|For immediate release: August 29, 2023
Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724
MDARD Encourages Owners to Help Keep Their Animals Safe this Labor Day Holiday
Keep animals happy and healthy as they enjoy the last days of summer fun
LANSING, MI—As Michiganders prepare to celebrate the last days of summer, this Labor Day holiday, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) would like to remind owners of some of the best ways to keep their animals healthy and safe.
“When making any holiday plans, it is important not to overlook the needs of our animals,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “From ensuring that they are fully vaccinated to making sure they are cool and comfortable when the heat index is high or the air quality is poor, there are many precautions owners can take to keep their animals safe this Labor Day.”
Keep animals safe this holiday by following these six easy tips:
Vaccinations are central to animals’ preventative care as the vaccines can protect animals against common diseases, such as rabies and distemper. Contact your veterinarian to ensure your animals’ vaccinations are complete and/or to schedule an appointment.
Just like people, animals can quickly get parched in hot temperatures. No matter the species, animals should have access to unlimited cool, clean, fresh water to prevent dehydration.
An animal’s age, breed, type of coat, and health history can all play a role in their ability to tolerate the heat. Keep an eye on them for signs of heat stress—like increased panting or drooling and being more lethargic. If they are showing these signs, it is time to immediately move them to a cooler area.
Also, consider talking to your veterinarian. They will have a greater knowledge of your animal(s) and be able to give more specific guidance on how to best handle them in hot weather.
HABs form due to a rapid growth of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, which are naturally found in lakes, rivers, and ponds. To prevent illness in animals, keep them out of areas with scums or discolored water, rinse them off after contact with any lake water, and bring clean, fresh water for them to drink. If an animal becomes sick after contact with a suspected HAB, call your veterinarian right away.
Also, animal illness due to HABs is reportable to MDARD. To report cases, submit a Reportable Disease Form or call 800-292-3939.
With all the summer fun and outdoor activities, it can be easy for animals to sneak away and become lost. Make sure they have identification tags and/or microchips that are up to date with your current contact information, ensuring a better chance they can be returned home.
These tips can help keep your animals safe and healthy throughout the holiday. If there are any concerns about your animals’ health now or throughout the year, please talk to your veterinarian.
|For immediate release: August 28, 2023
Media contact: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151
DBIA program contact: Shelby Anderson, 608-262-8015
Dairy Business Builder Grant Now Accepting Applications Until October 19, 2023
Michigan dairy farms and processors are encouraged to apply
LANSING, Mich. – Last year the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) launched its Dairy Business Builder Grant opportunity with eligibility for Michigan companies with MDARD joining the federal DBIA program in September of 2022. This grant aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs, and processors in the Midwest pursue projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation, and efforts to market dairy products for export.
“Our state’s farms and food processers are creating quintessential “Made in Michigan” products every day. The DBIA program supports our dairy industry by providing additional funding availability for our dairy farmers and processors to help them increase and streamline their processing,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “Michigan’s dairy industry is an important part of our state’s economic engine, and these opportunities further our investments in our rural and agricultural communities.”
Since its creation of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, the DBIA has administered technical assistance and over $7.5 million in grant funding to dairy businesses throughout the Midwest. Reimbursement grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded to different dairy businesses after a competitive review process.
During previous rounds of funding, six Michigan companies received $2.4 million in grants. Selected businesses include Dairy Distillery Alliance in Constantine, Charlevoix Cheese Company, Furniture City Creamery in Grand Rapids, Saltless Sea Creamery in Traverse City, Semifreddo LLC in Hart, Thistle Dew Creamery in Vassar, and VernDale Products Inc. in Detroit. Previous award recipients can be found here.
A “Helpful Hints” webinar for the Dairy Business Builder Grant was recorded on August 22, 2023 and is available on their website. Applications for the grant will be accepted until October 18, 2023 at 6pm EDT. Applications will then be reviewed, and award announcements will be made in December.
News from Lake Orion Community Schools
Today’s date: August 24, 2023
For release: Immediate
For more information: Superintendent of Schools Ben Kirby at 248-693-5400 or by email at [email protected]
Lake Orion Community Schools places two proposals on the February/March presidential primary ballot
The Lake Orion Community Schools’ Board of Education has approved placing a non-homestead proposal and a sinking fund proposal on the February/March presidential primary ballot.
The first proposal, a 10-year non-homestead proposal, supports the school district’s operating budget. This budget covers everything necessary to provide educational programs and services in Lake Orion Community Schools.
Every school district in Michigan is required to levy 18-mills on non-homestead property to receive their full share of state aid. The non-homestead millage is levied on businesses, second homes, vacant land, and rental property. It does not affect taxes on the home in which a homeowner lives (a primary residence).
Non-homestead levies are subject to rollbacks under provisions of the Michigan Constitution.
“When these rollbacks occur, school districts lose revenue and experience reductions in their State Aid,” LOCS Superintendent Ben Kirby said. “Even though a non-homestead levy cannot exceed 18-mills, we are asking for approval of 21 mills to protect the school district from future rollbacks in the 18-mill levy if and when they occur.”
The second item on the February/March presidential primary ballot is a 10-year sinking fund proposal. It is intended to replace the existing 1.8862 mill sinking fund originally approved by voters in 2016. If approved by voters in presidential primary, the levy will continue at 1.8862 mills, and generate approximately $5 million annually.
The sinking fund is a pay-as-you-go method of funding upgrades and repairs to schools and school facilities. In addition to funding upgrades and repairs, changes in Michigan law now allow sinking fund revenue to be used for construction or repair of school buildings, school security improvements, the purchase of school buses and transportation vehicles, and for the acquisition or upgrading of technology.
Revenue from LOCS’ sinking fund will be used to enhance the 2018 bond projects and complete projects that were not included in the bond.
“When the school district started our bond proposal project in 2018, $300 million in needs were identified, our community approved a bond for $160 million to update, upgrade, and enhance our district. The sinking fund will provide revenue to complete projects that were not included in the 2018 bond,” said Kirby.
Board of Education President Birgit McQuiston said the intent of the two ballot proposals is to maintain and protect the school district’s operating budget and to maintain and upgrade school facilities, technology, and the student transportation fleet.
“Taken together, we believe that the two proposals will assure that Lake Orion Community Schools can remain financially sound and that the community’s investment in the school district is protected,” she said.
The non-homestead millage will have no effect on the taxes for homes in which a homeowner lives, and that the sinking fund will restore a proposal that was approved by voters in 2016.
The school district is preparing informational materials to help assure that the community is well-informed and that their questions are answered. Information will be included on the school district website, through the news media, social media, school district communications, printed materials, and mailed directly to the community.
Details about the proposal are available now on the school district’s website and will be updated continually through Election Day. For more information, all residents are invited to visit LakeOrionSchools.org/School-Election-Information or contact Superintendent Ben Kirby at 248-693-5400 or by email at [email protected].
The school district invites all community members to share their thoughts about the upcoming ballot proposals. Visit www.research.net/r/LakeOrionmillageproposals to take a brief survey.
Showcasing the DNR
|The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.