May 19, 2013

Spread the Word to Your Favorite Farmer: Less=More Offers Easy Access to Subsidy Info * Join Our Citizen Lobbying Team!

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Michigan Chapter Update 
May 19, 2013

In This Issue:

  • Spread the Word to Your Favorite Farmer: Less=More Offers Easy Access to Subsidy Info
  • Join the BlueGreen Alliance for Climate and Jobs Town Hall May 30
  • Data Entry Party Tuesday, May 21, in Lansing!
  • Join Our Citizen Lobbying Team
  • Sierra Club Members Meet with Labor/Business in DC to Discuss Clean Economy

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Michigan mega-dairies annually generate millions of gallons of waste filled with pathogens, growth hormones and contaminants that ends up in our waterways. These polluting factory farms are supported by your tax dollars, which put livestock farmers that do not harm the environment at a disadvantage. Help us even the playing field for sustainable livestock farmers! Learn more at (Photo: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Spread the Word to Your Favorite Farmer: Less=More Offers Easy Access to Subsidy Info

As part of its effort to help level the playing field for sustainable livestock farmers in Michigan, the Less=More Coalition has made available information about taxpayer-funded Farm Bill conservation subsidies in one place online at
Less=More is a sustainable agriculture coalition launched earlier this year to address the inequity of Farm Bill subsidy distribution in Michigan and how the system favors polluting factory farms over safe, sustainable livestock farms at the expense of the environment and public health.
The Less=More web link connects farmers with basic information about 2013 Farm Bill subsidies in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Michigan. It includes a listing of the more than 100 conservation practices funded by EQIP and the amount of money available for each practice as well as the most current EQIP application.
"This information is available on the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service website, but it can be tricky to find if you don't know where to look," says Lynn Henning, Sierra Club Water Sentinel. "We make it as simple as possible. A farmer can sit down and see what's out there for him or her with a click of the mouse."  Click here for the full story and spread the word to your favorite farmer!  


Join the BlueGreen Alliance for Climate and Jobs Town Hall May 30 in Warren

On May 30, the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) will hold a town hall discussion in Warren to explore how updating our infrastructure to deal with the consequences of changing climate in the Great Lakes region -- from roads, bridges and transit to our electrical grid and systems that protect our water -- will create good, family-supporting jobs.
The event will feature BGA Executive Director Dave Foster along with Michael Langford, President, Utility Workers Union of America National; Steve Frenkel, Midwest Director, Union of Concerned Scientists; Brian Pallasch, Managing Director, American Society of Civil Engineers; Roxanne Brown, Assistant Legislative Director, United Steelworkers, and David Hecker, President, AFT Michigan. Sierra Club is a founding member of the BGA, a partnership that unites 14 of our country's largest unions and environmental organizations, including Sierra Club, to work on areas of common interest. (see related story below)
Join us for this important discussion on Thurs., May 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the IBEW/Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center, 2277 E 11 Mile Road, Suite 1, Warren, MI 48092-5217.  Light Refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP to Sue Browne, 269-838-5956.

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    Data Entry Party Tuesday, May 21 , in Lansing
For three months earlier this year, Sierra Club volunteers circulatedpetitions across the state to get a referendum on the wolf hunting lawpassed late in 2012. They collected thousands of signatures, and now we need your help to enter these vital names and addresses into our database. Please join us for a Data Entry Party hosted by our very own Mike Berkowitz on Tues., May 21, from 4-8:30 p.m. at our Lansing office, 109 E. Grand River Ave. Snacks and drinks will be provided. There is free parking in the lot behind our building, accessible off of north Washington Avenue. If you have a laptop, please bring it with you!
RSVP to  If you can't make this soiree but still want to help, email to arrange another time to help out.

Join Our Citizen Lobbying Team!

Are you concerned about fracking?
Do you care about preserving our forests?
Want to know how to help stop climate disruption?
If so, consider joining the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter's Citizen Lobby Team.We're looking for passionate people to help put pressure on their lawmakers to solve environmental problems like fracking, climate change, and natural resource exploitation. The best part is, you can do it in the comfort of your own home!
To get involved or learn more, contact Mike at or (517) 484-2372, x 13.

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 A Green Jobs Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill was attended by many of the Michigan participants in the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in DC last month. Some are pictured here with Cong. Dan Kildee (third from right), including Sierra Club's Tiffany Hartung, Moving Beyond Coal Campaign Organizer; Brad van Guilder, Moving Beyond Coal Organizing Representative; Richard Morley Barron, Chapter Political Committee Chair; Laurie Tata, Nepessing Group volunteer; and representatives from the National Wildlife Federation, Utility Workers Union of America, and League of Conservation Voters. 
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A group from the Detroit area traveled to DC to attend the Good Jobs Green Jobs conference. They included: from left, Sandra Turner-Handy, Michigan Environmental Council; Ebony Elmore, River Rouge resident; Rhonda Anderson, Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer; Steve Kozel, of the Calumet Project, Hammond, Ind.; Alisha Winter resident River Rouge, and Valerie Burris, Detroit.

Sierra Club Members Meet with Labor/Business in DC to Discuss Clean Economy

Last month, Sierra Club sent several Michigan Chapter members to attend the annual Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference hosted by theBlueGreen Alliance.  More than 1,800 union workers, environmentalists, business and non-profit leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to learn about current trends and emerging issues as well build relationships with people from around the country.
With the consequences of climate change too big for a single group to tackle, the conference sought to bring together labor union members, environmentalists, business owners, community leaders and elected officials nationwide for one of the country's largest discussions on how to build a cleaner, more efficient American economy.

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 Michigan Chapter - Sierra Club
109 E. Grand River Avenue
Lansing, MI 48906 
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Header photo Near Andrus Lake, Upper Michigan, by Beverly Wolf.

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