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.”