Monday, March 31, 2014

Thaw threatens water supplies with manure runoff


By Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel                                  March 30, 201With warmer weather finally on the way, state officials are warning farmers and the public that there is a potentially high risk across most of Wisconsin for manure to pollute groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes.

Following the highest number of manure spills in seven years in 2013, this year's threat is due to melting snow and rainfall that could send soil and animal waste into streams.

Under the right conditions, manure also could soak into aquifers, from which drinking water is drawn.

More ...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Subsidy Information for Sustainable Livestock Farmers

2014 Farm Bill Conservation Subsidies
After years of political wrangling, the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 7 on the campus of Michigan State University. The five-year, $956 billion bill includes $56 billion in funding for conservation programs, with $8.9 billion going to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  For an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill, visit: 

To read the Farm Bill in its entirety:

What is EQIP The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a Farm Bill Conservation Program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns. It aims to deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, ground and surface water conservation, soil erosion and sedimentation reduction and wildlife habitat.

Categories of EQIP practices eligible for funding in Michigan include:
Animal Waste
National Water Quality Initiative
Conservation Activity Plans
Organic Initiative
Energy American Indian Tribes
Locally-Led Conservation: MAEAP Water Quality Monitoring
Wayne County Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

For a list of specific practices and the funding available visit:

How to Apply for EQIP  If you’ve never applied for EQIP funds, you should know that you need to have an approved Conservation Action Plan before you’re eligible to apply for EQIP funds.  So, the first step is to apply for funds to develop the plan with an approved “technical service provider.”  The deadline for this application is usually early in the year. After you get the funds and the plan is approved, you’re free to apply for EQIP funds in the following year.  For details on the application process for EQIP, visit:

Find your local NRCS field office:

For more info about Michigan’s EQIP program:
Steve Law, EQIP Coordinator; Phone:  (517) 324-5282; E-mail:

Crane Dance Farm Offers Pasture-Based Livestock Farm Work Experience

Crane Dance Farm, a Less=More Coalition member, is offering a farm work experience for a student or non-student. Application deadline is April 30, 2014. Details below:

Pasture-Based Livestock Farm Internship

Crane Dance Farm is a grass-based livestock farm nestled among the rolling hills, forests, and wet lands of beautiful Barry County. We raise 100% grassfed beef, Animal Welfare Approved pastured heirloom pork, poultry and eggs, emphasizing farming techniques that nurture the land, the animals, the humans and the planet. Every animal is the recipient of TLC 24/7. We direct market all of our products, thus our customer relationships are parallel in importance to our relationships with our animals.

What makes this opportunity unique?

· All of our cattle and pigs are bred, birthed, and finished on our farm.

· We source, grind, and mix local grains for our omnivores that are 100% GMO-free.

· We direct market all of our products through farmers markets, on farm sales, and online ordering.

· We were the first Michigan farm to be Animal Welfare Approved for pigs in 2009. Presently, we are one of only two farms in MI to hold this prestigious certification. Pending is our status as American Grassfed Association certified for beef.

Intern Responsibilities:

· Daily attending to food, water, shelter, bedding, fences for all livestock

· Property maintenance and repairs

· Marketing assistance

· Participation in problem solving as situations arise


· Work outside in all kinds of weather

· Work efficiently alone and as part of a team

· Ability to lift 60 pounds repeatedly

· Aptitude in farming, building and mechanical skills

· Easy to work with, fast learner, sense of humor, heart for animals

Intern Provisions:

· Housing, plus one shared meal a day; additional cooking facilities and foodstuffs available

· Weekly stipend with bonus at satisfactory completion of agreed duration

· Minimum length of stay 4 months; longer preferred; negotiable

· Willing to work with your college for internship credit

Application Process:

· Letter of interest and resume to by April 30, 2014.

· Phone interview

· Working interview on farm