Michigan State University, a land grant university, conducts research on agricultural and farm practices at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center in Novi. Michigan farmers are seeking more research money in the upcoming Farm Bill renewal.

State farmers eye upcoming federal Farm Bill

FARM BILL: Congress is working on the Farm Bill which will help set national agricultural policy for the next five years. What do Michigan farmers want in it? We hear from experts at the Michigan Farm Bureau, MSU Extension Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute and Michigan Farmers Union. By Liz Nass. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CORP! GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan is No. 4 in the country for sugar beet production.

Great Lakes microclimate good for specialty crops

SPECIALTY CROPS: Specialty crops account for Michigan’s status as having the nation’s second-most diverse agricultural industry, but some farmers are unhappy about the timing of produce imports from abroad. They often arrive at the same time the state’s crops are being harvested and thus depress prices farmers get for their fruits and vegetables. Potato-producing Montcalm County mentioned. By Kenzie Terpstra. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP., GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

East Lansing City Council denies proposal for Bailey Lot development

On Oct. 17, the East Lansing City Council denied a proposal that would allow the construction of a five-story “workforce housing” project built by American Community Developers (ACD) on the 500-Block of Albert Avenue, also known as Bailey Lot 11. Despite the vote, the city council still plans on developing the area. The big requirement for the future development of the Bailey Lot, according to East Lansing councilmember Michael Krueger, is maintaining parking availability for residents and employees. 

State parks and other facilities where EV chargers are planned for 2024.

Electric vehicle charging stations to be installed at more state parks

EV CHARGERS: The DNR is installing chargers in more state parks to accommodate the growing number of visitors who drive EVs. The initiative is a partnership with EV manufacturer Revian and national nonprofit Adopt a Charger. We speak to DNR, Adopt a Charger and the superintendent of Holland State Park. Also mentions Belle Isle, Bay City, Leelanau, Orchard Beach and Mears state parks and the Oden Fish Hatchery, By Kayte Marshall. FOR HOLLAND, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, OCEANA COUNTY, PETOSKEY, MIDLAND, WKTV, HARBOR SPRINGS, PLANET DETROIT, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Struggle bus: districts trying to fill driver seats

SCHOOL BUS: School districts across the state are in the midst of a continuing shortage of bus drivers, and some are offering higher pay and benefits to attract applicants. The Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation explains why. The Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District managed to fill its positions this school year. By Brandy Muz. FOR BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

Few neighborhoods affordable when commuting costs added

HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION: A Citizens Research Council says about half of the average Michigan household income goes to transportation and housing, a figure that some experts say could be reduced with better public transit services. There’s a tradeoff between affordable housing and affordable transportation. How do local government plan for car dependency and how are neighborhoods affected by quality transportation options.We hear about a Bay Area Transportation Authority effort and talk to experts from Wayne State, the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan State Housing Development Authority. With references to Metro Detroit suburbs, Includes references to Traverse City, Lansing, Ann Arbor and East Lansing By Liz Nass. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, CORP! PLANET DETROIT, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.

Homelessness declines but still a major problem

HOMELESSNESS: The number of homeless residents in the state has dropped in the past 15 years, but roughly 8,000 are without homes on any given night. Advocates met recently in Bellaire to discuss the crisis. Includes references to Lenawee, Kent and Macomb counties. Detroit and the three-county Traverse City area. We talk to a statewide organization and the Department of Health & Human Services. FOR BLISSFIELD, ADRIAN, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.

Participants in a MI Paddle Stewards invasive species training paddle on the upper Grand River in Jackson.

Helping the fight against invasives, on land and in water

FIGHTING INVASIVES: The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network needs help finding and identifying invasive land and aquatic species. The organization leads several citizen science initiatives, two of which – Eyes on the Forest and MI Paddle Stewards – are expanding their programs, looking for volunteers to cover more ground and water. Includes references to Mason, Oceana, Ottawa, Allegan, Benzie, Oakland and Muskegon counties. By Elinor Epperson. FOR LUDINGTON, OCEANA, OTTAWA, DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT, HOLLAND, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.