All posts by landandwater

MAEAP Fiscal year review

As the fiscal year of 2019 draws to a close, the high level of success in recent years for the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) in Cass County has continued.  MAEAP, an innovative program designed to assist in lowering potential environmental risks to the environment for farms throughout Michigan, while offering significant incentives at the same time, has exceeded expectations throughout Cass County. The program offers on farm technical assistance, which in turn can lead to a verification issued by the state of Michigan, recognizing farms for their commitment to following a rigorous set of standards and practices put in place both by the state of Michigan, and the MAEAP program. 

So how has the program been so successful in Cass County? The answer is simple. A significant number of Cass County farmers are committed to farming the right way; both environmentally and economically. Furthermore, verification can be reached in Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock, or Forest-Wetland-Habitat systems, making the program relevant for farmers of all types and commodities. The high number of participants in the program have shown that when given the opportunity, several farmers are eager to demonstrate their willingness and excitement to prove their commitment to be an environmental steward.

MAEAP is a highly organized program with databases and systems to track participants, verifications, risk reduction practices, (any item or technical service provided, i.e.: soil test, well closing, etc.…) and, actual environmental changes, such as tons of sediment prevented from entering the Great Lakes. So what are the numbers for the 2019 fiscal year? (Which is not even over yet!) Here is a breakdown:

System Assessments Verifications
Farmstead 23 15
Cropping 22 9
Livestock 9 3
Forest, Wetland, Habitat 5 2

The numbers show 29 total verifications for the year, and 59 assessments. The individual breakdowns show just how diverse of an agricultural community Cass County really is, and how serious farmers are about environmental stewardship. Verified farms in Cass County range anywhere from small organic vegetable farms, to large hog operations, to orchards, to dairies. No matter what type of agricultural endeavor, MAEAP is always excited to partner, and work with you towards a verification!

If you would like more information about the MAEAP program, feel free to stop by the Cass County Conservation District office, or call Erez, at 269-228-7084.

National Water Week 3/31-4/6/2019

Cass County Conservation District will be celebrating National Water Week, (March 31-April 6, 2019) by offering FREE water testing for nitrates and nitrites!
Test bottles are available here at the office located at 1127 E. State Street, Cassopolis, MI 49031.

For best results please follow instructions found below or call 269-445-8641 x 5 for details.

Click here for full article on water testing for National Water Week.

2019 Tree sale

Orders now being accepted for our Spring 2019 Tree Sale. Please visit our 2019 Tree Sale Page for details. Print the Order Form and either mail or call in your order. Questions about the sale – please call 269-445-8641 x 5.

Thank you for supporting this critical fundraiser for the Cass County Conservation District.

New board planning 2019 activities

At the Annual Meeting held in early December, Director Bernie Williamson was newly elected, Scott Wyman was re-elected to his position, and John Green accepted position as Associate Director. They join Directors Dan Stutsman, Karen Nelson, Kevin Hershberger, and Associate Directors Annie File and Jeff Blyveis. This new board is busy reviewing and updating our Plan of Work to ensure we are successful in our mission to enhance and protect the natural resources of Cass County. Please share your thoughts with any of the board members as we strive to improve your Conservation District…and please participate in our educational programs, tree sale, and stop in anytime to learn more about MAEAP Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program and how to identify and combat invasive species with the SW x SW CISMA.

Annual Awards 2018

Over the years Conservation Awards are given to deserving organizations and individuals that work hard to conserve our natural resources. At the Annual meeting on December 4, 2018 four were awarded this honor.

Congratulations to the 2018 award winners: Conservationist of the Year: Ken Kesson/Michigan DNR SW Region; Conservation Farmer: Kevin Hershberger; Environmental Awareness Advocate: Ramona Moorman (posthumously)/Marcellus News; and Volunteer of the Year: Jeff Blyveis.

See more details about each of these awardees on our District Website: