MAEAP Verified 30 Farms in May

posted on June 17, 2015 11:05am

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is recognizing 30 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:

  • Arbre Farms Inc., of Walkerville, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • B & B Gardens, LLC, of New Era, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Bardenhagen Farms, of Suttons Bay, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Bennett Farms, Inc., of Fremont, as a verified farm in the Livestock, Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Better View Farm, of Shelby, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Bowers Harbor Vineyards, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Chateau Grand Traverse, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Cold Frame Farm, of Romeo, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • DeYoung Farm - Leelanau Conservancy, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
  • DNR’s Crane Pond State Game Area, of Jones, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
  • Dutch Meadows Dairy, of St. John’s, as a verified farm in the Livestock and Cropping Systems.
  • Folly Organics, of South Haven, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Ford Farms, Inc., of Blissfield, as a verified farm in the Livestock and Cropping Systems.
  • Free Run Cellars, of Berrien Springs, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • JM Land Venture, of Cedar, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Jim Guse Farms, of Cassopolis, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Jos. Kutchey & Son’s, LLC, of Macomb, as a verified farm in the Greenhouse Farmstead and Greenhouse Cropping Systems.
  • Lardie Orchards Inc., of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Lewis Orchards Inc., of New Era, as a verified farm in the Livestock, Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Motzart’s Garden, of Hamilton, as a verified farm in the Greenhouse Farmstead and Greenhouse Cropping Systems.
  • Old Mission Fruit Co., of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Old Mission Vineyard, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Peaceful Valley Farm, of Petoskey, as a verified farm in the Livestock, Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Riverbend Farm, LLC, of South Haven, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Round Barn Winery, of Baroda, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Sand Hill Nursery, of Hamilton, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Sitka Pork - Bennett Farms Livestock, LLC, of Holton, as a verified farm in the Livestock and Farmstead Systems.
  • Tim Campbell Farm, of Imlay City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
  • Watson Farm, of Allegan, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Ziehm Greenhouse & Produce, of Romeo, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

“By taking the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation, these 30 farms have contributed to the assurance of sustainable farming practices,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “Michigan is leading the national agriculture community in effective stewardship practices with the voluntary, incentive-based MAEAP program. The continued success of the program demonstrates that environmental sustainability and economic development are not mutually exclusive.”

MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies.  More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available 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 2,500 farms have been verified 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 risks. 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 three years and action steps must be followed.

In March of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 4212, now Public Acts 1 and 2 of 2011, to codify the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program into law.

MAEAP is a multi-year program allowing producers to meet personal objectives, while best managing both time and resources. The program encompasses three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system – Livestock, Farmstead, and Cropping – examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all three systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks.

For more information, visit the MAEAP website at http://www.maeap.org or contact Joe Kelpinski, MDARD’s MAEAP Program Manager, at (517)284-5608.

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Media Contact: Heather Throne

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