MAEAP verified 28 farms in February

posted on April 8, 2016 1:11pm

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing 28 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:

    • Avalon Farms, of Climax, as a verified farm in the Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems.
    • Black Dog Farm and Gardens, of Baroda, as a verified farm in the Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems.
    • Blakney Farms, of Romulus, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • C & S Dairy, of North Branch, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Chestnut Row Farms, of Clayton, as a verified farm in the Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems.
    • Chris Pollard Farms, of Scotts, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.
    • Crescent Valley Farms, of Port Austin, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Gerten Farms, of Blissfield, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Gingrich Farms, of Bad Axe, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Golden Aire Vineyards, of Benton Harbor, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.
    • Gruber Farms, LLC, of Reese, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Heck Farms, LLC, of Monroe, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Horkey Brothers Farms, of Dundee, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • House Enterprises, Inc., of Clare, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • JGDM McConnachie Farm, of Deckerville, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • John C. Richmond & Sons Dairy Farm, LLC, of Bay Port, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • K&K Family Farms, LLC, of Mayville, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Lakeside Farm, of Boyne City, as a verified farm in the Forest, Wetlands, and Habitat System.
    • Laneden Farm, of Holly, as a verified farm in the Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems.
    • Leo Westrick Farm, of St. Clair Township, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Livestock Systems.
    • Michael Zaluckyj Farm, of Benton Harbor, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.
    • Mike Atton Farm, of Midland, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead System.
    • Mossner Farms, LLC, of Frankenmuth, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • P.B. Farms, Inc., of Riga Township, as a verified farm in the Cropping System.
    • Ron and Mark Alt Farms, of Sparta, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.
    • Sponhauer Farms, of Shelby, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.
    • Vintage Acres II, of Blissfield, as a verified farm in the Farmstead System.
    • Zaluckyj Farms, of Coloma, as a verified farm in the Cropping and Farmstead Systems.

 “By taking the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation, these 28 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.