Grants: Agriculture/Pollution Prevention

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Saginaw Bay Watershed Pollution Prevention/Chemical Collection Program

May 2013

This was a joint project of the Saginaw County Department of Health and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to construct a permanent facility to collect pesticides from farmers, homeowners, nurseries, etc. Any end user of pesticides will be able to dispose of unwanted materials at the facility at no cost. The collection facility was completed in 1999.

Demonstrate Effectiveness of Biodegradable Two-Cycle Engine Oil

May 2013

IF have secured a patent on a soy-based oil that can be used instead of petroleum-based oil in jet skis, outboard motors, snowmobiles, and other engines. The soy-based oil is environmentally preferable to traditional oil because it is 96% biodegradable, and does not emit pollutants into the air and water. The product also will provide a value-added product for Michigan’s soybean farmers. IF will used WIN funds to field test the oil to demonstrate to the market that it is safe for engines and performs well, and to document reductions in emissions into the environment. IF raised $70,000 to fund the overall project.

Saginaw Bay Watershed Native Planting Preserve at Saginaw Valley State University

May 2013

This project, sponsored by Saginaw Valley State University, intends to fund the development of a native planting preserve on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. This preserve will include plants, signage and walking trails. The intent of the project is to both encourage the use of native plantings in the general public, and also serve as a demonstration / research site at the university.

Alternative Energy from Agriculturally-Derived Pellet Fuel

May 2013

Saginaw Valley State University analyzed the technical and economic viability of manufacturing a renewable and environmentally benign pellet-fuel that competes with wood pellets for heating residential and light industrial buildings. The research included a study of the economic and environmental impact of the long-duration performance of a commercially available biomass combustion furnace that will be set up to heat a light industrial building in the region. The project will included a web-based interface that provides real time telemetry information to both the researchers and the general public.

Conservation Tillage Risk Protection Program

May 2013

The program demonstrated the use of conservation tillage in two subwatersheds of the Tittabawassee River. The project offered the expertise of a certified crop consultant, and financial protection against economic loss on the enrolled conservation tillage corn acres during the term of the project. Conservation Tillage equipment was leased by the Shiawassee Conservation District and provided to farmers who are participating. In similar experiments in Illinois and Indiana, the poor economic impact concerns of new practices were unfounded, as protection dollars were never spent.

Huron Area Technical Center – Small Wind Generator Program

Jun 2009

This project involves the development of a new educational facility at the Huron Area Technical Center that

is focused on small, residential-scale wind turbine evaluation, construction and maintenance. This “trades”
based program is the only one in the state that is focused on residential wind turbines. HATC has formed a
partnership with Delta College, which is in the process of building a curriculum focused on commercial and
industrial wind turbines. WIN funding will assist in the purchase of two wind turbines for the facility, one of a
“horizontal” style, and another of a newer “vertical” style.

Chippewa River Universal Canoe / Kayak Sites

Jun 2009

This project involves a WIN investment in the development of two universally-accessible canoe/kayak sites

on the Chippewa River (one at Manitou Park, and the other at the Chippewa Cabin) in Midland County. This
effort is part of the “Access to Recreation” program sponsored by the Midland Area Community Foundation
and other partners that also included a 1/4 mile barrier free trail and river overlook at the West Midland
Family Center, as well as a universally-accessible spray park at the Midland Community Center – both of
which have been completed.

Dr. Eugene Kenaga Observation Tower

Apr 2008

In late 2008, the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland broke ground on a major renovation and expansion of its facility. Major pieces of the expansion included new exhibit space, parking areas, classrooms, and office space. As part of the renovation, the facility became one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facilities in the region. A major component of the project was a storm-water management system that incorporated a cistern and collection system to slow and cool water runoff from the facility before it is drained off to the Chippewa River. The cistern system will be incorporated in the Dr. Eugene Kenaga Observation Tower, which will also be used as an education exhibit for both observing nature, and rainwater collection.

Practical Planning for Michigan’s Bio-Energy Crop Production

Nov 2007

This project, sponsored by Michigan State University Extension, developed two demonstration sites for bioenergy crops in Saginaw and Isabella counties. Additionally, the project produced printed materials that discussed the next phase of bioenergy production (after corn/ethanol, experts believe that the next energy production techniques will be from cellulosic ethanol). Finally, the grant privided support for conferences and travel to begin building the capacity and expertise of Extension and other resources professional to ensure their ability to support those in the agricultural industry that begin to diversify their crops toward energy production.

Birch Run Bio-diesel Project

May 2007

This project assisted the Birch Run Area School District with an innovative bio-diesel manufacturing program. Designed to produce more than 100 gallons of bio-diesel per week, the district’s students will convert waste vegetable oil from the school district and area restaurants into fuel for the district’s bus fleet. The project will promote recycling, as well as foster learning in chemistry, engineering, and entrepreneurship. According to the district, several other school systems in Michigan have converted a portion of their bus fleet to bio-diesel, but Birch Run would be the first district to actually manufacture the fuel on site.

Low-intensity Tillage and Slurry Seeding Demonstration

Apr 2007

This project, proposed by MSU Extension, developed a 15 acre demonstration site for evaluating a new innovative slurry seeding process for establishing oil seed radish and oriental mustard after wheat in a sugar been rotation. The project seeks to demonstrate a process that will protect the environment and reclaim productivity of currently less-productive beet ground. The goals of the projected included a reduction in tillage intesity in sugar beet rotations, the use of biosuppressive cover crops for disease and insect control, and the use of organic inputs such as livestock manure to enhance microbial activity in the soil.

Port Austin Farmers Market

Apr 2006

This project focused on strengthening the economic and tourism sectors of the community of Port Austin by requesting WIN investment in their new Farmers Market. The proposed sought funding to purchase umbrellas, tents, advertising, and traffic control toosl to help expand the market and to provide for ta more customer friendly experience.