Driving down the roads in rural Michigan, you will see many different things: farm animals, open fields, and Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) signs.
“Seeing all those (MAEAP) signs driving around the state piqued my interest,” said Melina Anderson of Shining Light Farm. “Last year, we went to a farm with one of those MAEAP signs, and I asked what it meant. Once the producer explained how the program helped their farm, I knew we needed to get involved.”
MAEAP is a voluntary environmental program that works individually with farmers to identify and reduce environmental risks on farms resulting in groundwater or surface water contamination.
To read the full story, visit Michigan Farm News.
Story published Michigan Farm News on March 3, 2022.
Job Shadow with a MAEAP Tech
Samantha Wolfe, a Conservation Technician for Grand Traverse Conservation District, had a unique opportunity; an Agriscience student, Payton Fewins, a junior at Traverse City West, wanted to job shadow her.
“I never would have thought a high school student would be interested in what I do,” said Wolfe. “But it was a fun chance to show potential careers in agriculture and hear what the high school Career Tech Center Agriscience program has been working on.”
Wolfe and Fewins spent the day visiting two different farms along with MAEAP verifier Dan Busby. They verified a new vineyard in Farmstead and Cropping Systems at their first farm. By the end of the day, they reverified a large row crop and beef operation that implements a few conservation practices such as no-till, cover crop, and nutrient management plans.
“I really enjoyed being able to see two completely different types of farms,” said Fewins. “Experiencing different setups was very informative and eye-opening. There isn’t just one way to farm and that is something that I think isn’t considered very often.”
To learn about the Grand Traverse Conservation District, visit, www.natureiscalling.org.
MAEAP Verifier Spotlight: Dan Busby
Counties: Antrim, Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent
What do you do as a verifier?
I work with many technicians and partners to assist the local farm community to implement MAEAP on their farms. I feel my job as a verifier is to be that third set of eyes reviewing everything on the farm and in the field that is pertinent to potential environmental risks.
Why do you enjoy your job?
I meet with the best of the best every day. We are all trying to do the same thing, make Michigan agriculture as productive and sustainable as possible without compromising our environmental quality.
Dan attended Northern Michigan University and received a degree in Conservation and Land Use Planning. He has been a MAEAP Verifier since October 1, 2012.
Dan is a self-proclaimed fishing guru.