Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) supports agricultural producers as they work to protect our natural resources. MAEAP is a voluntary, proactive program that assists producers in assessing their operations and making environmentally and economically sustainable management decisions. It provides producers with technical, confidential advice to reduce the risk of groundwater and surface water contamination.
You can earn:
- Recognition as a top steward in the community
- Regulatory protections
- Preferred consideration for technical assistance and cost share
- An enduring sense of accomplishment and pride
- The program is 100% confidential, guaranteed by state law
- We will always treat you and your business with respect
- We will help you with the paperwork and any red tape
- We will help you leave a legacy for your children and generations after that
MAEAP Recognition is:
- Achievable. Farms have earned more than 5000 verifications across the state
- Something to be proud of and to showcase to your community
HOW TO GET VERIFIED
MAEAP is for all types and sizes of farms and all commodities – including nursery, greenhouse, fruit, and forestry operations. MAEAP offers verification in four different systems: Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock, and Forest, Wetlands and Habitat. To become verified, producers work with the Ottawa Conservation District to complete the program in four steps:
- Learn: Attend a MAEAP educational event approved for Phase 1 certification, or review educational materials at your own pace.
- Evaluate: Invite the Ottawa County MAEAP technician to tour your farm. They will explain the program and recommend practical steps you can take to meet program standards and your own stewardship goals.
- Implement: Do the work at your own pace. Our MAEAP technician is here to help you every step of the way and can direct you to cost share and expert help, if you want.
- Recognition: Once the work is complete, you can contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. A verifier from MDARD will visit your farm to ensure the recommended practices are in place and address erosion and runoff risks on your land. When the work is done, we will give you a sign to place on your farm and send you a certificate signed by the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
MAEAP Cost Share Program
The Ottawa Conservation District is offering producers the opportunity to apply for cost share on management practices or farmstead improvements to help offset the cost of specific environmental risk reduction practices. This program is intended for those participants working toward MAEAP goals on their farm. Find more information and the application here.
Well Water Testing
Drinking water wells should be tested at least once a year for bacteria and nitrates, both of which can have adverse health effects. The Ottawa Conservation District is working in conjunction with MAEAP to offer a free screening of drinking water samples for nitrates. This service is open to anyone who uses a personal well for drinking water.
**Please check back for the 2021 testing date**