Natural Resource Enterprises

Natural resources enterprises such as growing Christmas trees, tapping trees to make maple syrup and growing wild mushrooms all help landowners generate income from their property. MSU Extension delivers evidence-based information on how individuals can create profitable enterprises based on resources available on their private land. This information helps landowners and community leaders make better informed decisions.

HazelnutA natural resource enterprise is a systematic purposeful activity that involves one of Michigan’s many natural resources that occur on privately owned land.  Natural Resource Enterprises can range from those enterprises that can be solely used for personal benefit to those that can be conducted on a scale that allows for financial gain.  Focusing on Natural Resource Enterprises, MSU Extension provides a clearinghouse of news, publications, online resources and program events relevant to Michigan’s abundant natural resource base.

Mississippi State University - Natural Resource EnterprisesNatural Resources Enterprises was originally developed by Mississippi State University. The program was established in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Cooperative Extension Service in Mississippi to educate non-industrial private landowners in the Southeast about sustainable natural resource enterprises and compatible habitat management practices. The Natural Resource Enterprises Program is focused on effectively delivering information to landowners and community leaders that will encourage informed decision-making regarding the management of land and enterprises. The website has ample resources for business and landowners. 

USDA Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a new agroforestry guide called the Profitable Farms and Woodlands: A Practical Guide to Agroforestry for Landowners, Farmers and Ranchers. USDA describes the guide as, “A much needed practical guide in agroforestry has been developed by a team of agroforestry specialists from the 1890 and 1862 Land Grant Universities and the National Agroforestry Center (NAC), led by the 1890 Agroforestry Consortium. The purpose of the guide is to assist underserved and limited resources farmers and woodland owners to adopt best management technologies in agroforestry. The guide depicts step-by-step methods and principles on developing agroforestry practices for farmers and woodland owners for the purpose of enhancing the economic and environmental benefits of their farms and woodlands.”

Regional Resources

The Family Forest Owner Toolbox is series of fact sheets to provide information and resources to family forest owners. The toolbox of resources was developed to support landowners who want to enhance forest management and/or get involved with “emerging markets,” such as bioenergy, certified products, and green building. Whether you own woodlands for lifestyle or recreational reasons or for financial gain, tapping new opportunities may be a way for you to maintain your land the way you want and secure its future.

Michigan Resources

Discover Northeast Michigan has resources for coastal businesses looking for information on tourism. 

Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative facilitates school-community partnerships; funds innovative, collaborative student-driven projects; provides targeted training opportunities for students and teachers; and coordinates communities of learning.

Man gathering maple sapThe Alcona FFA Sugar Shack Project is a collaboration between Alcona High School agriscience students, FFA members and community volunteers.

The Michigan Maple Syrup Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of maple sugaring in Michigan and the promotion of Michigan pure maple products.

The Michigan Christmas Tree Association provides leadership that promotes and enhances Michigan’s farm-grown Christmas tree industry through research and education.

Shitake mushrooms on a treeThe Northern Nut Growers Association, Inc. brings together people interested in growing nut trees. Members include experts in nut tree cultivation, farmers, amateur and commercial nut growers, experiment station workers, horticultural teachers and scientists, nut tree breeders, nurserypeople, foresters, and beginning nut culturists.

The Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club provides opportunities for amateur and experienced mushroom hunters to commune both with nature and with others who share an interest in and appreciation for nature’s bounty. Whether it is discovering a new culinary delight, getting out in the great outdoors, or simply enjoying the company of others, the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club we think that your membership in and participation with MMHC will prove to be one of great benefit.