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Tuscola County Farm Recognized by MAEAP

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Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development Today at 1:02 PM Tuscola County Farm Recognized by MAEAP For Immediate Release: October 24, 2014 Contact: Heather Throne, 517-284-5725 or throneh@michigan.gov Tuscola Conservation District: 989-673-8174 ext.3 Or http://www.tuscolacd.com/ The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
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  Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development  Today at 1:02 PM   Tuscola County Farm Recognized by MAEAP For Immediate Release: October 24, 2014 Contact: Heather Throne, 517-284-5725 or  throneh@michigan.gov    Tuscola Conservation District: 989-673-8174 ext.3 Or http://www.tuscolacd.com/    The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is recognizing Tom Hess Farm of Vassar in Tuscola County, as a verified farm in the Cropping System for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices. The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right to Farm practices. The local MAEAP program is coordinated by the Tuscola Conservation District. “I am pleased to announce that Tom Hess Farm has taken the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “Michigan is leading the way nationwide in effective stewardship practices with the voluntary, incentive-based MAEAP program. This continued effort shows agricultural producers long term commitment to protecting the environment while maintaining economic success.”  MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies. More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available 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 2,000 verifications 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 risks. 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 three years and action steps must be followed.  In March of 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 three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system  –  Livestock, Farmstead, and Cropping  –  examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all three systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks. For more information, contact the Tuscola Conservation District at 989-673-8174 ext.3 or  http://www.tuscolacd.com/. Also, visit the MAEAP website at www.maeap.org or contact Jan   Wilford, MDARD’s MAEAP Program Manager, at (517) 284 -5608. ### QUESTIONS? Contact Us Phone: 800-292-3939
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