MAEAP Verifies Twenty-One Farms in July

posted on August 14, 2012 2:20pm

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

  • Christofferson Farms (Maple Hill Farms), of Ludington, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Freeman Creek Farms, LLC, of Freesoil, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.   
  • Randy Wood Farm, of Marlette, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
  • Wayne Wood Farm, of Marlette, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.  
  • Freeman Creek Farms, LLC, of Freesoil, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System. 
  • Budd’s Produce, of Belleville, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Humphreys Orchards, of Cassnovia, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • denDulk Dairy, LLC, of Ravenna, as a verified farm in the Farmstead, Cropping, and Livestock Systems at two locations.
  • Froehlich Finest Fruits and Vegetables, of Berrien Center, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • End Road Farm, of Falmouth, as a verified farm in the Livestock and Cropping Systems.
  • K V Stover and Sons, LLC, of Berrien Springs, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Laketop Orchards, LLC, of Conklin, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Ridgeview Orchards, LLC, of Conklin, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Wagner Farms, of Grawn, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Northridge Orchards, LLC, of Kent City, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • Green Tree Orchards, of Sparta, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
  • May Farms, of Sparta, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead and Cropping Systems.
  • Good Harbor Farms, of Maple City, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
  • Sandy View Farm, of Hamilton, as a verified farm in the Farmstead, Cropping, and Livestock Systems.
  • Walton Farms, of Sturgis, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.

 “I am pleased to announce that these farms have taken the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “Michigan is leading the way nationwide in effective stewardship practices with the voluntary, incentive-basedMAEAP program. This continued effort shows agricultural producers long term commitment to protecting the environment while maintaining economic success.”

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 theMAEAP website at http://www.maeap.org or contact Jan Wilford, MDARD’s MAEAP Program Manager, at 517-241-4730.

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Media Contact: Heather Throne

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