With the holidays, the inauguration and the arrival of Covid 19 vaccine options all having occurred, there seems to be room for a bit of winter respite emerging for many people. The days are noticeably getting longer and it won’t be long and spring will again grace our lives. Working on organizing our income tax records is one of the “exciting” jobs this time of year. Doesn’t that bring joy to your heart? Another opportunity we have is to gather together for a good ANR Club program. Even though it doesn’t match gathering together over a good meal, using Zoom at least gives an opportunity to keep our Club activities perking. If you don’t use Zoom, remember we are recording all of the programs and are posting them on our new website lansinganrclub.org. You may watch any past program on the website at your convenience without needing Zoom. Our Monday, February 1 meeting will begin via Zoom promptly at 7:00 pm. We again recommend that you join the Zoom meeting about 6:55 or so to have plenty of time to complete the process. Wait for Steve Harsh to let you in to the Zoom site at 7:00 pm.
We have a unique meeting scheduled for this month. It will focus on a Michigan State University outreach educational effort to help farmers deal with stress. The presentation will be led by an MSU Extension team composed of Roger Betz, Eric Karbowski & Stan Moore. New MSUE program efforts in both the mental health of families and financial aspects of the family farm business will be highlighted during this evening program.
Telfarm, a Michigan farm business record & analysis program, provides documentation of financial challenges being faced by farmers today. Milk prices have been well below break-even cash flows and profitability since 2015. Adverse weather in 2019 and 2020 with rain bombs in the Spring have led to delayed and/or prevented planting. Dairy farms in the lower 80% of Michigan have each lost an average of $880,000 in working capital in the last 5 years. Financial stress often leads to mental stress.
Overlaying climatological challenges, market roller-coaster ups & downs, changing government agricultural programs including crop insurance & trade issues, is 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. The following bio information will help to acquaint you with our presenters:
Roger Betz – MSU District Extension Farm Management Senior Educator; Roger has been with MSUE since 1983. He earned a B.S. in Crop and Soils, and a M.S. in Animal Science from MSU. He worked 5 years as a manager on a crop-swine farm; and currently is an owner/operator of his cash crop farm. Roger is currently conducting Zoom meetings during Jan-Feb 2021 on government program options on farm revenue risk management.
Eric Karbowski – A Behavioral Health Educator on Farm Stress hired by MSU in 2019. Earned a B.S. & M.S. in Education Administration from Central Michigan University.
Stan Moore – MSU Senior Extension Educator, has been with MSU Extension since 1991. He earned a B.S. & M.S. in Animal Science from Michigan State University.
We think you will find this program enlightening as we move forward in 2021. If you are interested in seeing more about the MSUE farm stress program, please go to this website link: https://www.canr.msu.edu/managing_farm_stress/
With our new website lansinganrclub.org up and running, each of our Club’s teams are currently considering how they may effectively use the website to communicate and connect with both members and the community. New member growth is an ongoing need to keep our organization vibrant. Hopefully, the website will help us in this process. If you have ideas for making the website more useful please forward them to our webmaster using the CONTACT US form on the website
The purpose of the Lansing Aea Agriculture & Natural Resources Club is to provide opportunites for those interested in agriculture and natural resources to interact regularily with others who have like interests, to keep members updated in these areas, to share a social environment that maintains connections and develops new friendships, and to support a scholarship program for deserving students in the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,