Cultivating Resilience Field Day

*Register by clicking here*

The Ottawa & Allegan Conservation Districts, in partnership with the Outdoor Discovery Center, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, and the National Grazing Land Coalition are hosting “Cultivating Resilience,” a farm field day, on August 18th at Shady Side Farm, 13275 Blair St, Holland,  MI 49424 from 8:00 AM – 2:45 PM.

The Cultivating Resilience field day will showcase tried and true practices that promote soil health and water conservation, and give producers practical conservation knowledge that they can use to evaluate their operations to create a more resilient farm. This year’s theme will be focused on the groundwater issue in Ottawa and surrounding counties and this issue’s impact on local agriculture. 

We are delighted to host John Yellich, Director of Michigan Geological Survey at Western Michigan University who will speak on the groundwater issue as a keynote session. A Q&A Panel Discussion will focus on the protection and funding of water quality projects in county drains and will include perspectives from Joe Bush (Water Resources Commissioner), Matt Meersman (Director of the St. Joseph River Basin Commission), Matt Hehl (OCD Board Chairman & Ottawa County Farmer), and Alex Svoboda (OCD RCPP Project Manager).

Onsite demonstrations will include a morning farm walk showcasing the benefits of practices such as composting, no-till, and rotational grazing. The farm walk will feature three speakers, including our farm host, Mike Bronkema, Charles Gould (MSU Extension Bioenergy Educator), and Jerry Miller (Certified Soil Scientist & MACD President). Additionally Christina Curell (MSU Extension Soil Health and Cover Crop Educator) will demonstrate a rainfall simulator to discuss the effects of weather on soil health management. Matt Raven, a Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at MSU will close the event with a presentation on Holistic Management of the Farm.

As agriculture in West Michigan faces continued challenges – from extreme rainfall to groundwater shortages – cultivating resilience in our agricultural community is essential. Register today using the link above. This event is FREE and includes a free lunch and the chance to win some awesome door prizes! Everyone will automatically be entered to win for attending the event, but additional tickets can be earned by visiting our on-site vendor tables! This is also a MAEAP Phase 1 Educational Event and participants are eligible to earn RUP credits.

*Coming Soon*

Keep an eye out for our agenda schedule, speaker biographies, event sponsors, and door prize list. You can check on this web page for updates, follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter to be notified of updates.


The photos on this page are from 2021 and were taken by Raecale Stull of BDE Photography.

Sponsor Payment

If you are a sponsor that we have already spoken to, you may pay online by clicking below. It will take you to our secure Shopify store, and you can choose your sponsorship level from the drop-down menu.

If you would like to be a sponsor of this event, please contact Lexie Kasper at!