MACD News Blog

Past MACD State Council Member and Ogemaw Conservation District Director Remembered

Monday, June 04, 2012

Mr. Richard Beck, past MACD State Council member and Ogemaw Conservation District Director passed away on Friday, June 1, 2012.  A life-long resident of West Branch, Michigan and farmer since the age of 8, Richard and his family own Gallagher Centennial Dairy Farm (1906). 

Richard served 32 years on the Ogemaw Conservation Board, with many years as the chairman on the board. Very active in other organizations as well, Richard was a Michigan Farm Bureau member and runner up for outstanding young farmer in 1977 and in 1983 he was outstanding young farmer for the Michigan Jaycees.

"Richard will be remembered for his love of the outdoors and his commitment to Michigan's conservation districts," said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of MACD.  "We truly appreciate Richard's love of the land and his dedication and commitment to districts; he will be missed."

To view visitation and service arrangements, please visit the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home website.  (click here). 

Pigeon Creek and Hayworth Creek Watersheds Targeted for New USDA Water Quality Initiative

Thursday, May 10, 2012

EAST LANSING, May 10, 2012 — Pigeon Creek Watershed in Calhoun County and Hayworth Creek Watershed in Clinton County will be part of the new National Water Quality Initiative.  This USDA initiative targets impaired watersheds, providing conservation funding to farmers to implement practices that will protect and improve the wildlife and fish habitat and water quality.  

Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds will be utilized for this program, with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service providing the financial and technical assistance, in partnership with the Calhoun and Clinton Conservation Districts.  Conservation practices including cover crops, nutrient management, filter strips and conservation tillage will be encouraged within these watersheds where the on-farm investments have the best chance to improve water quality.   

"We are very pleased to have two Michigan watersheds chosen for this program.  The initiative will bolster voluntary conservation efforts by providing farmers with additional tools to install conservation practices to better improve water quality in these watersheds" said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director.  The Calhoun and Clinton Conservation Districts well understand the significant conservation issues facing these watersheds and will work closely with the USDA-NRCS to bolster voluntary conservation efforts through this program."

Farmers can check with the Calhoun Conservation District or Clinton Conservation District or view the online maps for the Pigeon Creek and Hayworth Creek Watersheds to see if they are located in a selected watershed.  Farmers within the watersheds are encouraged to apply, with applications due by June 16, 2012 in order to be considered.  All applicants will be notified this summer of the results of the competitive selection process, with NRCS developing contracts with applicants approved for funding.  

Michigan Conservation Districts and NRCS have worked in close collaboration since their establishment in the 1930's.  Today, this powerful conservation delivery system works with private landowners to address local conservation needs while addressing state and national interests.  Locally directed, Michigan Conservation Districts partner closely with the NRCS as well as the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality to provide the cost effective delivery of state and federal programs including Federal Farm Bill programs, Michigan Environmental Stewardship Program, Bovine TB Risk Mitigation Project, Critical Dunes Vegetative Removal Assurances, Hunter Access Program, Michigan Pheasants Restoration Initiative, and several Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects. 

For more information on Michigan Conservation Districts and their conservation activities and partnerships, please visit  Visit the Michigan NRCS website at

MACD Summer Conference Registration is Open

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The MACD Summer Conference awaits you!  

This year, the event will be held at Treetops Resort in Gaylord on June 20 and 21st.  The Summer Conference provides targeted training specifically geared toward Conservation Districts and the opportunity to network with District board and staff members from all over the state, all in the beautiful and relaxing environment of Treetops Resort!  

Learn more and register by visiting the MACD Summer Conference 2012 web pages today!

Every Day is Earth Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Officially, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22.  This international holiday has grown from a small fledgling holiday 42 years ago, to an event celebrated in over 192 countries today! 

For me, the Earth Day celebration lasts much longer than one day, I consider April to be "Earth Month".   With spring weather settling in here in Michigan, flowers are blooming, farmers are preparing for spring planting, Conservation Districts are holding spring tree sales, outdoor education programs are gearing up including the Michigan Envirothon program.  Add to this Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations held throughout the last two weeks of April and you have one busy, outdoorsy month.  

I would like to propose that as individuals, we take the idea of Earth Day to the next level, by making every day an Earth Day.  Can you just imagine what would happen if everyone did one little thing each and every day for our earth, our natural resources?  Just consider the possibilities!