MAEAP Verifies 31 Farms in December 2019

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing 31 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:

  • Bogerd Farms, of Mattawan, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
  • Circle Pines Center, of Delton, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
  • Clare Conservation District – Clare County Forest, of Harrison, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
  • Craig Family Farms, LLC, of Morenci, as a verified farm in Cropping System
  • C. Farms and Greenhouse, of Columbus, as a verified farm in Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems
  • Dancing Meadows Homestead, LLC, of Cottrellville, as a verified farm in Livestock System
  • Dobberstein Organic Family Farms, of Monroe, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
  • Green Dark Forest, of Benzonia, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
  • Greener Grass Farms, of Quincy, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
  • Hillside Orchards, of Berrien Springs, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
  • Hog Quest Farms – Hickory Corners Farm (Formerly Sietsema), of Hickory Corners, as a verified farm in Livestock System
  • John Heil Farm, of Joseph, as a verified farm in Cropping System
  • Listwak Farm, of North Branch, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
  • MSU – Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center (Feed Lot), of Lansing, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • MSU – Beef Cow/Calf Teaching Center, of Lansing, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • MSU – Horse Teaching and Research Center, of Lansing, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • MSU – Sheep Teaching & Research Center, of Okemos, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • MSU – University Farms Service Center, of Lansing, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems
  • MSU – Veterinary Research Farm, of Okemos, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • Neal Tree Farm, of Sterling, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System
  • Nestle Waters North America Inc. – 70th Avenue Farm, of Mecosta, as a verified farm in Cropping System
  • Rambo, Inc. – L.J. Rambo’s Wholesale Nurseries, of Bridgman, as a verified farm in Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems
  • Rambo, Inc. – Rambo Blueberries, of Bridgman, as a verified farm in Farmstead System
  • Rice Centennial Farm, LLC, of Benzonia, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
  • S & S Beef, of Hilldale, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • Steve Schaub, of North Branch, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems
  • Bill Stables, of Clare, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems
  • Two Men and a Hen, of Barryton, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and  Livestock Systems
  • Vanden Bogerd Farms, of Kalamazoo, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead System
  • Weathered Silos Farm, of Hanover, as a verified farm in Cropping System
  • White Pine Farm, of North Branch, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

 

“Farmers across the state of Michigan understand how fortunate we are to be surrounded by fertile lands and abundant freshwater, and they are committed to protecting these amazing resources,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Participation in the program increases year after year, and it has been used as a model by many other states. By earning MAEAP verification and putting that sign out front, they are letting their neighbors know that they are excellent stewards of their land so that it can be sustainable for future generations.”

MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups, and state and federal agencies.  Michigan conservation districts house technicians that provide technical assistance 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 5,000 verifications have taken place 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 risk. 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 MAEAP verified farm, inspections must be conducted every five years and action steps must be followed.

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.