Environment Picture
Topic: Agriculture

Michigan Environmental Council lays out policy agenda for 2017-2018

Press Releases
Testing all children for lead exposure, passing a statewide code for septic systems and becoming the first state east of the Mississippi River to open an Office of Outdoor Recreation are among the priorities in a new policy agenda unveiled Monday by the Michigan Environmental Council.
Read MoreJan 30, 2017

Michigan Environmental Council Policy Priorities 2017-2018

Research Reports
Following the Flint water crisis, it is clear that state government must refocus its attention on protecting public health and the environment. Michigan Environmental Council will focus on the following priorities in the 2017-2018 legislative session. These policy priorities were developed in collaboration with our member organizations from throughout Michigan.
Download ReportJan 30, 2017

MEC launches sustainable agriculture program to make Michigan a good food leader

Press Releases
The Michigan Environmental Council has launched a new sustainable agriculture program to promote state, local and federal policies that support Michigan in growing a diverse abundance of food while promoting the long-term well-being of our water, wildlife and climate. Tom Zimnicki will lead the program as agriculture policy director, MEC announced Tuesday. Most recently, Zimnicki was a project scientist for Kieser and Associates, a Kalamazoo-based environmental science and engineering firm.
Read MoreNov 15, 2016

Groups praise Michigan's decision to protect Lake Erie

Press Releases
Michigan environmental groups on Thursday praised the state's designation of its portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin as an impaired watershed under the Clean Water Act, a decision with potential to dramatically reduce nutrient pollution and improve water quality.
Read MoreNov 10, 2016

President's Column: Lessons learned from serving on the Flint Water Advisory Task Force

Michigan Environmental Report
Last October I received a phone call that would dramatically impact me professionally and personally. It was Gov. Rick Snyder’s office calling, asking me to serve as co-chair of the governor’s Flint Water Advisory Task Force. The task force’s charge was to determine what happened in Flint and why, and to provide recommendations on how to prevent this from ever happening again. The group would meet for five months, release three letters to the governor and issue a final report that contained 36 findings and 44 recommendations.
View ArticleSep 7, 2016  •  Spring/Summer 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

Job Posting - Agriculture Policy Director

News Updates
The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) seeks an Agriculture Policy Director to lead MEC in building its new Sustainable Agriculture Program into a driving force for local, state and federal policy decisions that will support Michigan in growing a diverse abundance of food while promoting the long-term sustainability and well-being of our water, climate, and wildlife.
View ArticleAug 3, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: Agriculture

Petoskey Prize recipient Pam Taylor: Fighting factory farm pollution with data and diligence

Michigan Environmental Report
Pam Taylor has a habit of naming things. She drives Lenawee County’s dirt roads in a black Ford Focus called the Batmobile, singing along to Motown music—her favorite. Excalibur is a store-bought extension pole, modified by her mentor to reach into rivers and take water samples. And the trucks hauling trailer loads of cow manure away from massive dairy barns? “We call those poop wagons,” she says. But when it comes to the area’s many concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, Taylor drops the playful language and gets more precise. “Ultimately, this is not farming,” she says of the industrial feedlots crammed with hundreds or thousands of livestock. “It’s industrial waste production. They produce more manure than milk.”
View ArticleJul 14, 2016  •  Spring/Summer 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC applauds state recommendation to keep fish farms out of the Great Lakes

Press Releases
The Michigan Environmental Council praised a recommendation from three state agencies that Michigan not allow net-pen aquaculture in the Great Lakes.
Read MoreMar 9, 2016

Michigan Environmental Council Policy Priorities 2015-16

Research Reports
Michigan Environmental Council will focus its energy on the following priorities in the new legislative session. These and other goals emerged after five regional meetings with MEC member groups and partners statewide. At MEC’s annual meeting in October 2014, member groups identified this final priority list as the most important set of issues to address in the near term.
Download ReportDec 22, 2014

President's Column: Show me your budget, I’ll tell you your values

Michigan Environmental Report
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value,” Vice President Joe Biden is credited with saying. As a former State House Appropriations Committee member, my colleagues and I used to say “policy schmolicy.” All the policy in the world doesn’t matter unless you fund it!
View ArticleMay 3, 2014  •  Winter 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Honeybees: Masters of design, economy, communication and teamwork

Michigan Environmental Report
Summer’s colorful riot of flowers and fresh vegetables doesn’t happen without a little help from our friend, the humble honeybee. They pollinate those plants and provide tasty Michigan honey for our tables! At the Michigan Environmental Council, fifth-generation beekeeper Tim Fischer (deputy policy director and patriarch of Fischer Farms) has been watching with chagrin and amusement as Hugh McDiarmid (communications director) completes the Southeast Michigan Beekeepers Association’s (SEMBA) 2011 novice Beekeeping School. Whether McDiarmid’s lone beehive will thrive is still an open question at press time, but we did learn enough to offer this issue’s quiz on bee facts. See how you do!
View ArticleSep 9, 2011  •  Summer 2011 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Agriculture

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

Michigan Environmental Report
In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.
View ArticleDec 15, 2010  •  Fall 2010 - Michigan Environmental Report

Farmers markets explode in Michigan, bringing economic, environmental benefits

Michigan Environmental Report
Here’s some economic news to brighten your summer and provide a catalyst for green jobs that can’t be outsourced: Michigan leads the country in the production of many tasty fruits and vegetables, and the next few months are prime time to find them at your local farm markets and roadside stands.
View ArticleMay 29, 2009  •  Spring 2009 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Food Policy, Agriculture

Real or fake?

Michigan Environmental Report
Paper or plastic? Cans or bottles? And as the holiday season approaches, add this dilemma: Real or fake? Every year, millions of consumers face the same choice—a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?
View ArticleOct 22, 2007  •  Fall 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report

Editorial: Pesticide rules do little to protect children and pregnant women from dangerous lawn care chemicals

Michigan Environmental Report
More than two years after the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) opened up the rulemaking process for pesticide use in Michigan, the verdict is in, and it’s not pretty.
View ArticleOct 22, 2007  •  Fall 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Pesticides, Agriculture, Legislation

Seasonal produce! Your choices help make or break the planet

Michigan Environmental Report
For those who love fresh food, summer is high season in Michigan. Farmers’ markets, roadside vegetable stands and rural vistas of fertile fields inspire a sense of abundance and provide a chance to sample food the way it used to be—locally grown and rich with flavor. If the future of food doesn’t recapture some of that spirit, however, the air, water and other natural resources of the planet will be in growing jeopardy.
View ArticleJul 21, 2007  •  Summer 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Food Policy, Agriculture

College’s organic farm maintains link between growers and consumers

Michigan Environmental Report
About 570 students graduated from the Michigan State University College of Agriculture this year, but only 10% studied the actual production of food. As the farming population ages, fewer young people learn historical or even cutting-edge farming techniques. MSU’s student organic farm continues to marry that cutting-edge learning with traditional agricultural practices.
View ArticleJul 21, 2007  •  Summer 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Agriculture, Food Policy

Finding closest farmers’ markets only a few mouse clicks away

Michigan Environmental Report
For Michiganders, summer means a chance to sample a wide variety of produce, much of it grown right here and available at roadside stands and farmers’ markets.
View ArticleJul 21, 2007  •  Summer 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Agriculture, Food Policy

Variety of strategies used to help keep Michigan farmland from disappearing

Michigan Environmental Report
Michigan boasts some of the most productive agricultural soils in the world. The diversity of our farm production is second only to California, and farming contributes more than $60 billion each year to Michigan’s economy.
View ArticleJul 21, 2007  •  Summer 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report

Cultivating a saner federal farm policy

Michigan Environmental Report
Farmers, livestock producers and private forest owners manage more than 30% of Michigan’s landscape. Their decisions dramatically impact water quality, the fate of rare wildlife and even the pace of sprawl.
View ArticleJul 21, 2007  •  Summer 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Agriculture, Food Policy
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