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Past Meetings

  • April 5, 2021 ... Protecting Our Food Supply & Our Planet

    Mary Kelpinski, the CEO of Michigan Pork Producers Association, will examine how the food chain delivers food from farms to local grocery stores.  Google Trends indicates Concerns about Food are major issues for consumers: Food Availability, Nutrition and Safety. 

    The presentation will review the food supply chain, COVID-19’s impact on the food industry and food safety practices employed to produce nutritious food on the farm and beyond.  For this presentation, pork production will be used to illustrate how the overall food industry operates.  

    At the same time, farmers have made pork one of the leanest, nutrient-rich protein choices available, which was confirmed in 2006 when USDA released its study showing pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast. In 2011, pork tenderloin was also certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food. 

    Mary Kelpinski is responsible for both consumer education and state public policy initiatives which impact pork producers. Prior to joining MPPA, she was the Director of Industry Relations for the National Dairy Board.

    “My career has been devoted to advocating for animal agriculture. I’ve had the opportunity to work with public policy and with consumers, on behalf of both the dairy industry and the pork industry. I particularly enjoy working with students, consumers and policy experts to help explain how food is produced.”

  • March 1, 2021 ... From William Beal to Wendell Berry - the American Farm in American Culture

    Presented by Bill Castanier. He will explore the impact the American farm has had on our culture over the decades.

    Bill Castanier has spent more than 50 years in public relations, advertising, and the newspaper industry.  He is currently the president of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing. While working in state government he was the first executive director of I-TEAM, the state's private sector information technology trade association.  He also served as deputy director of the State's Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1986 and 1987 which contributed to his great love of history.

    Bill's love of literature led him to writing a literary column for the Lansing City Pulse for the last 20 years where he had interviewed more than 1,000 authors.  He has lectured extensively on Michigan literary history and is on the Library of Michigan Notable Book Selection Committee which is also part of the Michigan Big Read Program.   
     

  • February 1, 2021 ... FARM STRESS - So You Think You’re Stressed!

    The presentation focused on a Michigan State University outreach educational effort to help farmers deal with stress. Presentation of information was led by a MSU Extension team composed of Roger Betz, Eric Karbowski and Stan Moore.

    A Michigan farm business record & analysis program, Telfarm, provided documentation of financial challenges. Milk prices have been well below breakeven cash flows and profitability since 2015. Adverse weather in 2019 and 2020 with rain bombs in the Spring have led to delayed, and sometimes prevented, planting. The lower 80% of Michigan Dairy farms have each lost in the last 5 years an average of $880,000 in working capital. Financial stress often leads to mental stress.

    Overlaying climatological challenges, market roller-coaster ups & downs, changing government agricultural programs including crop insurance & trade issues; the COVID health challenge that threatens not only our livelihood but our lives ... the number of challenges to our well-being seems to approach infinity.

    Highlighted during this evening program were new MSUE program efforts in both the mental health of families and financial aspects of the family farm business. CLICK HERE for Farm Stress information from MSU Extension.

  • January 4, 2021 ... Our speaker, Frank Telewski, Professor of Plant Biology and Curator of the W. J. Beal Botanical Gardens and Campus Arboretum, talked about “150 Years Later: The Contributions of Professor William James Beal to the World".

    In 1879, Dr. Beal started the study, and it continues to this day in what became one of the longest continuously operating experiments in the world.

    In 1993, Dr.Telewski was the Director of the Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens and was hired at MSU as the new director of the W. J. Beal Botanical Gardens. He talked about Dr. Beal, who was born in Adrian, Michigan, the seeds he collected, the plots and the bottles that were buried, and how in the year 2000, the 120th year bottle was unearthed and germinated.

  • December 7 Program ... Bert Cregg, Professor of Horticulture and of Forestry (dual appointment) discussed “Christmas Tree Production in Michigan”. His presentation focused on the current state of the Christmas tree industry in Michigan and the challenges that growers face in raising a conifer seedling to the 8 foot tall Christmas tree in your living room.

    Michigan ranks third in the US in Christmas tree production and Christmas trees are grown in nearly every county in the state.  Michigan’s Christmas tree industry is diverse and ranges from small-scale choose-and-cut operations to some of the largest wholesale producers in the country. Dr. Cregg’s lab conducts research on the physiology and management of trees in landscape, nursery and Christmas tree systems. He holds a doctorate in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia, an M.S. in Forest Science from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. in Forest Management from Washington State University. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU in 1999, Dr. Cregg was a research plant physiologist for the US Forest Service and International Paper.  A native of Olympia, WA, he began his professional career shearing Christmas tree in high school.

  • November 2, 2020 ... Dr. Kelly F. Millenbah, Senior Associate Dean and Director for Academic and Student Affairs in the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources presented a program entitled “Higher Education & Covid 19: Impacts, Action and Lessons Learned.”

    Her presentation focused on how the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources responded to the onset and presence of the novel coronavirus on their teaching, research and outreach/Extension mission.  Information was shared about challenges that were faced during uncertain times while also highlighting success stories that will make the college stronger in the future.

    Dr. Millenbah oversees the academic and student affairs portfolio of the college (including 2-year certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs encompassing approximately 4,800 students) and manages the college’s General Fund account. She is also a Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

  • October 5, 2020 ... Dr. James Averill, VDL Interim Director and Courtney Chapin, Communications Manager for the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory presented a program entitled “Inside the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.”  They discussed how this full-service laboratory for all species is helping protect the animals and residents of Michigan. Trusted by veterinarians across the country for core diagnostics, innovative solutions, and expert service, the MSU VDL is a premier laboratory located in Michigan’s capital region.

MORE INFORMATION

MEETINGS

When
  • 2nd Monday in September, and some years in January
  • 1st Monday, October through June
Times
  • CURRENT: ZOOM presentation starts at 7:00 pm. Meetings are open to the public. The Zoom link will be sent to members before the meeting. You are invited to participate. See ZOOM Info or use the CONTACT US page to obtain the Zoom link.
Where
  • CURRENT: During the pandemic, our programs are being conducted via ZOOM presentation.

CONTACT US