Welcome to Radio Free Flint Podcast
Dec. 7, 2022

Conservation and Sustainable Food Growing in Michigan

Conservation and Sustainable Food Growing in Michigan

Daniel Moilanen, a Fenton area native, is now living in Flint.

 Dan is currently the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD). His leadership in this organization brings conservation-minded farmers together to reduce toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes by encouraging environmentally sound agricultural techniques.   

The Michigan soil conservation districts have been working to modernize farming practices to protect Lake Erie and its surrounding ecosystems. One key aspect of this effort has been implementing precision agriculture techniques, which involve using advanced technology to monitor and optimize crop production in real time.


Our podcast guest is Daniel Moilanen, a Fenton area native now living in Flint.

 Dan is currently the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD). His leadership in this organization brings conservation-minded farmers together to reduce toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes by encouraging environmentally sound agricultural techniques.   

The Michigan soil conservation districts have been working to modernize farming practices to protect Lake Erie and its surrounding ecosystems. One key aspect of this effort has been implementing precision agriculture techniques, which involve using advanced technology to monitor and optimize crop production in real time.

One example is GPS-guided machinery, which allows farmers to precisely target inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, reducing the risk of over-application and runoff into the lake. Additionally, the districts have been promoting the use of cover crops and conservation tillage methods, which help to improve soil health and reduce erosion.

Another important aspect of this effort has been the development of nutrient management plans, which help farmers to optimize the use of fertilizers and minimize the risk of excess nutrients entering the lake. These plans involve working with experts to identify the most effective and environmentally friendly fertilization practices for specific crops and soil types.

Overall, these efforts have helped to improve the sustainability of farming in Michigan and protect the health of Lake Erie while also supporting the economic viability of the state's agriculture industry.

Dan is a graduate of Albion College. Recently, the Flint-Genesee Chamber of Commerce selected Moilenan as one of 40 Under 40 distinguished young community leaders.

Dan Moilanen has a wealth of experience in small business ownership, community service, and political engagement. He is the founder and former owner of Vehicle City Tacos, a popular downtown Flint food truck. His community and political involvement include serving as leader of the Genesee County Democratic Party and the Genesee County Young Democrats.

Dan is with us to discuss Michigan environmental issues like soil conservation and better and less harmful agricultural practices that help keep our water resources and wetlands free of harmful pollutants. Michigan is the second largest producer of agricultural commodities in the United States. Outmoded farming practices in Michigan threaten to deplete its rich soil over the next 60 years. 

In recent years Dan has continued his interest in music by performing with a SKA Punk Band in the Flint area.  We are sure you will find our guest fun and exciting and learn how important it is to protect our food and water resources through conservation.

Visit the Genesee County Conservation District website to learn more about Flint area programs and projects.  


Visit the Genesee County Conservation District website to learn more about Flint area programs and projects.  

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Danny Moilanen Profile Photo

Danny Moilanen

Executive Director

Dan (or Danny) Moilanen is a resident of Flint, Michigan and the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) where he advocates at the State and Federal level on behalf of all 75 of Michigan’s Conservation Districts. Dan also serves as Chair of the Genesee Conservation District Board of Directors, where he supports local conservation efforts in the Greater Flint Area. Conservation Districts are unique local units of government that are the local providers of natural resource management services, utilizing state, federal, and private sector resources to solve today’s conservation challenges on privately and publicly owned land.
Prior to working at MACD, Dan worked as a Constituent Services Director for State Representative John D. Cherry. Prior to working for Rep. Cherry, Dan was the Campaign Manager for David Lossing in his bid for State Representative of the 51st House District.
Before returning to political organizing and policy advocacy work, Dan was the owner and founder of Vehicle City Tacos, Flint’s first major food truck operation, which remains popular to this day at Tenacity Brewing.
Dan also founded Social Cycling Flint, a social bicycling club centered around promoting cycling infrastructure and complete streets initiatives in the City of Flint by hosting various social bike rides. Social Cycling Flint was awarded the “Club of the Year Award” by the League of Michigan Bicyclists in 2019. Dan also has an extensive background working in the Flint non-profit arts community, where he formerly promoted all-ages concerts and events via the Flint Local 432, an all-ages arts space in Downtown Flint. Moreover, as a product of the “DIY” punk rock community, Dan has been promoting concerts and art shows independently for nearly 20 years.
Recently, Dan was elected to the Flint Institute of Music Board of Trustees; the governance board for the organization that manages the Whiting Auditorium, the Capitol Theater, the Flint Repertory Theatre, and the Flint School of Performing Arts.
In 2022, Dan was recognized by the Flint & Genesee Group as one of Genesee County’s “40 Under 40” accomplished professionals, entrepreneurs and influencers who are helping to shape the future of Genesee County.
In 2009, Dan earned his B.A. Degree from Albion College, in Political Science and Philosophy with a concentration in Public Policy.
In addition, Dan previously served as the Chair of the Genesee County Democratic Party in 2021.
Dan enjoys gardening, fly-fishing, playing guitar, and bicycling in his little free time.