Conservation district to host annual farm tour Aug. 31

August 22, 2023

Couturier Blueberry Farm, Beyer Road, Victory Township

Conservation district to host annual farm tour Aug. 31

FREE SOIL TOWNSHIP — The Mason-Lake Conservation District will host its annual farm tour on Thursday, Aug. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. Attendees will meet at Orchard Market, 8418 N. US 31. The free event is open to anyone, though topics are geared towards technical information for farmers. The tour will include a bus tour to three Mason County farms in Victory and Free Soil townships and a catered dinner to follow the tour. 

Though there is no cost to attend the tour, a donation is appreciated to help cover dinner costs. An RSVP is requested by Wednesday, August 23 by contacting the Mason-Lake Conservation District at (231) 757-3707 ext. 5 or email Technician Andrew Booher at andrew.booher@macd.org 

This event is an opportunity to learn about different farming practices geared towards effective pest management, managing specialty crops and regenerative agriculture. Whether a farmer wants to learn about best management practices, or a landowner wants to learn more about the farms in their community, there is something for everyone. Discussion will include an overview of pest management for different types of farming operations, including a strawberry field, blueberry patch and cover cropped field. The tour will cover on-the-ground on conservation practices, regenerative agriculture, how to implement systems such as chemigation and fertigation, and even discussion on state or federal programs that can benefit farmers and landowners. 

One such program that makes the farm tour possible is the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), which works with farmers and landowners to prevent environmental risk and helps install good conservation practices. Mason-Lake Conservation District holds a grant from Michigan Department of Agriculture and rural Development (MDARD) to administer the MAEAP program. Also of importance will be discussion on programs from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and how the Farm Bill and best management practices can be introduced to farms. The farms at each stop will share a bit about their operations and how they have used programs like MAEAP and NRCS to manage pests in their crops and successfully obtain proper yields and increase soil health and productivity. 

The event has been approved for participants to receive credit for a MAEAP Phase One Event and has been approved as well for three Restricted Use Pesticide Credits (RUPs), which will be given out for completion of the tour at the end of the night. 

 

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