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:
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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.