Apple Grower Understands the Importance of Becoming MAEAP Verified

posted on April 7, 2014 1:57pm

Michigan apple grower Art Lister knows that becoming MAEAP verified is not only important to his farm, but to consumers as well. Lister was one of many growers to become MAEAP verified this year.

“A big advantage of the MAEAP program is that it’s a proactive approach to work with producers,” Lister said. “I want to know that I am doing everything I can to protect the environment, and becoming verified assures me that I am doing just that.”

The Michigan Agriculture En­vironmental Assurance Pro­gram (MAEAP) helps farms of all sizes and commodities voluntarily prevent or mini­mize agricultural pollution risks. MAEAP’s mission is to develop and implement a proactive environmental assurance program ensuring that Michigan farmers are en­gaging in cost-effective pollution prevention practices and work­ing to comply with state and federal environmental regulations.

According to Lister, it is important to become MAEAP verified, because it helps to protect resources that are in scarce supply, like ground water. Lister says that since there are no infinite resources, it’s important to do whatever we can to protect what we have.

The MAEAP program has three different systems – farmstead, cropping and livestock.

“We are farmstead and cropping verified, which looks at different chemistries and record-keeping requirements to ensure that we are following all of the laws that are in place, whether it being that we have all of our facilities up-to-date, proper facilities to manage storage petroleum, or having a drift management plan on file,” Lister said.

Additionally, Lister says that the best part of the program is interacting with the program personnel, because they are very knowledgeable and can help growers realize the things they can do better.

“Going through this process really opens your eyes and makes you even more aware of how important it is to protect the en­vironment,” Lister said. “The MAEAP program is designed to help people and work with producers to have the best possible outcomes in Michigan.”

Art Lister is a board member of the Michigan Apple Com­mittee, a non-profit governmental organization that works on behalf of growers in the areas of consumer and grower educa­tion, market development and research. For more information, visit http://www.MichiganApples.com