Senate approves Daley legislation extending voluntary program aiding farmers

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation introduced by Sen. Kevin Daley that would renew the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) as a voluntary program and continue to help Michigan farmers adopt cost-effective practices that reduce environmental risks.

“MAEAP is a program that has proven to be successful in helping Michigan farms of all sizes voluntarily reduce environmental risks,” said Daley, R-Lum. “MAEAP-verified farms represent the highest standards of environmental stewardship and the renewal of this voluntary program will ensure our farmers are supported in their conservation practices.”

The program was developed in 1999 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.

Senate Bill 494 would renew MAEAP and extend 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.

“This positions our farmers to continue improving how we care for our land and water and ensures farmers can continue feeding our communities for generations to come,” Daley said.

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