To help cattle farmers understand recently enacted Michigan Department of Agriculture policies related to bovine tuberculosis and learn about new tools and resources available to them, Michigan State University Extension is sponsoring a free informational program in six northern lower Michigan locations during March.
The program will be held on March 3 at the Banks Township Hall in Ellsworth from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and repeated in the same location from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Subsequent dates and locations are March 12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fairgrounds in Petoskey; March 17 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Forest Township Hall in Tower; March 18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Elmer Township Hall in Mio; March 23 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln United Methodist Church in Lincoln; and March 24 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Hillman Free Methodist Church in Hillman.
Sessions will include an overview and hands-on demonstration of a new tool that is available for assessing a herd's potential risk of contracting TB from wildlife. Producers can also use the information that the tool generates to begin developing a wildlife risk mitigation plan -- a document that northeastern Michigan producers will soon be required to maintain if they intend to sell cattle anywhere in the state outside of the northeast Michigan region.
There will also be a presentation about the 2010 MDA requirements calling for all cattle producers to maintain safe handling facilities for TB testing their animals, including what constitutes a safe handling facility and the cost share funds available for renovating or constructing facilities.
Preregistration for the program is not required. To learn more about the presentation at any of the locations, contact any of the following MSU Extension educators: Ben Bartlett, Cheboygan County at 231-627-8815, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Phil Durst, Oscoda County, 989-826-1160, e-mail email@example.com; John Pullis, Presque Isle County, 989-734-2168, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or Janice Rumph, Lake City MSU Experiment Station, 231-839-3001, e-mail email@example.com.