The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing 18 farms for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices. The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right to Farm practices. Technical assistance was provided by local Conservation Districts.
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program recognized:
- 3 North Vines, LLC of Croswell as a verified farm in Cropping andFarmstead Systems
- Burns Poultry Farms, Inc. of Millington as a verified farm in Farmstead System
- Camp Servant of Egadine as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
- E. Mark Lange Farms of Maybee as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
- Gordon’s Produce of Sault Ste. Marie as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
- Gun Lake Tribe – Indian Lake – Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Shelbyville as a verified farm in Farmstead System
- Gun Lake Tribe – Jijak Foundation – Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Hopkins as a verified farm in Farmstead System
- Gun Lake Tribe – Luella Collins Community Center – Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Wayland as a verified farm in Farmstead System
- Herb Smith Farm of Temperance as a verified farm in Cropping System
- Hudson Dairy, LLC (Milk Source, LLC) of Hudson as a verified farm in Cropping System
- Karen Sell Farm of Belleville as a verified farm in Cropping andFarmstead Systems
- Linda / Joyce Farm of Marne as a verified farm in Farmstead and Forest, Wetlands, Habitat Systems
- Needlefast Evergreens of Ludington as a verified farm in Farmstead System
- Norman’s Farm of Tustin as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
- Paul and Carol Taylor Farm of Ottawa Lake as a verified farm in Cropping andFarmstead Systems
- Robin Crest Forest of Hickory Corners as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
- Sunridge Farms (Adent Family Farms) of Hartford as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
- Superior State Farms of Sault Ste. Marie as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
“By taking the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation, these 18 farms have contributed to the assurance of sustainable farming practices,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “Michigan is leading the national agriculture community in effective stewardship practices with the voluntary, incentive-based MAEAP program. The continued success of the program demonstrates that environmental sustainability and economic development are not mutually exclusive.”
MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies. More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process toward verification. An average of 5,000 Michigan farmers attend educational programs annually, 10,000 Michigan farms have started the verification process and over 4,000 verifications to date.
To become MAEAP verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting a thorough on-farm risk assessment, and developing and implementing an action plan addressing potential environmental risks. MDARD conducts an on‑farm inspection to verify program requirements related to applicable state and federal environmental regulations, Michigan Right to Farm guidelines, and adherence to an action plan. When completed, the producer receives a certificate of environmental assurance. To remain a MAEAPverified farm, inspections must be conducted every five years and action steps must be followed.
In March of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 4212, now Public Acts 1 and 2 of 2011, to codify the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program into law.
MAEAP is a multi-year program allowing producers to meet personal objectives, while best managing both time and resources. The program encompasses four systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system – Livestock, Farmstead, Cropping, and Forest, Wetlands and Habitat – examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all four systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks.
For more information, visit the MAEAP website at https://www.maeap.org or contact Joe Kelpinski, MDARD’s MAEAP Program Manager, at (517)284-5608.