A group of Young Farmers gathered on the banks of the Thornapple River in Barry County Aug. 24 for the last regional social event of 2019.
The Young Farmer Float for Water Rights featured Michigan Farm Bureau’s Ag Ecology Manager Laura Campbell, who shared her insights on what is going on in state and federal government relevant to agricultural water use regulations.
The group heard updates about MFB staff efforts at local, state and national levels, with a special focus on the new administration running the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE, formerly the Department of Environmental Quality).
Afterwards the gathered Young Farmers and staff loaded up in canoes and kayaks and spent the next few hours navigating a relaxing float down the river underneath some beautiful summer weather.
State Young Farmer Chair Adam Dietrich expressed appreciation for Campbell sharing her expertise with the group.
"Laura gave us a scenario of a water issue on our farm and then how to handle it—what your first steps should be, how to address the relevant regulatory enforcement agency, who to call at MFB, what resources are available, and what to expect in each step of the mitigation efforts to get in compliance,” Dietrich said. “That was valuable.”
Others commented how valuable it was to have the personal interaction and conversation with Laura on the river as there was time to have a longer conversation about water issues on their farms or communities.