© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations


  • Avian Influenza is running rampant through Michigan and other parts of the country. Bird flu is nothing new, but this year, it has spread to dairy cattle. The impacts affect animal farming, consumer prices and the economy. As such, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has issued an emergency order to try and stop its spread. Department director, Dr. Tim Boring, provided the most up-to-date information in his conversation with WEMU's David Fair.
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, are a significant part of the American food and agricultural systems in Michigan and around the country. We knew CAFOs posed hazards to the environment, but a new report indicates it is worse than previously thought. WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director, Lisa Wozniak, spoke with one of the authors of the report, Katie Garvey. She is a staff attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and she discussed the troubling findings in the center’s 2024 report.
  • Connecting to the earth, learning to work, play and learn from the soil below our feet: That’s the mission Willow Run Acres in Ypsilanti and the personal mission of its founder, Farmer T.C. Collins. In addition to nurturing the earth and taking joy in its bounties, Farmer T.C. uses Willow Run Acres to fight food injustice and inequities in economic opportunities for the Black community. The land also serves as an education center for young people, so future generations can connect to the earth. Farmer T.C. joined WEMU’s David Fair on an Earth Day edition of "Washtenaw United."
  • Gardening season is getting underway, and there will be plenty of work to do. Have you ever gone to tend to the garden or lawn and realized you don’t have the right tool? Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, Growing Hope in Ypsilanti is creating a tool-lending library, so you don’t have to run out and buy them. Growing Hope’s Christopher Hallett joined Rylee Barnsdale with a look at the new program aimed at boosting gardening and agriculture in Ypsilanti.
  • The idea of solar farms is somewhat controversial as people argue over state control, local community determination and individual property rights. Those arguments are playing out right here in Washtenaw County. WEMU's David Fair talked through the issues with Madeleine Krol from the Graham Sustainability Institute's Center for Empowering Communities at the University of Michigan.
  • A bill heard before a Michigan Senate committee would make it easier for residents to join the state’s “Pesticide Notification Registry.” Colin Jackson has more.
  • There are a great number of positives when people operate and work on urban farms and community gardens: access to fresh and healthy foods, community building and reduced transportation needs in areas known as food deserts. A new study from the University of Michigan discovered some areas where improvement is needed with some urban farms and gardens creating a carbon footprint much greater than conventionally grown produce. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Benjamin Goldstein to learn more about the research and why it caused such an uproar. Goldstein is co-lead author of the study.
  • There is a long and storied history of African American farmers in Washtenaw County. Its impacts are often overlooked and underappreciated. Bringing the stories to light is the mission of the Ypsi Farmers and Gardeners Oral History Project. The project is headed by University of Michigan-Dearborn Assistant Professor of Human Services Dr. Finn Bell. He not only joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the project but brought Patricia Wells with him. She is a master gardener with a rich history of her own. This is the first in a series of Black History Month editions of "Washtenaw United" for 2024.
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer continued a new Michigan holiday tradition in pardoning a turkey Wednesday. Colin Jackson has more.
  • The repercussions of PFAS contamination continue to grow. Not only has it impacted fishing and recreation on the Huron River, it's affecting farmers and agriculture. Jason Grostic is owner of Grostic Cattle Company in Livingston County. His operations have been shut down because his cows tested positive for PFAS. As such, he’s gone nearly two years without a source of income and is now suing the source of the contamination, Wixom-based Tribar Manufacturing. He's also pushing state lawmakers to pass polluter-pay legislation that may prevent such occurrences in the future. Grostic shared his emotional story with WEMU's David Fair.