Grants: Agriculture/Pollution Prevention

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Flint Agricultural Community and Economic Development Project

Apr 2006

Urban Community Youth Outreach (UCYO) provides food to needy families, and education to young children about natural resources and resource management. With funding from community based grants, the USDA Department of Agriculture, private foundations, and the Michigan Department of Justice, UCYObegan the community garden project in 1998. As part of this program, youth grow vegetables on approximately two acres at a community garden that is located on Philadelphia Avenue between Seby and Horton Streets in downtown Flint. This project requested support for the development of a flex-fueled greenhouse to allow year-round gardening operations, as well as support for continuing education.

Food Security Through Family Gardening Nutrition Education Expansion Project

Oct 2005

This is the expansion of a successful 2004 WIN grant that supported an urban garding project in Saginaw County, primarily in the inner-city area. The project offered a mini-grant opportunity for up to 10 counties in the Saginaw Bay Region for the purpose of developing urban gardens.

Harvesting Clean Energy Conference

Oct 2005

This project included a local conference in 2006 that focused on bringing agriculture and energy interests together to advace opportunities for producers and rural communites to profitable diversity into clean energy production. Grant dollars were used to bring in national experts to highlight a variety of successful projects, programs and technologies that have worked in other parts of the nation that could be implemented and replicated in the Saginaw Bay Region.

Chippewa Trail

Jun 2005

Proposed by the Chippewa Nature Center, this project supported the construction of the Chippewa Trail. This trail, constructed adjacent to Chippewa Nature Center and City of Midland property, connects Downtown Midland with the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. This project built on recommendations published in Saginaw Bay Greenways Collaborative’s Vision of Green report. This trail includes interpretive stations that discuss economic, environmental, and community issues related to the area that the trail traverses.

Urban Gardening

Apr 2004

The Saginaw County MSU Extension office (Family Nutrition and 4H Youth Programs) worked with the Saginaw Family Child Care Network and other community organizations to establish cooperative gardens for SFCCN homes, neighborhood homes and other community sites. The objective of the project was to teach nutrition principles around the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing the availability and access to fresh produce, instilling pride in community areas, and building relationships between community groups and agencies working with the community gardening program.

Saginaw Bay Farmers Minimize Environmental Risks by participating in MAEAP

Apr 2004

This project focused on the promotion and education of both an agricultural and non-agricultural audience about the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MAEAP is a voluntary agricultural pollution prevention program which ensures that participating producers use effective land stewardship practices that comply with environmental regulations. This grant supported the development of a DVD that serves as a promotional piece for the program, to communicate with local communities about MAEAP and what Saginaw Bay farmers are doing to protect the environment through this voluntary program. Additionally, the DVD serves to educate Saginaw Bay farmers and others about the program and how to participate, along with providing additional technical materials including pdf documents, presentations, web links and technical documents necessary to participate in the program.

Iosco County Gateway Composting Project

Oct 2001

The Iosco County Soil & Water Conservation District developed this project to demonstrate the proper and effective use of composting both in a rural (manure) and urban (yard waste) setting. The project provides for the use of a large, tractor-pulled, wind-row compost turner to 6 agricultural producers and municipalities at a reduced rate to demonstrate the effective and proper use of the equipment. The project identified the many benefits of composting, versus the comparatively higher cost of hauling and spreading the material at an off-site location or landfill. Ultimately, composted material can be used as a fertilizer or as topsoil. A second part of the project will include a composting seminar that will focus on individual and urban landowners and residents. The backyard composting seminar was designed to promote home-based use of composting. Finally, a Composting Fall Tour was held to demonstrate both small, backyard composting techniques and larger-scale, machine turned windrow composting to local officials and the public.

Saginaw Bay Agriculture Marketing & Development Network

Sep 2001

MSU is exploring the opportunity to develop a cross-discipline team of individuals that could assist producers in developing new networks, strategies and market opportunities for their products. The projects picked up on the need for expertise in areas of value-added production and niche markets, along with a diversification in farm produce that can help to make farming a more profitable endeavor.MSU developed a strategic network of individuals (including MSU Extension agents, economic development, leaders, and local lenders) who might be able to provide the needed business expertise to bring new, creative, and innovative products to the market.

Building Skill in Forage & Pasture Management

Sep 2001

This program was designed to educate current producers and new livestock producers about the many facets of forage and pasture production and grazing management. Those project offered classes that included an introduction to managed rotational grazing, the importance of soil fertility and management, the establishment of forage crops, layout and design of grazing systems, animal nutrition, and pollution prevention. The project provided participants with the basic skills of forage and pasture management as well as contact people who can provide technical assistance after the formal classes ended.

Organic Education and Advancement

Sep 2001

This project provided education, training and experience in organic production certification and marketing for organic farmers who are interested in these practices. This project developed the framework for a decreased use of agricultural chemicals, developed the capacity for small-farm based organic production, and an increased profitability for producers who choose to participate in this niche market. Learning activities included group meetings, tours, on-farm demonstrations, field days, regional conferences, focus groups and mentorships.

Scientific Irrigation Scheduling for SBW Producers

Sep 2001

Designed to assist farmers who utilize irrigation for crop production, this project helped individuals better understand soil/water holding capacity, how evapotranspiration varies throughout the growing season, how water needs vary over time, and the movement of agricultural chemicals through the soil.WIN funding helped provide education, as well as allowed for the purchase of a Troxler Electron Moisture Sensor that allows for sensitive determination of water content at a variety of soil levels. The sensor is available to Extension agents throughout the watershed.

Farmland Preservation Workshop

Sep 2001

This project was a local extension of a series of workshops focused on current tools and techniques for protecting farmland and developing successful land use planning strategies. WIN funding assisted in the planning and implementation of a one-day workshop that will outlined available programs by bringing in expertise from around the nation to discuss these issues.