From: Carol Osborne, Michigan Organic Food & Farm Alliance
Thanks to the Sierra Club, local activists and others for keeping manure management concerns on the front burner. It's easy for people not living near these problems every day to be disconnected from them (which is true about lots of things, I guess).
I'm wondering if any of you are involved in, or planning to attend, the March 24 Agriculture's Conference on the Environment at the Lansing Center? This conference is sponsored by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). MUCC is a partner in MAEAP, along with MSUE, Farm Bureau, NRCS, Michigan Townships Association, MDA, MIFFS and a long list of farm commodity groups.
The topic is water quality and the program is aimed at livestock farmers. The conference brochure says: "Regulations are being enforced and created every day that influence your farm. No matter what type or size of farm you have, you need to be at this conference . . . . Take advantage of this one-day opportunity to hear all federal and state partners 'say the same thing' with regard to protecting the environment on your farm."
There is no phone number and no website listed on the brochure. There also is no list of the presenters for the workshop sessions. Governor Granholm and Thomas Skinner from Region 5 EPA are invited keynote speakers. Registration is $25, and goes to MDA.
I'm not sure they would be too happy to have activists there with complaints about the current system, but there are farmer allies out there too, and this could be a forum to reach policy makers with hard questions and to confront them with facts.