Agriculture and Forest Education Day set for Jan. 22

SCOTTVILLE -- Lake County residents are invited to attend an educational workshop for farmers, forestland owners and anyone interested in improving wildlife habitat.

The event will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Mason County Reformed Church multi-purpose room, 45 S. Amber Road in Scottville.

During the workshop, guest speakers will be presenting on special topics including indicators for soil health, deer and agriculture, produce safety, forest pests, invasive species, cost-share opportunities for these projects, as well as some interactive exhibits. The public is welcome to attend for the entire day or for a particular session in which they are interested.

More than a dozen speakers from many organizations will be present to share updates on programs and new techniques for conservation work.

The morning sessions will be focused on forest and wildlife habitat, with the afternoon sessions being more focused on agriculture.

Specific topics for the morning include managing forest pests, a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid update and establishing native plantings. Before lunch, presentations will wrap up with learning about indicators for soil health.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will provide a presentation during the end of lunch regarding deer and agriculture.

After lunch, a panel of farmers from the surrounding area also will share their experiences in becoming environmentally verified through the Michigan Agriculture and Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).

The remainder of the afternoon program will cover case studies on pesticide drift management, identifying and managing invasive species on farms and potential impacts of Spotted Lanternfly on the tree fruit industry.

For a more detailed agenda, visit

This workshop is hosted by the Mason-Lake, Manistee and Oceana Conservation Districts through the MAEAP program.

MAEAP is a voluntary, confidential program that works with landowners and farmers to help ensure they are following all the best management practices to be good environmental stewards of their land.

MAEAP participants can choose to assess any or all of their cropping, livestock, farmstead or forestry systems.

As part of the program, participants must attend an education program related to MAEAP. This program qualifies for an education credit. In addition, those that attend the full day will be eligible for four credits for restricted use pesticide (RUP) certification.

To reserve a spot at the workshop, call (231) 757-3707 ext. 5 by Friday, Jan. 17.