothon at the Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri in July.
During the Michigan Envirothon State Competition, teams utilize diverse "eco-stations" as competition testing sites for hands-on examinations in the topics of Forestry, Soils and Geology, Aquatic Ecology, Wildlife, Energy, Agriculture.  In addition, each team will present an oral presentation of the results of their community outreach projects in which they identified and remedied a natural resource concern in their own community.
About Michigan Envirothon

Michigan Envirothon was established in 1994 and is a program of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts.  The program is a combined effort of natural resource professionals and educators to provide hands-on, outdoor coaching and testing on topical conservation issues.  In turn, Michigan Envirothon gives young citizens the tools to provide leadership for a more sustainable and environmentally aware community.  High school teachers and students interested in competing in the 2016 Michigan Envirothon should visit the Michigan Envirothon web site for more information,

Members of the media are welcome to observe the competition and interview participants.  Contact the Michigan Envirothon Coordinator, Angela Sandusky to obtain further information.

Media Contact
Angela Sandusky
Michigan Envirothon Program Coordinator
517-324-5274, 517-930-7449

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.