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MAEAP Verifies 50 Farms in May
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/26/2019

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing 50 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:

Aaron Blaske Farms, LLC, of Dowagiac, as a verified farm in Farmstead System

Aerts Farm, Inc, of Hart, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Ashbaugh Acres, LLC, of Edmore, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Baur Farms, LLC, of Bay Port, as a verified farm in Livestock System

Beagle Brother, LLC, of Blissfield, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Beaverland Farms, LLC, of Detroit, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Blue Heron Acres, of Eaton Rapids, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Bob Miner Farms, of Montgomery, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

V. Vineyards, of Cheboygan, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Cattle Creek Beef Farms, LLC, of Reed City, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Cherry Ke Inc. -- Jack Dean Farm, of Williamsburg, as a verified farm in Farmstead System

Cold Frame Farm, of Romeo, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Colinsworth Farmstead and Company, of Baroda, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Dale Ackerman Forest, of Onsted, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Dan Burkett Farm, of LaSalle, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Darrin Lutz Farms, Inc., of Sebewaing, as a verified farm in Cropping and Livestock Systems

DNR -- Crane Pond State Game Area, of Jones, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Forest, Wetlands, Habitat Systems

Echow B Acres, of Reed City, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Eckler's Produce and Greenhouse, of Niles, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

ETL Farms, of Pigeon, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Get Away Forest, of Evart, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Grass Lake Orchard, of Rockford, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Grounded Roots Farm, of Lakeview, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Half-A-Peck Farm, LLC, of Dansville, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Hammerhead Shark Ranch, of Gaylord, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Hemming's Way Fruit Co., of Traverse City, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Home Grown Industries, of Vestaburg, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Jablonski Farming, LLC, of Wayland, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Jade Farms, of Pigeon, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Ka-Jen Acres, of Belding, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Lee's Woodland Farm, LLC, of Marion, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Metzgar and Amos, LLC, of Ceresco, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Mike Dowler Farm, of Swartz Creek, as a verified farm in Farmstead System

Miller Poultry -- New Beginnings, of Vandalia, as a verified farm in Farmstead and Livestock Systems

Mums The Word, of New Boston, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Nik-Col Farm, of Kewadin, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

North Star Organics, of Frankfort, as a verified farm in Cropping, and Farmstead Systems

Resonance Center Farm, LLC, of Cheboygan, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Ryan Groholske Farms, of Tekonsha, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Saddlebag Lake Property, of Marcellus, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Sap Woods, of Lachine, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Spencer Farms, Inc., of Almont, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Sunset Tree Farm, of Alger, as a verified farm in Forest, Wetlands, Habitat System

Toby Kuznicki Sr. Family Farm, of Hawks, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Forest, Wetlands, Habitat Systems

Todd Taylor Farm, of Ottawa Lake, as a verified farm in Cropping System

Traverse Bay Area Career Tech Center, AgriScience and Natural Resources Program, of Traverse City, as a verified farm in Cropping (Greenhouse) and Farmstead (Greenhouse) Systems

Triple K Farms, Inc., of Morenci, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

Vintage Acres, of Blissfield, as a verified farm in Cropping and Farmstead Systems

Vintage Acres II, of Blissfield, as a verified farm in Farmstead System

Whiskey Acres, of Cassopolis, as a verified farm in Cropping, Farmstead, and Livestock Systems

"Farmers across the state of Michigan understand how fortunate we are to be surrounded by fertile lands and abundant fresh water, and they are committed to protecting these amazing resources," said 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."

MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies. Michigan conservation districts house technicians that provide technical assistance 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 5,000 verifications have taken place 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 risk. 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.

In March 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 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.

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