LANSING, Mich. — Legislation introduced by Sen. Kevin Daley to renew the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) as a voluntary program was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday.
“Michigan farmers hold themselves to a high standard and MAEAP is a program that has proven to be successful in helping Michigan farms of all sizes maintain that standard,” said Daley, R-Lum. “The voluntary program helps farms work more efficiently to reduce environmental risks and supports farmers in their conservation practices.”
The program was developed in 1998 by a coalition of farmers, commodity groups, and environmental groups, as well as state and federal agencies. MAEAP verification can be earned in one or more of four areas: farmstead; cropping; livestock; and forest, wetlands and habitat. The program helps farmers adopt practices that reduce erosion and runoff into ponds, streams, and rivers. This, in turn, helps farmers comply with state and federal laws.
Farmers who earn MAEAP verification receive a sign to place on their farm.
The newly signed law renews MAEAP and extends the sunset of the Freshwater Protection Fee that funds the program for another four years with no change to current fertilizer license and registration fees. The existing sunset was set to expire this year.
“Michigan farms are key to our state’s economy,” Daley said. “MAEAP has played a key role in growing the state’s agriculture industry and helped countless farms stay in business. Extending this program allows farms to continue improving practices that care for and protect our environment and puts Michigan farms in a position to continue feeding our communities for generations.”