Getting verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) shows peers and neighbors the high level of commitment to agricultural stewardship and protecting the environment. MAEAP has four systems that address different aspects of the farm: Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock and the newly developed Forest, Wetlands and Habitat System. Each looks at different practices depending on specific site-specific management and production practices and associated risks.
To get verified, first attend a Phase 1 Educational Meeting to learn more about MAEAP and associated environmental topics. Visit the events page to find a local Phase 1, or check out the educational sessions videos available for Phase 1 credit.
After attending the educational meeting, a farmer then works with his or her local conservation district to complete a farm-specific risk assessment. Each assessment looks at the farm and evaluates different aspects, especially areas that could minimize environmental risks and potential agricultural pollution. The farmer then develops a plan and works according to his or her own schedule to correct any of these areas and make necessary improvements. Local conservation district staff also helps identify available cost share funding for practice implementation.
After this step, the farmer is ready to arrange for an inspection from a MDARD MAEAP verifier who ensures the farmer has implemented environmentally sound practices and has appropriate records and management strategies in place. After becoming MAEAP verified, a farm can display a MAEAP sign signifying that MAEAP partners, including the State of Michigan, recognize the farm is environmentally assured.
Get verified in:
- The Farmstead System, which applies to all farms and addresses environmental risks of the entire farmstead, from water wells and septic system management, safe handling of fuels to the proper storage of fertilizers and pesticides.
- The Cropping System, which focuses on field-related environmental issues, such as irrigation and water use, soil and water conservation practices, and nutrient and pest management.
- The Livestock System, focuses on environmental issues related to livestock activities, including manure handling, storage and field application, as well as conservation practices to protect water and prevent soil erosion. Mortality management, odor management and emergency management are also included.
The newly developed Forest, Wetlands & Habitat System includes sustainable forestry, compliance with laws, protecting special sites, reforestation and afforestation, air, water and soil protection, habitat restoration and development, forest aesthetics and forest product harvesting and other management activities.