Forest, Wetlands & Habitat System
Verification in the Forest, Wetlands, and Habitat System recognizes the sustainable management practices implemented by landowners on their property. FWH verification provides landowners with a risk assessment targeting all areas of ownership.
The Forest, Wetlands & Habitat category focuses on practices that promote sustainable forestry, wetlands, and non-forest habitat. These include forest health; protecting air, water, and soil; and restoring habitat.
This category was created to help Michigan landowners to better understand, plan, manage, protect, and use their natural resources. To do this, conservation districts across the state provide education and one-on-one expert help to landowners on local forest health issues. Grants funds to support this work are provided by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). The goal is to increase the number of landowners and acres that are managed under sustainable land management plans.
For more information, click this link to visit the MDARD Forestry Assistance webpage. The webpage includes a map where you can find your closest Forester: www.michigan.gov/mifap
Denny Person of Person Farms, LLC- Hillsdale County
Denny Person took over the family dairy farm from his father in 2010. Some things have changed, like switching to beef cattle and growing beans, corn, and wheat. What hasn’t changed is Denny’s love for the land. That’s why Denny joined the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). A voluntary program, MAEAP helps Michigan farmers adopt cost-effective practices that reduce erosion and runoff into ponds, streams, and rivers.
Denny earned his first MAEAP recognition in Cropping in 2014. He found the process to be fairly easy and was happy to learn that he was doing many things right. Since then, Denny has been recognized in Farmstead, Livestock, and Forest, Wetlands, and Habitat.
“Participating in MAEAP opens your eyes to areas where you can improve your farming practices,” says Denny. “For example, MAEAP showed me the value of having an emergency plan and sharing it with the local fire chief, just in case something should happen.”
Denny is quick to assure other farmers that MAEAP is not your run-of-the-mill government program.
“MAEAP technicians are there to help you,” he says. “That’s the benefit of working with local techs. When you know and trust the people you work with it makes a huge difference.”
Denny urges all farmers to sign up and have a MAEAP technician come out for a visit.
“Maybe you’ll decide not to participate or complete the process. That’s okay,” he says. “Meet with a MAEAP tech and get an idea of where you are at. You might learn about something you can change on your farm for the better.”