MAEAP Recognizes and Rewards Michigan’s Conservation Champions
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is a voluntary program of The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) that recognizes farmers who are top stewards of their land.
MAEAP was created in 1998 by a coalition of agricultural, environmental and conservation groups to assist farmers in taking a voluntary, proactive approach to reducing agricultural pollution while keeping their business operations sustainable. In other words, MAEAP assists farmers in adopting cost-effective practices that reduce erosion and runoff into ponds, streams, and rivers. This, in turn, helps farmers comply with state and federal laws.
The program consists of four steps:
- Attend an education workshop
- Invite a local MAEAP technician to tour your farm
- Implement practices recommended by the technician
- Earn recognition for your work
MAEAP recognition can be earned in one or more of four different areas: Farmstead; Cropping; Livestock; and Forest, Wetlands, & Habitat. Each looks at different practices depending on site-specific management and production practices and associated risks.
MAEAP is a free program and is open to all Michigan farmers. Those who earn MAEAP recognition receive a sign to display at their farm. Participation in MAEAP is available anytime, however, farmers who start or receive recognition by certain dates will be at an advantage for cost share, grants, and other assistance programs. An average of 5,000 Michigan farmers attend educational programs annually, 10,000 Michigan farms have started the verification process and over 5,000 verifications have taken place to date. To maintain MAEAP verification, producers must request a MDARD visit every five years.
According to MDARD Director Gary McDowell, “Participation in the program increases year after year, and it has been used as a model by many other states. By earning MAEAP verification and putting that sign out front, they are letting their neighbors know that they are excellent stewards of their land so that it can be sustainable for future generations.”
For more information about earning MAEAP verification, request your free farm visit today.
Crystal Flash is proud to be a supporter of MAEAP and would like to salute the following Crystal Flash customers for earning MAEAP recognition during 2020:
• Blandford Nature Center Farm, Grand Rapids (Cropping)
• City of Monroe – Munson Park, Monroe (Forest, Wetlands & Habitat)
• Gingrich Meadows Inc., LeRoy (Farmstead and Livestock)
• Grandview Acres, LLC, Centreville (Cropping)
• Kruithoff Farms – 18 Mile Farm, Kent City (Cropping and Livestock)
• Kruithoff Farms – Conklin Farm, Conklin (Cropping and Farmstead)
• Walnutdale Family Farms, LLC, Wayland (Cropping)