Sustainable Practices

Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture can be an important tool confronting key challenges Americans already face:

  • Supporting farm viability in and around urban areas
  • Improving access to healthy, affordable foods
  • Realizing the potential of rural-urban linkages through food and agriculture

Urban Agriculture: Best Practices and Possibilities
This report provides an overview of urban agriculture and local food system resources and practices across the United States and parts of Canada. Preview the report.

Step-by-Step Guide to Planning and Planting Urban Rain Gardens
Decrease the amount of rainwater that flows off your property and into the sewers by installing a rain garden. Redirecting or containing the runoff decreases the chance for pollutants to infiltrate streams, rivers and lakes.

Climate-based Agriculture

Agriculture, Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration
This document summarizes the relationship between agriculture, climate change and carbon sequestration. It also investigates options for farmers and ranchers to have a positive impact on the changing climate and presents opportunities for becoming involved in the emerging carbon market.

Wind Energy

Wind provides a viable source of energy for farms, businesses, homes and schools. Michigan State University Extension has been working in wind energy education with landowners, schools, farms and rural small businesses since 2004 with grants from the State Energy Office.


Small Wind Electric Systems: A Consumer’s Guide
This guide, presented by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, helps consumers determine whether a small wind electric system is a viable means of energy production for their home or business. Preview the report.

Michigan Land Use Guidelines for Wind Energy Systems
As public interest in renewable energy increases, so do the requirements for planning and zoning. This bulletin describes changes in guidelines and how they suggest handling the most common concerns of neighbors. Preview the guidelines.

Solar and Wind Energy Equipment Suppliers in Michigan
A business and contact list for energy equipment suppliers in regions of Michigan. The listings do not suggest endorsement or recommendation by the State of Michigan.

Energy Resources

SARE: Clean Energy Farming
Clean energy practices are quickly becoming core to the operations of farmers and ranchers. This document explores the emerging trend in agriculture by discussing efficiency, economics and practices to harness renewables.

Purdue University Extension: BioEnergy
Bioenergy involves the use of plant materials such as grains and energy corps for the production of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. This web portal provides BioEnergy publications and links.