MAEAP verified 33 farms in April

posted on May 31, 2016 10:42am

For Immediate Release                                                                                                      Media Contact: Heather Throne, 517-284-5725
May 31, 2016                                                                                                                    or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

MAEAP Verifies 33 Farms in April

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing 33 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:

• Hopkins Public Schools—FFA Chapter, of Hopkins, as a verified farm in the Cropping (Greenhouse), Farmstead (Greenhouse), and Livestock Systems.

• Contessa Wine Cellars, of Coloma, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Granor Farms, of Three Oaks, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Blue Jay Farms, of Three Oaks, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems. 

• J.W. Morlock & Girls, LLC—Home Farm, of Watervliet, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• J.W. Morlock & Girls, LLC—Fruit Stand, of Watervliet, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Ellis Family Farms, LLC, of Benton Harbor, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

• CA Big Head Farms, LLC, of Coloma, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Country Mill, of Charlotte, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Stoneman Farms, LLC, of Breckenridge, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Jeremy Polega Farm, of Port Austin, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Highland Dairy, of Sebewaing, as a verified farm in the Livestock System.

• Hose Family Farm, LLC, of Webberville, as a verified farm in the Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems.

• R & B Farm, LLC, of Hubberston, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Livestock Systems.

• Na-Lar Farms, of Hanover, as a verified farm in the Cropping System

• Pineberry Farm, of Silverwood, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Rainbow Organic Farm, of Imlay City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Livestock Systems.

• Valentine Farms, LLC, of Fostoria, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Deneweth Garden Center, of Macomb, as a verified farm in the Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems. 

• Apple Valley Orchards-Onekama, of Onekama, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Apple Valley Orchards-Bear Lake, of Bear Lake, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Paul Harnica Farm, of Dundee, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Robert L. Zorn, Inc., of La Salle, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

• Comden Towle Model Forest, of Stanton, as a verified farm in the Forest, Wetlands, and Habitat System.

• Whispering Creek Farms, of Montague, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• B.W. Orchards, LLC—Elbridge Site, of Hart, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

• B.W. Orchards, LLC—Benona Site, of Shelby, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• Weisenberger Farms, of Chesaning, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

• Wendy’s Farm Fresh Organic Vegetables, LLC, of Three Rivers, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

• R. D. Equipment, LLC, of Three Rivers, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• C & W Hecht Farms, LLC, of Vassar, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Vader Farms, Inc., of Akron, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

• Tilian Farm Development Center, of Ann Arbor, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

“By taking the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation, these 33 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 8,000 Michigan farmers attend educational programs annually, 10,000 Michigan farms have started the verification process and over 3,300 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 five years and action steps must be followed.

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