LANSING — More than $95,000 in educational grants is being made available to 36 county Farm Bureau (list below) through a partnership between Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

In its seventh year, the grant program helps county Farm Bureaus across the state develop and implement innovative programs to educate farmers about conservation programs and cost-share assistance.

Developed throughout the spring and implemented throughout summer, local programs will include activities such as educational bus tours, on-farm workshops, and conservation practice demonstrations including cover crops, and tile drainage control structures.

“Protecting the environment is vital to the agriculture industry’s continued growth,” said Emily Reinart, MFB’s agriculture ecology specialist. “NRCS cost-share programs educate thousands of farmers on how to blend conservation practices into their farming operations.”

The grant program also fosters relationships between county Farm Bureaus, their local conservation districts and NRCS.

“A public-private partnership is essential in getting conservation on the ground to address resource concerns,” said USDA State Conservationist Garry Lee. “The USDA can provide resources but our partners are important to getting the message out that individual farmers can help protect our environment.”

County Farm Bureaus receiving 2018 grants include: Allegan, Arenac, Barry, Benzie-Manistee, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hiawathaland, Hillsdale, Huron, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Lenawee, Mason, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Northwest Michigan, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Saginaw, St. Clair, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Tuscola and Van Buren.