Saginaw Bay agriculture
Saginaw Bay agriculture Saginaw Bay agriculture © Michael D-L Jordan/dlp


The Nature Conservancy Joins Michigan Agri-Business Association in Recognizing Local Agribusiness for Conservation Excellence

Helena Agri-Enterprises wins Excellence in Conservation Award.

Lansing, MI

Representatives of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) today joined with the Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) to present the 2018 Excellence in Conservation Award to three staff members of Helena Agri-Enterprises for their contributions in helping farmers implement conservation practices on nearly 4,000 acres in the critical Saginaw Bay Watershed.

Since 2015, TNC and MABA have lead the Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP) to help Saginaw Valley farmers utilize agricultural conservation practices to build healthy soil and reduce sediment and excessive nutrients from entering Saginaw Bay and the Great Lakes.

Helena was one of the first supporters of the program and has been the sole agribusiness partner involved in RCPP to enroll projects every year the program has been available. Helena has been responsible for helping to enroll 4,000 acres of practices resulting in about 21 million gallons of groundwater replenished to the system annually and nearly 1,000 pounds of phosphorus and 200 tons of soil retained on the farm and kept out of nearby waterways.

“The people at Helena are real soil health heroes,” said Mary Fales, Saginaw Bay program director for TNC. “They do an amazing job working with farmers to help them understand how programs like this can help our land and water without hurting their bottom line.”

Representing Helena at the event to accept the award were Katie Hart, a crop advisor, Brian Irish, a high yield specialist and Mike Fossum, area branch manager.

“Helena’s contributions to conservation efforts extend beyond conservation program promotion,” Tim Boring, MABA’s vice president said. “Mike, Katie and Brian have all been helpful resources for others, going above and beyond their organization for the benefit of all.”

Fales reminded the audience of TNC’s ongoing awards program intended to recognize the excellent efforts of farmers, agribusiness and other partners in conservation agriculture. The next awards dinner will take place Dec. 10 in Bay City. Nominations for those awards are open now through June 21. For more information on how to submit nominations or register for the event itself, visit

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.