2018 Farmer Education Day

Deb Holmes - LCFB Administrative Manager

The 2018 Farmer Education Day was held on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at the Marion Township Hall, 2877 W. Coon Lake Road in Howell.  The event began at 8:30 am.  Farmer Education Day is held as a collaborative effort between Livingston County Farm Bureau and the Livingston Conservation District with the emphasis on educating local producers on current issues facing agriculture.  Over 40 people were in attendance for the day long event.

Speakers this year were:

Linda Ortiz who is a District Conservationist with the NRCS office, started off the day with a presentation on the programs available through the Farm Bill and the impact these programs can have on establishing effective conservation techniques.

Dr. Meghan Milbrath who began working with bees with her father.  She now owns and manages the Sand Hill Apiary in Munith, Michigan.  Meghan is active in multiple beekeeping organizations, writes for multiple beekeeping journals, and speaks about bees all over the country.  She currently runs the Northern Bee Network, a directory and resource site dedicated to supporting queen producers, and she is passionate about keeping and promoting healthy bees.  Dr. Milbrath is currently an academic specialist at MSU, where she does honey bee and pollinator research and extension and is the coordinator of the Michigan Pollinator Initiative.  Dr. Milbrath discussed "How pesticides can affect bee populations and how farmers can protect bees through pesticide choices and application timing".

Brian Jonckheere, Livingston County Drain Commissioner.  Brian discussed "Farming Best Management Practices for the Reduction of Nutrient, Pesticide, and Herbicide Non-Point Source Inputs to Surface Waters".  The influx of nutrients into drains and streams has myriad impacts to these surface waters which not only include the plants and animals which live there, but also those who utilize the resource for recreation, drinking water and irrigation.  One of the notable events drawing attention to these impacts have been the massive algal blooms in Lake Erie, and their influence on public opinion.  He also discussed structural and non-structural bmp's as a means of reducing nutrient and chemical runoff to these water bodies, and the overall benefits to landowners implementing these bmp's.

Phil Kaatz, MSU Extension Educator presented on "Effective Corn Nitrogen Management for Farm Profitability and Water Quality Protection".

Frank Mancuso, Jr., Attorney at Law, discussed the steps landowners should take for Estate Planning.

Bryan Harbison of the Livingston County Sheriff Department discussed traffic rules and regulations for farm vehicles and Tom Wert discussed the steps needed to have your operation MAEAP verified.

The program was approved for 4 RUP credits.  Showerman Family Cooking catered the event.  This is planned to be an Annual event.  Preliminary plans for the 2019 Farmer Education Day have established Tuesday, February 19, 2019, as the scheduled date for the 2019 event.