State farm values stay flat

EAST LANSING — Michigan farm real estate value averaged $4,960 an acre in 2019 according to the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service Great Lakes Regional office.

The farm real estate value, which includes land and building, remained unchanged from 2018. National figures showed farm real estate value of $3,160 an acre, up 1.9 percent from 2018.

According to the release, Michigan’s cropland value was $4,500 an acre, down 0.2 percent from 2018. The state’s pasture land value averaged $2,590 an acre, down 0.4 percent from 2018.

Cropland cash rent was $127 an acre in 2019, a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year. Pasture cash rent in the Lake States region, which includes Michigan, was $31.50 an acre, down 7.4 percent from 2018.

Fourth class of MAT² graduates recognized

LANSING — The fourth class of the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT²) program were recognized at a ceremony in late July.

MAT² is an apprenticeship program that was originally under the Talent Investment Agency. The program combines classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. Twenty-three students completed the program and received their degree and a job in an in-demand field.

The 23 graduates were students in programs at Baker College of Cadillac, Henry Ford College, Mott Community College and Oakland Community College. Participating employers included Skilled Manufacturing, Inc. of Traverse City, Cadillac Castings, Inc., Hutchinson, Rec Boat Holdings and RexAir of Cadillac and Circuit Controls of Petoskey.

Leadership forum slated for Aug. 15

BAY HARBOR — The 2019 Great Lakes Leadership Forum is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor.

Speakers for the event include Les Garland, co-founder of MTV, Mike Rawlings, former mayor of Dallas and Brian Swette, CEO of Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods. Moderator for the event is Bill Cobb, chairman of Frontdoor, Inc. and retired CEO of H&R Block.

Tickets for the event are $30 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (231) 439-2610.