Grand Valley State University

President Donald Trump isn't budging on his international tariff stance so far despite remarkably public pleadings from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican allies to back off his threat and avoid a possible trade war.

Trump says, "We're not backing down." But he's holding open the possibility of exempting longstanding friends Canada and Mexico if they agree to better terms for the U.S. in revising the North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Donald Trump says "we're not backing down" on his push to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite criticism from fellow Republicans. WGVU’s Patrick Center spoke with an economics professor about those tariffs - and the potential for a trade war – and what its impact could have on Michigan consumers and industry.

“Here in Michigan we make cars. We’re good a t making cars. We make a lot of them.”

Dr. Paul Isely is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

State officials have scheduled a series of public meetings for this month in Michigan's northeastern Lower Peninsula to discuss bovine tuberculosis and related matters. Bovine TB is an often-fatal disease that in recent decades has infected numerous cattle and deer in the region. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Natural Resources will host three gatherings for cattle producers and community members in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties. 

The Grand Rapids City Commission has approved a new major forestry initiative they say will improve public safety. Grand Rapids forestry officials are set to begin removing nearly 1600 trees in the city after Commissioners voted to move forward with the initiative. Labeled as priority 1, the trees have been identified as potentially posing a threat to public safety, says Park Superintendent Joe Sulak. 

MSU logo / Michigan State University

Michigan State University is using a roughly $2 million federal grant to help southwestern Haiti restore agricultural production after Hurricane Matthew's devastating blow last fall.

The East Lansing school announced Tuesday the U.S. Agency for International Development grant focuses on producing beans for household food and income. 

Beans are a staple in the Haitian diet, so researchers are working to get high-yielding bean varieties into the hands of at least 6,000 regional farmers.

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

Michigan apple growers say they expect to pick a record crop this year.

The Michigan Apple Committee is forecasting a harvest of 31 million bushels.

That would be an increase of 7 million bushels over 2015 and the biggest ever for the state, which averages about 22.8 million bushels annually.

Executive Director Diane Smith of the producer-funded cooperative says Michigan's output has been rising steadily.

She credits technological advances and a rising number of growers planting "high-density" orchards, which have 1,000 or more trees per acre.

We get an overview of Agriculture here in West Michigan with our guest Luke Meerman from the Michigan Farm Bureau.

A new program is being launched to help grow the next generation of America's 4-H leaders. We speak to Artis Stevens, Sr. Vice President of the 4-H Council.

Urban farming
Wikimedia | Linda/New Crops | CC BY 2.0

Battle Creek area schools are working with an urban farm to provide children with hands-on learning opportunities and a pathway to fresh produce.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that Sprout Urban Farms works with schools from pre-kindergarten to college to start gardens, incorporate plant life and gardens into daily lessons and operate fresh produce mobile markets.

It also offers assistance to residents who want to grow their own food and buys local wholesale produce to support small farmers.

Michigan gets nearly $2 million for special crop ventures

Oct 16, 2015
Wikimedia | USDA NRCS

The U.S. Agriculture Department has sent $1.9 million to Michigan for specialty crop development ventures.

The state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the grants will expand the marketing, research and education of specialty crops.

Specialty crops consist of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops.

The awards are meant to boost Michigan's food and agriculture industry.

The maximum amount awarded is $100,000.

More than two dozen projects were selected to receive funding after submitting proposals.