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    Michigan Railroads & Agriculture


    As the debate over Proposal 1 rages on, Michigan’s infrastructure continues to crumble. To the average citizen, the roads may be the most obvious sign of the ongoing problem, but another equally vital mode of transportation has been overlooked. Michigan’s railroads, which the state’s food and agriculture industry relies upon, are in serious disrepair.

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    Developing Net Pen Aquaculture in Michigan

    Consumption of fish has remained a staple in the diets of nations across the world for millennia. However while populations experience continued growth, per capita demand for fish and seafood has continued to grow unabated with fish consumption increasing by 7% to 9% annually. A significant proportion of fish continues to come from wild harvest fisheries, which places stress on both salt and fresh water ecosystems. The growing practice of aquatic fish farming as an alternative to wild harvesting

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    Detroit Vacant Land Usage

     

    There is an overabundance of vacant land in Detroit that is holding the city back. Resolving this issue is essential to the revitalization of the community and this problem could present a unique opportunity for progressive agricultural methods. The integration of urban agriculture in some of the available space would bring more nutrition, education, and sustainability to Detroit while also strengthening the community.

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    Organic Funding in the Farm Bill

    With much deliberation, the Farm Bill of 2013 has included some positive opportunities for organic farming. The bill is crucial for research funding, especially for organic farming. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has been fighting to get support for organic from Congress through Michigan’s Senator Debbie Stabenow. The Farm Bill in 2002 and 2008 has introduced programs that made it possible for more data to be collected in support of organic farming. However, many of these program

    Urban Farming

    What is the first thing you think of when you hear the city of Detroit? An urban area with blocks and blocks of unused land? Well, did you ever think that land can be used as a contributing factor in Michigan’s agricultural business? Malik Yakini, founder of D-Town Farms, believes agriculture is “a vital part to re-envisioning a city like Detroit” (“D-Town Farms”). For example, D-Town Farms “is a two acre urban farm” that sells produce to “Eastern Market and urban growers markets throughout Detr

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    Agriculture

    • Michigan Railroads & Agriculture

      As the debate over Proposal 1 rages on, Michigan’s infrastructure continues to crumble. To the average citizen, the roads may be the most obvious sign of the ongoing problem, but another equally vita...
    • Developing Net Pen Aquaculture in Michigan

      Consumption of fish has remained a staple in the diets of nations across the world for millennia. However while populations experience continued growth, per capita demand for fish and seafood has cont...
    • Detroit Vacant Land Usage

        There is an overabundance of vacant land in Detroit that is holding the city back. Resolving this issue is essential to the revitalization of the community and this problem could present a unique o...
    • Organic Funding in the Farm Bill

      With much deliberation, the Farm Bill of 2013 has included some positive opportunities for organic farming. The bill is crucial for research funding, especially for organic farming. The Organic Farmin...
    • Urban Farming

      What is the first thing you think of when you hear the city of Detroit? An urban area with blocks and blocks of unused land? Well, did you ever think that land can be used as a contributing factor in ...
    • Legislation and Michigan’s Agricultural Rise

      In the recent year, the Michigan legislature has been very vocal in their attempts to strengthen the state’s agricultural business. Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes (D), for example, has introduced a ...
    • Michigan Farm Bureau Supports Snyder's Plan to Split the DNRE

      Governor-elect Rick Snyder has announced his plan to split the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) back into two departments, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) ...
    • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a Threat to Michigan

      On November 12, 2010, the Michigan Department of Agriculture confirmed the findings of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Emmet, Macomb, and Ottawa counties. Native to Asia, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid are an i...
    • Can Michigan Make Up for its Lost Agricultural Revenue?

      Over the past three years, Michigan's $64 billion agricultural industry has encountered many unfavorable weather conditions for yielding a favorable number of crops. In January of 2009, the United Sta...
    • Farm Bill Awards Michigan with Specialty Crop Grants

      United States Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, included a specialty crops title in the most recent Farm Bill which has come to benefit Michigan. Acc...
    • Loans, Grants Can Help Farmers and Business Owners Be More Energy Efficient

      The US Michigan Department of Agriculture Rural Development has loans available for local small business owners and farmers to apply for, for funding of energy-efficient improvements or to install sma...
    • The Politics of Food

      It's a fair bet that the website bloggingheads.tv has something that will interest you. The website hosts a number of discussions/debates on politics, law, religion, science, etc. Recently it hosted a...
    • Proposed Promotion of Urban Agriculture by Land Banks

      Senate Bill 1015 would amend the current Land Bank Fast Track Act, specifically sections 2 and 4. The Land Bank Fast Track Act presently allows state and local governments "to assemble or dispose of p...
    • CAFOs v. "Clean Water Act Enforcement Action Plan"

      At this time there is a growing concern over the Agriculture industry and clean water being contaminated by animal waste. Allegations have been in place accusing farmers and CAFOs (Concentrated Animal...
    • Agriculture Budget Approved for 2010

      Last Thursday, Oct. 15, Gov. Jennifer Granholm approved the budget for several state departments of Michigan, including the Department of Agriculture.   .
    • Interview: Jim Byrum, Michigan Agri-Business Association

      Background Jim Byrum graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in public affairs management. Being raised in a farming family he had a passion for agriculture and focused his interest th...
    • Another Response to Free-Range Pork

      The Agricultural Law Blog has posted a response to the previously mentioned NYT op-ed on free-range pork. Some of the issues the author raises were addressed by the op-ed author in his Atlantic respon...
    • Is Free Range Pork More Prone to Pathogens?

      An op-ed in the April 9 issue of the New York Times by James E. McWilliams discussed the safety of free range pork in light of a recent study on the issue. The study concluded that free-range pork is ...
    • Salmonella Related Recalls Still Happening

      On March 27 there were four more salmonella related recalls issued..
    • Migrant Labor Housing Regulation

      Migrant labor housing in Michigan is regulated under part 124, of Act 368 of 1978 as a part of the public heath code. The administration of part 124 of the act falls under the purview of the Departmen...
    • Obama's Proposed Change to Ag Subsidies

      Michael Roberts, an associate professor at North Carolina State University and agricultural economist, is skeptical about whether the proposed reduction in federal agriculture subsidies will actually ...
    • National Food Safety

      NPR has a report on a possible overhaul of the U.S. food safety system. Currently food safety is the responsibility of a myriad of federal agencies with different jurisdictions depending on the food i...
    • Food Recall Alert Website Back

      The Michigan Department of Agriculture Food Recall Alert system is back online. If you're interested you can sign up for either email or text message alerts. The site is here..
    • Michigan Farm Performance

      The United States Department of Agriculture's 2007 Agricultural Census has been released. An article in the Muskegon Chronicle provides a nice summary from a Michigan perspective. The good news is tha...
    • Salmonella Update

      CNN is reporting that the company responsible for the tainted peanuts in the salmonella contamination incident knew that their peanuts were contaminated..
    • Michigan Ag and Don Koivisto

      Dome Magazine has a piece on Don Koivisto the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. It briefly touches on the state of the Michigan agricultural industry but is mainly a profile of Mr. K...
    • Peanut Butter Recall

      As anyone who is signed up for the MDA food recall list is well aware, the recent peanut butter recall due to salmonella is quite extensive. The list of Michigan products affected can be accessed at t...
    • Alcohol Policy

      At the risk of this becoming the alcohol policy blog, here are a few links that may be of interest to those who recently read the interview with John Russo. The Politics of Wine: Trade Barriers, Int...
    • Wine Interview

      I recently conducted an interview with John Russo, a wine specialist out of Grand Rapids. The intent of the interview was to cover the pending legislation that would ban direct shipment of wine within...
    • Interview with Wine Specialist John Russo

      The intent of this interview was to discuss the new piece of legislation which would ban the direct shipment of wine to consumers within Michigan and its relationship to the wine industry, hence the a...
    • rBST in Milk

      This video from the Michigan Farm Bureau discusses the discontinued use of rBST in milk. The use of rBST increases milk yields so farmers who stop using it can expect decreased yields. Assuming that r...
    • 40,000 at Colorado Farm

      Neither policy nor Michigan but an interesting article..
    • Waterkeeper: Federal Regulations on CAFOs

      In February of 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised requirements which changed the federal regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These changes were challenge...
    • New in the Agriculture Section

      Background   Policy Briefs; New policy briefs on Michigan's Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, The Michigan Right to Farm Act, and Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practice...
    • Farmland Preservation and Wind Power

      Farmers enrolled in Michigan's farmland preservation program, commonly known as PA 116, and wishing to have wind turbines installed on their land, have faced uncertainty over their status under PA 116...
    • Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program

      Michigan's Farmland Preservation Program began with the passage of Public Act 116 in 1974 and is often referred to as PA 116. However, the act is now incorporated into Act 451 of 1994 and contained in...
    • The Michigan Right to Farm Act

      Michigan Right to Farm Act Act 93 of 1981   The Michigan Right to Farm Act was initially passed in 1981 with the intent of protecting farmers from nuisance lawsuits. The act has been amended seve...
    • Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices

      In 1981, the Michigan legislature passed the Michigan Right to Farm Act. This act guaranteed certain protections to farmers, provided they followed specified guidelines. These guidelines took the for...
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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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