A Clayton area farmer was honored as the volunteer of the month by the Michigan Farm Bureau.
Blaine Baker, who owns a 400-head dairy farm with his wife, Barbara, was recognized for his “outstanding and multi-faceted work as an active ambassador for Michigan’s agriculture industry.”
A fifth-generation farmer, Baker is described as having made progressive strides in environmental stewardship by implementing an innovative below-ground irrigation system. Wash water from the milking parlor is captured, settled, filtered, treated for pathogens and used to water field crops via a system of underground irrigation pipes.
Baker has served as a host for several visits with local officials and has helped organize educational farm tours with the Lenawee Ag Council. He worked with neighboring county Farm Bureaus to propose changes to the permitting process for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
At the county level, he served six years on the Lenawee County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, including two years as county president. He currently chairs the county’s state affairs committee and is active on its action teams charged with monitoring the progress of state-level legislation regarding water use and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).
Baker is also active at the state level, regularly taking agricultural issues straight to lawmakers by taking part in Michigan Farm Bureau’s Lansing Legislative Seminar. He also serves on the bureau’s Grain Advisory Committee and the Natural and Environmental Resources Advisory Committee.