MACD News Blog

Working Lands in Two Michigan Watersheds Targeted for New USDA Water Quality Initiative

Friday, July 27, 2012

EAST LANSING, July 27, 2012 — Two central Michigan watersheds have been targeted to receive over $1.5 million in conservation funds to assist farmers to incorporate conservation activities that will reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the Great Lakes. 

Program funding is made available by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and is being delivered through the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service.   Funding will be available for practices that reduce the amount of phosphorus entering groundwater from agricultural land, including cover crops, conservation crop rotations, windbreaks, prescribed grazing, nutrient management and residue and tillage management.  Applications will be selected on a competitive basis with the highest scoring applications funded.  Selected applicants receiving funding after the conservation practices have been applied.

Watersheds within this targeted program include the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed and the Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creeks Watersheds.  The Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed includes portions of Shiawassee, Saginaw, Genesee and Livingston counties.  The Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creeks Watershed includes portions of Genesee, Lapeer and Oakland counties.

"Michigan Conservation Districts within the program area will be working in partnership with USDA-NRCS staff in the local USDA Service Centers to deliver the program" said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director.  "We are pleased to be able to assist, knowing the positive impact the implementation of voluntary conservation efforts will have in reducing the amount of phosphorus reaching our Great Lakes."

Farmers may obtain contact information for their local Conservation District by visiting the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts website (LINK) and view the online maps for the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed and the Kearsley, Swartz, and Thread Creek Watersheds to see if they are located in a selected watershed. Farmers within the watersheds are encouraged to apply, with applications due by August 17, 2012 in order to be considered. All applicants will be notified 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, 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 www.macd.org.  Visit the Michigan NRCS website at www.mi.usda.gov.

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 www.macd.org.  Visit the Michigan NRCS website at www.mi.usda.gov.



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!