Posted on 08 February 2013
Augmented reality for cattle:
In Las Cruces, New Mexico, Venue [a portable-media project] met with Dean M. Anderson, a USDA scientist whose research into virtual fencing promises equally radical transformation — this time by removing the mile upon mile of barbed wire stretched across the landscape. As seems to be the case in fencing, a relatively straightforward technological innovation — GPS-equipped free-range cows that can be nudged back within virtual bounds by ear-mounted stimulus-delivery devices — has implications that could profoundly reshape our relationships with domesticated animals, each other, and the landscape. The Atlantic
Could this work for crowd control? Perhaps your GPS-enabled cell phone will nudge you away from restricted areas. Somewhat disconcerting….
Posted on 06 September 2012
Although the referenced article deals with South Carolina and elsewhere outside of Michigan, it’s message is important for us. An excerpt:
When South Carolina peaches are sold directly to South Carolinians, there are uniquely local economic benefits. When the farmer, the packer, the wholesaler, and the retailer all prosper in the same region, it creates opportunity for home-grown jobs, draws more people into agriculture, and fosters relationships between the people who buy food and the people who grow it. The Atlantic
Posted on 18 July 2012
This Friday, the Conservancy is opening up that land to future partners – and possibly new uses.
It’s launching a Request for Proposals (RFP) for partnership opportunities for the future development and/or management of programs, projects and/or the property, says Sarah Naperala, a Conservancy staffer and member of the Maple Bay Farm leadership committee. It is possible that the end result could be multiple organizations and individuals involved in the support of the Conservancy’s farmland protection program.
Along with the sunflowers and the house, there is also a sugar shack, pole barn and root cellar on the property. All of these structures will remain, says Naperala, and the “viewshed” will be protected – in other words, no new structures will be built as part of any future partnerships.
The goal is for the farm to be a “key community asset,” complementing the adjacent county-owned Grand Traverse Maple Bay Park and Natural Area. Note: That adjacent 400 acres offering passive recreation and access to East Bay is not part of the RFP. The Ticker
Anyone interested in rehabilitating the old barn? I’m interested in exploring uses, costs and funding.
Posted on 14 July 2012
And not much rain came down this morning.
Relentless heat and a lack of rain are pushing more and more of Michigan into drought, jeopardizing the state’s lucrative fruit and grain crops in a trend that one meteorologist calls “alarming.”
Nearly 80 percent of the state is in abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Almost a quarter of Michigan is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions, up from 8 percent last week, according to a report this week from NOAA. Some areas in southwest Michigan, along the Indiana border, are in severe drought.
Across the state, rainfall totals this year are well below normal, and forecasters warn that chances are slim for significant rainfall anytime soon. Detroit News
Posted on 11 July 2012
Meet the NW Michigan Agriculture Business Team
(L-R :Tom Coon-MSU Extension, Susan Cocciarelli – NW Ag and Food System Sector Alliance,
Elaine Wood – NWMCOG, Wendy Wieland – MSU Extension/Product Center,
Annie Shetler – SBTDC, Brenda Rau – MSU Product Center, Mary Rogers – MI-SBTDC)
Farmers and other agriculture related businesses can access a variety of assistance programs through the new Northwest Michigan Regional Agriculture Business Services Partnership. The partnership brings together the services of an MSU Extension agriculture innovation counselor, a MI-SBTDC agriculture business counselor, and the Northwest Michigan Agriculture and Food System Sector Alliance to enhance services to Ag related businesses such as product development, marketing, business plans, financing, education and training, and farm production and distribution.
Posted on 25 April 2012
A Canadian biotechnology company wants to cultivate medical marijuana in a former copper mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where it has been growing plants for more than a decade.
Prairie Plant Systems Inc., which has a contract to supply medical marijuana in Canada, would need approval from state and federal officials to convert the mine in White Pine, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday. Brent Zettl, the company’s president and CEO, said there’s demand despite major regulatory hurdles.
“There’s a need to bring this under the proper reins of appropriate manufacturing for patient safety and for public safety,” Zettl said. News-Review
Quite the enterprising re-purposing in the New Economy.
Posted on 09 April 2012
Are our local tree farms participating?
A program that provides free Christmas trees to military families and includes west Michigan tree farms as among its participants is being honored at the White House on April 11 as a finalist in the Joining Forces Community Challenge. MLive