Verification in the Livestock System recognizes each farms commitment to practicing good stewardship of Michigan’s land and water. The program focuses on environmental issues related to livestock activities.
The Livestock category focuses on animal production activities. These include manure management practices, as well as practices that protect water and prevent erosion. This category applies to all Michigan livestock farms, regardless of the animals raised or their size.
There are a couple of ways to earn MAEAP recognition under this category. You can complete a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) or use the MAEAP assessment tool.
If you have a contracted CNMP, you will need to hire a Technical Service Provider (TSP). A TSP is someone who has a background in conservation planning and design. He or she will help with the CNMP’s development. You can visit this website to check and see if the TSP is certified: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/technical/tsp/
Not ready to complete a CNMP? You can choose to use the MAEAP assessment tool. Many farmers find that this tool helps them to take smaller, yet more cost effective and practical steps to address erosion and runoff.
Once the work is complete, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). A verifier from MDARD will visit your farm to ensure the recommended practices are in place and address erosion and runoff risks on your land.
Once your farm is “verified,” you will receive a sign to display on your farm. You can buy a second sign if needed. You will also receive preference for cost-share, tax credits, and other financial assistance.
Your MAEAP recognition is good for five years. To maintain MAEAP recognition, you must review your plan with a MAEAP technician and request a farm visit from MDARD.
Blaine and Kim Baker of Bakerlads Farms – Lenawee County
Blaine and Kim Baker are the co-owners for Bakerlads Farms in Lenawee County. Their farm promotes environmental stewardship in the Lenawee agriculture community by emphasizing soil and water conservation in their dairy and crop operations. The farm includes a dairy herd of 540 Holsteins and 607 replacements, as well acreage for corn grain, corn silage, soybeans, and alfalfa. Bakerlads Farms are also verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program’s (MAEAP) livestock, farmstead and cropping systems.
The Bakers are key supporters in organizing the annual Lenawee County Center for Excellence for the past 22 years.