MAEAP Verifies Forty Farms in March

posted on May 7, 2012 9:47am

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

· Crossroads Dairy, L.L.C., of Wayland, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Livestock Systems.

· Royal Farms Inc., of Ellsworth, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Cropping Systems. 

· Robert Kernstock Farm, of Auburn, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

· Windsong, of Honor, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 

· Otis Farms, of Coldwater, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Cropping Systems. 

· Boughton Farms, of Marshall, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

· Bill Hoffman Farm, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 

· Lardie Orchards Inc., of Traverse City, as a verified farm in Farmstead System. 

· Mark Santucci Farm, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

· Old Mission Fruit Co., of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems. 

· Aunt Bea’s Place, of Addison, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Livestock Systems.

· Bonnell Farms, of Pittsford, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Gerry Hanson Farm, of Harbor Beach, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

· Grekowicz Farms Inc., of Harbor Beach, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Holdwick Farm Inc., of Harbor Beach, as a verified farm in the Farmstead, Livestock and Cropping Systems.

· Tait Farms Inc., of Caseville, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Thumb Swine Enterprise, of Bay Port, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Nature’s Harvest Organic Farm, of Metamora, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Cropping Systems. 

· Alan Bakker Farm, of Suttons Bay, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

· Bardenhagen Farms, of Suttons Bay, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 

· DeYoung Farm, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

· New Mission Organics, of Omena, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 

· Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 

· Lake City Experiment Station-MSU Research Farm, of Lake City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead, Livestock and Cropping Systems.

· Darling Farm, of Willis, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

· Heck Farms, of Monroe, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Johnson Grain Farms, of Casnovia, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Funny Farm Organic Produce and Flying Pig Prospecting, of Grant, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Cropping Systems. 

· AEBIG Apple, Inc., of New Era, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.

· Earl L. Peterson, of Shelby, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Lewis Orchards, of New Era, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.

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

· Ziola Farm, of Elsie, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Ken Landsburg Farm, of Sandusky, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

· Battel’s Sugar Bush, of Cass City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.

· Becker Farms, of Caro, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Livestock Systems. 

· Ben Grady Farm, of Fairgrove, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

· MS Farms, of Ubly, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Palm Acres LLC., of Vassar, as a verified farm in the Cropping System. 

· Somerville Farms, of Unionville, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

“Interest in Michigan’s voluntary, proactive program for assuring effective land stewardship practices on farms is growing. I applaud these farms for their proactive environmental steps to assure effective land stewardship practices and becoming MAEAP verified,” said MDARD Director Keith Creagh. “Michigan’s verified farms are a symbol of the commitment to our state’s long-term agriculture economic success and environmental safeguarding."

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 more than 1,100 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 www.maeap.org or contact Jan Wilford, MDARD’s MAEAP Program Manager, at 517-241-4730.

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