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January 3, 2018 MAEAP

MAEAP Introduces Cost Share and On the Go Testing Program

The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) has introduced a cost sharing program for each county conservation district’s MAEAP program throughout the state. The Cass County Conservation District MAEAP program has received $3,000 dollars to assist farms throughout the county in achieving MAEAP verification. The MAEAP program consists of four separate systems: Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock, and Forest, Wetland, and Habitat. Upon accomplishing verification in each, or all relevant systems pertaining to each specific farm, the farms receive legal Right to Farm Protections, points for restricted use pesticide licenses, a small reduction in insurance fees through Farm Bureau, community recognition, and several other benefits.

If you farm in Cass County, we hope you are interested in verification of one or more of these systems.  In pursuing each verification, farms must have completed several steps. For example, basic soil and water tests must be completed, spill kits must be easily accessible, and specific standards set in place by the MAEAP program must be met (such as having a fuel transfer pad where equipment is filled.) Knowing there are only 24 hours in the day and a dollar can only go so far, we understand these tasks can be time consuming and costly. MAEAP is designed to be a program that benefits the environment and the farm. To minimize your steps towards getting MAEAP verified and add convenience to your day, MAEAP has introduced a cost share program to cover basic tests and assist in costs for small projects needed to achieve verification.

If a test is needed after going through an assessment with Erez, the Cass County MAEAP Technician, he will collect your soil or water samples and send or deliver them directly to the testing group of your choice. If a spill kit, backflow preventer or drain plugs are needed, Erez can help with them as well. Other small projects needed when pursuing MAEAP verification that could be completed with financial assistance can be discussed with Erez for possible funding support. MAEAP is designed to add convenience and pride to your farm – it is hoped adding this program will make you even more excited about achieving your verification in 2018! For specific guidelines and cost share details, feel free to stop in to the Cass County Conservation District office at 1127 East State Street in Cassopolis, MI. Feel free to call or email Erez at the office, at 269-228-7084 or at Erez.Brandvain@macd.org. We hope to either begin, or continue working with you in pursuing your verification!

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