Michigan reaches goal of protecting cattle farms
Michigan officials have reached their three-year goal of protecting cattle farms in areas at highest risk for bovine tuberculosis, they announced Tuesday (Jan. 10).
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the $3.6 million project combined the efforts of cattle owners, the Alpena and other conservation districts, state and federal government agencies and the Michigan State University Extension.
The efforts include adding fencing and using other management techniques to keep wild white-tailed deer from possibly contaminating feed and water sources in northern Lower Michigan areas with bovine TB.
About 900 Michigan cattle producers have participated in the Wildlife Risk Mitigation Project since it began in 2009.
Livestock producers have been able to tap $1.2 million in federal funding to help fund the improvements, while investing $400,000 of their own money.
There are 14,000 cattle producers in Michigan, and they maintain 1.2 million beef and dairy animals, the state department said. Last year, it said, 57 Lower Michigan counties joined the Upper Peninsula in obtaining Bovine TB-Free Status.