Educational program offered to help manage challenges where forests and farms co-exist

Forests and Farms event will help producers utilize their natural resources to maximize on-farm profitability.

Forests in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pose a great challenge and opportunity to agriculture. | Photo by Ashley McFarland, Michigan State University Extension

Forests in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pose a great challenge and opportunity to agriculture. | Photo by Ashley McFarland, Michigan State University Extension

Farmers are continually looking for ways to diversify and bolster risk management strategies on-farm. Forests and Farms, an event hosted by the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in partnership with the Hiawathaland Farm Bureau Chapter, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and with funding granted by Michigan Farm Bureau, will share strategies on how to maximize your natural resources for greater farm sustainability. 

Throughout Michigan, commercial agricultural operations interface with wildlife habitat, especially in the forests of the Upper Peninsula. Although this patchwork of farms and forests is what makes these regions so appealing, it is a very challenging landscape to manage. White-tail deer, and to a lesser extent other wildlife including bears and birds, often migrate to these oases of dense, nutritional crops, instead of foraging in the woods. A comprehensive management strategy is critical in mitigating the impact to on-farm productivity and profitability. Wildlife-caused crop damage will never be irradiated, but there are steps producers can take to lessen the burden of its impact. MSU researcher, James DeDecker, will share his ongoing research with wildlife depredation challenges in field crops and what opportunities may exist to combat the issue. Experts from Michigan DNR will also be on-hand to answer any questions you may have about the existing programs that can be used to mitigate wildlife damage.

Opportunities will also be explored on how to maximize profit potential within the surrounding forest landscape. Conservation District Forester Matt Watkeys and NRCS District Conservationist Misa Cady, will share what programs and resources are available to better utilize timber ground for profit and how to manage those resources to accomplish your on-farm goals.

Forests and Farms is taking place on Tuesday, June 26 at 5 p.m. at the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center South Farm in Catham, Michigan. The event is free to attend and dinner is provided for registered attendees. Registration is strongly encouraged. Please contact Michelle at (906) 439-5114 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions. 

If you are interested in agricultural research and education in the Upper Peninsula, contact Ashley McFarland at 906-439-5176 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). McFarland is the Director of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan. 

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