2017-09-11 / News

Farmers seek to improve land, protect environment

BY STEVEN KOVAC
810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com


An aerial view of the site of the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors’ Association Field Day held earlier this month on a harvested wheat field in Elk Township owned by Croswell farmer Carl Gordon. 
Photo courtesy MLICA An aerial view of the site of the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors’ Association Field Day held earlier this month on a harvested wheat field in Elk Township owned by Croswell farmer Carl Gordon. Photo courtesy MLICA ELK TWP. — About 200 farmers and drainage management contractors took part in a Field Day August 11-12 for the purpose of discussing soil and water preservation.

The event was sponsored by the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors Association. It was hosted by Carl Gordon of Croswell on a 20-acre field he works on the west side of M-19 between Aitken and Stilson roads.

“Farmers care about soil and water. It’s our livelihood,” said Gordon. “I planted wheat on that field. We had a couple drowned out spots. I decided to tile it.”

Gordon’s land proved to be an ideal location for the Field Day, as part of the itinerary consisted of drain tile contractors conducting demonstrations of new equipment and the latest methods of draining the soil while improving the water quality of the runoff.

“We had farmers and contractors from Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey and Ontario meet with us out there,” said Mike Cook of Westphalia.

Cook is secretary treasurer of the MLICA, and the organization’s national vice-president.

“There’s a misconception about farmers. From some news reports people are led to believe that farmers don’t care about the environment. That all they do is rob from it and exploit it. Not true,” said Cook.

“Our association is dedicated to preserving our natural soil and water resources. That’s one of the reasons we hold these annual meetings.”

Cook continued, “Farmers realize that we can’t always expand out. We can’t continue to clear trees, destroy woodlots, and take up wetlands. Our idea is to improve the ground we’ve got.”

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