Getting verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) shows peers and neighbors the high level of commitment to agricultural stewardship and protecting the environment. MAEAP has four systems that address different aspects of the farm: Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock and the newly developed Forest, Wetlands and Habitat System. Each looks at different practices depending on specific site-specific management and production practices and associated risks.
To get verified, first attend a Phase 1 Educational Meeting to learn more about MAEAP and associated environmental topics. Visit the events page to find a local Phase 1, or check out the educational sessions videos available for Phase 1 credit.
After attending the educational meeting, a farmer then works with his or her local conservation district to complete a farm-specific risk assessment. Each assessment looks at the farm and evaluates different aspects, especially areas that could minimize environmental risks and potential agricultural pollution. The farmer then develops a plan and works according to his or her own schedule to correct any of these areas and make necessary improvements. Local conservation district staff also helps identify available cost share funding for practice implementation.
After this step, the farmer is ready to arrange for an inspection from a MDARD MAEAP verifier who ensures the farmer has implemented environmentally sound practices and has appropriate records and management strategies in place. After becoming MAEAP verified, a farm can display a MAEAP sign signifying that MAEAP partners, including the State of Michigan, recognize the farm is environmentally assured.
The Farmstead System reviews potential risks at the farm site. This includes a review of chemical, fuel and pesticide storage, and wells. It may also include manure storage on livestock farms. This system is applicable to all farms.
The Cropping System reviews production practices that occur wherever crops are grown on the farm. It reviews risks associated with pesticide and nutrient application, erosion control, and record keeping.
The Livestock System reviews practices related to livestock production. This includes manure storage, transfer and land application, record keeping, feed storage, and lot management. It relates to all types of livestock produced on the farm.
The FWH System reviews management practices relating to areas on the farm with woodlands, wetlands, and other types of managed habitats. This review looks at the management plans created for all of these land uses to promote and ensure sustainable practices are being implemented.