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Sparta's Green Tree Orchards Verified in Farmstead System

Environmental Assurance Program Verifies Local Farms

Kent County Farms Recognized by MAEAP


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing two farms in Kent County for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices. The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right to Farm practices. Technical assistance was provided by Rob Stein of the Ottawa Conservation District.


The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) recognized:

· Country Blessings Studio Store, of Gowen, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

· Green Tree Orchards, of Sparta, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.


Conklin Family Part of New McDonalds Commercial

A West Michigan family recently watched the debut of the TV commercial starring them. The Dietrich family started farming in Conklin in the mid-1800s. Now, everone can see their local farm in Conklin, Michigan for a new McDonalds national commercial focusing on their apple farm. This is the 6th generation of farmers at the farm.

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

We may finally get the kind of winter weather we are used to in West Michigan.

Time To Get Your Dog's New License

Time To Get Your Dog's New License


2013 Dog Licenses available in Kent County.

Michigan law requires that all dogs four months of age or older be licensed.

A dog license is considered late if your animal is 5 months of age or older and you have owned the dog longer than 30 days. Dog licenses are discounted for senior citizens, and if your dog has been spayed or neutered (See fees here). To qualify for senior prices a person has to be 62 years old at the time of purchase and provide proof of age.

The fees through March 1, 2013 range from $6-26. After March 1, the costs of licenses doubles.

Snowshoe workshop

Snowshoe workshop

If you want to learn to snowshoe, there will be a workshop on Sunday, January 13th at the Howard Christensen Nature Center.

The class runs from Noon to 3pm and costs $3.75/person or $20/families of four or more.

The class will teach you how to put on, walk in and take off snowshoes.  Snowshoes are even included for use in the class.

Call 616-675-3158 or click here for more information.

Start the year right, give blood

Start the year right, give blood

Michigan Blood wants you to continue the season of giving by donating blood to start the new year.

If you attempt to donate at one of these blood drives, you will receive a $10 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse

       Grand Rapids
       December 31  •  8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
       January 2  •  8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
       January 3  •  8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

       St. Joseph
       January 2  •  11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Blood Drive

Blood Drive

Make a difference for many in need! Sparta High School located at 475 W. Spartan Drive in Sparta, Michigan is having a Blood Drive on Thursday, November 8 from 7:30am to 3:00pm.

Call: 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) or Go to www.miblood.org for more information.