- Agricultural Leaders of Michigan: Promoting Michigan agriculture's power and potential
"The things that we focus on tend to be pretty big picture," she says. "Trade is a big issue for them." Statewide infrastructure is a main focus of ALM, Byrum says, including broad topics such as roads, bridges, railroads, ports and waterways.
- MSU and Detroit plant seed for urban food system innovation
Detroit, a postindustrial city, has its weaknesses including abandoned properties and liability issues, but Foster is hopeful. "Detroit is a very unique city," he says. "We could actually be a global thought leader for cities around the world."
- Detroit, MSU partnering on global food system innovation
"I'm pleased that MSU has chosen Detroit as a partner from an innovation standpoint," says Bing. "MSU is trying to help us utilize the resources we have to feed Detroiters and Michiganders, and to export food around the globe."
- USDA Conservation Financial Assistance Available for SE Michigan Farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making conservation financial assistance available to farmers in southeast Michigan as part of an effort to improve water quality in Lake Erie. Farmers have until April 27, 2012 to apply for the assistance at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.
- Wine that not only pleases the palate, but boosts Michiganís economy
Viticulturist Robin Usborne offers techniques for growing robust wine-ready grapes and picking out the right Michigan wine to pair with holiday meals.
Bert Cregg: Christmas trees a boon to Michigan economy
- Bob Cregg talks with Kirk Heinze on WJR
“The Fraser fir has really taken over because of its beautiful form, nice color and excellent needle retention,” Cregg says.
“If a tree holds on to 99 percent of its needles, that sounds pretty good until you learn that the average tree has 100,000 needles. So if you lose one percent of your needles, you have 1,000 needles on the floor.”
Cregg also is growing several types of conifer and shade trees at his pot-in-pot research nursery. The trees are planted in pots filled with a pine bark and peat moss mix that is much lighter than soil, a feature that consumers like, he said. The pot-in-pot production system enables the trees to be sold as living Christmas trees.
“After the holidays, the consumer can plant the tree in their yard,” he says.
Cregg adds that Michigan is the nation’s third-largest Christmas tree producer and is unique in the variety of trees it can grow.
“We’re third in total sales and second in acreage,” he says. “North Carolina and Oregon are the other two states that lead in this area, and we have about $40 million in annual sales.
“More and more, people are opting to cut their own trees rather than buying them at retail stores,” he adds. “Consumers are buying into the ‘experience economy’ and choosing to make their purchase a family event with reindeer petting, wagon rides, hot chocolate and more.”
Cregg hopes we all recycle our trees in an environmentally-responsible manner after the holidays.
“The big thing is not to let it end up in a landfill,” Cregg says. “Try to get it to a place where it can be recycled in some way. That’s really the greenest way to take care of it.”
Click on the arrow above to hear Cregg’s December 17 Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Kirk Heinze. Greening of the Great Lakes airs Fridays at 7 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR.
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