MAEAP Verification and Industry Leadership go Hand in Hand

posted on September 25, 2013 8:58am

In our state, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) has been established to help producers protect our environment, with the added benefit of regulatory incentives. Gov. Snyder has shown his commitment to the program and has challenged the program to complete 5,000 verifications by 2015.

Scott Roggenbuck and Andy Snider serve on GreenStone’s board of directors and each have operations that are MAEAP verified. We recently asked both Andy and Scott to share a little about their MAEAP verification experience:

Name: Scott Roggenbuck, Cedar Pond Farms, Inc. Type of Operation: Cash Crop Size of Operation: 1,900 acres

What MAEAP systems are you verified in? Cropping

Why did you choose to become MAEAP verified?

We chose to become MAEAP verified in 2007. We felt it was a good way to promote agriculture and help to show our non-farming neighbors that we are good stewards of the soil and water.

What did you learn about your operation through the verification process?

When we went through the verification process we learned our operation met most of the requirements already, and we just had to make a few adjustments and take advantage of the record keeping we were doing to get credit for it.

What advice would you give to other producers who are thinking about beginning the verification process?

My advice to anyone considering MAEAP verification is to do it. We have a governor who is friendly to agriculture, and has saved the MAEAP program. Now it is up to us to use this as a tool to show our city cousins that responsible people are in charge of producing their food, while protecting our resources.

Name: Andy Snider, Snider Farms, LLC. Type of Operation: Poultry, livestock and cash crop Size of Operation: 170,000 tom turkeys per year, 16,000 weaner pigs per year, 2,300 acres of cash crops.

What MAEAP systems are you verified in?

We have been verified in all three systems (cropping, farmstead and livestock) at our home farm for six years and have also recently been verified in all three systems at our new farm location, Airport View Turkeys.

Why did you choose to become MAEAP verified?

We believe in all of the principles and values that the MAEAP program stands for and have operated our farm in that fashion for many years. The program has substantiated our efforts and has allowed us to show this to our neighbors and community.

What did you learn about your operation through the verification process?

We had a few small blind spots that were potential risks, but we were also encouraged that we were doing most things well, environmentally.

What advice would you give to other producers who are thinking about beginning the verification process?

Don’t be afraid. The people from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are very supportive of our efforts, and give gentle guidance in areas that need attention.