Eric Bak, MAEAP Technician, Clinton County
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is an innovative and proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. Some examples of practices that have been put in place to help farms achieve verification include nutrient management plans, pest management plans, buffer/filter strips, cover crops and restricting livestock access to local lakes, rivers and streams. MAEAP is voluntary, confidential, and non-regulatory. MAEAP takes a systems approach to assist producers in evaluating their farms. One of the systems is Forest, Wetlands and Habitat. This system helps assess how effectively you manage your land while protecting the environment and incorporating Best Management Practices.
Two Clinton County residents are making great use of their land with the production of honey. Two years ago, Neighbor Lady Bee Farm (Lisa and Brennen Falor) enrolled with the Farm Service Agency in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). As part of CRP, they rented the no-till drill managed by the Clinton Conservation District and planted eleven acres with different flowers and grasses. The planting really took off and the honeybees were able to take great advantage of the field filled with pollinator friendly species. With only six hives on the farm this year, they harvested over 600 pounds of honey.
After attending a workshop and training session at Michigan State University, Lisa was introduced to the MAEAP program. Lisa is currently working with the Clinton Conservation District MAEAP Technician, Eric Bak, and Wildlife Biologist, Kurt Wolf, to become MAEAP verified in the Forest Wetland and Habitat system.