Cultivating Resilience Farm Field Day

August 18, 2022 8:00AM - 2:45PM

Registration Deadline: August 15, 2022 - 05:00PM

Shady Side Farm, 13275 Blair Street, Holland, MI 49424


Contact: Ottawa County Conservation District, (616)842-5852 Ex 5

The Ottawa & Allegan Conservation Districts, in partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, and the National Grazing Land Coalition are hosting “Cultivating Resilience,” a farm field day, on August 18th at Shady Side Farm, 13275 Blair St, Holland, MI 49424 from 8:00 AM – 2:45 PM.

The Cultivating Resilience field day will showcase tried and true practices that promote soil health and water conservation, and give producers practical conservation knowledge that they can use to evaluate their operations to create a more resilient farm. This year’s theme will be focused on the groundwater issue in Ottawa and surrounding counties and this issue’s impact on local agriculture.

We are delighted to host John Yellich, Director of Michigan Geological Survey at Western Michigan University who will speak on the groundwater issue as a keynote session. A Q&A Panel Discussion will focus on the protection and funding of water quality projects in county drains and will include perspectives from Joe Bush (Water Resources Commissioner), Matt Meersman (Director of the St. Joseph River Basin Commission), Matt Hehl (OCD Board Chairman & Ottawa County Farmer), and Alex Svoboda (OCD RCPP Project Manager).

Onsite demonstrations will include a morning farm walk showcasing the benefits of practices such as composting, no-till, and rotational grazing. The farm walk will feature three speakers, including our farm host, Mike Bronkema, Charles Gould (MSU Extension Bioenergy Educator), and Jerry Miller (Certified Soil Scientist & MACD President). Additionally Christina Curell (MSU Extension Soil Health and Cover Crop Educator) will demonstrate a rainfall simulator to discuss the effects of weather on soil health management. Matt Raven, a Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at MSU will close the event with a presentation on Holistic Management of the Farm.

As agriculture in West Michigan faces continued challenges – from extreme rainfall to groundwater shortages – cultivating resilience in our agricultural community is essential. Register today using the link above. This event is FREE and includes a free lunch and the chance to win some awesome door prizes! Everyone will automatically be entered to win for attending the event, but additional tickets can be earned by visiting our on-site vendor tables! This is also a MAEAP Phase 1 Educational Event and participants are eligible to earn RUP credits.

2022 Field Day Agenda
8:00 am Registration & Light Breakfast
Sponsored by Greenstone Farm Credit Services

8:30 am Welcome & Introductions

9:00 am Keynote Presentation: What is needed to have a future with water in Ottawa County? - John Yellich, CPG, Director, Michigan Geological Survey

9:45 am Networking Break – Visit with vendor booths to earn additional tickets for door prizes!

10:15 am Farm Tour with Guest Speakers (30 mins each)

  • Compost Utilization in a Cropping System - Charles Gould, MSU Extension Educator
  • Soil Health – Physical, Chemical and Biological Components (Soil Pit Demonstration) - Gerald “Jerry” Miller, Ph.D., Certified Professional Soil Scientist, President MACD
  • Footprints in the Field – Observations on Managed Grazing and its Effects on Soil and Water Quality (Pasture Walk) - Mike Bronkema, Shady Side Farm Owner and Operator

12:00 pm Weather Impacts on Soil Health Management (Rainfall Simulator Demonstration) - Christina Curell, MSU Extension Soil Health and Cover Crop Educator

12:30 pm Enjoy a free, boxed lunch catered by Wolfies of Zeeland - Sponsored by Endeavor Ag & Energy

1:30 pm Panel: Protecting and Funding Water Quality in County Drains

  • Joe Bush, Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner
  • Matt Meersman, Director of the St. Joseph River Basin Commission
  • Matt Hehl, OCD Board Chairman and Local Farmer
  • Alex Svoboda, OCD RCPP Project Coordinator

2:15 pm Closing Keynote: Intro to Holistic Farm Management – What’s Next? - Matt R. Raven, MSU Professor of Community Sustainability

2:45 pm Closing – Stick around for our Vendor Door Prizes!

Obtain your 3 RUP Credits and MAEAP Phase 1 Educational Credit

Registration for this event has closed.

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