Hershbergers/Meskos first in county verified three waysPublished 10:01am Thursday, December 10, 2009
CASSOPOLIS – Kelsey Lake Farm is a good steward and true leader of the ag industry in Cass County.
Kevin and Jill Hershberger of Kelsey Lake Farm recently became the first farm in the county to get cropping system verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).
And that’s not all, it also earned the title of the first farm in the county to be verified in all three systems. What an outstanding accomplishment.
MAEAP is an innovative proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agriculture pollution risks.
It teaches farmers how to identify and prevent environmental risks and to comply with state and federal regulations. Farmers can be verified in three systems: livestock, farmstead and cropping.
Kelsey Lake Farm is a three-generation family farm which started back when Kevin worked for Jill’s dad, Jim Mesko. Kevin planted his first crop of his own in 1987.
Today the family operation is going strong and farming 400 acres.
They raise corn, soybeans, hay, seed corn and a few beef cattle.
Kevin and Jill both work off the farm. Kevin has worked for the Cass County Road Commission for the past 14 years. Jill works at the Cass County Sherriff’s Office. They have two children, Andrew, 18, and Arminda, 15.
As a family they all work together to get the job done. Jill takes care of the books, paperwork, runs equipment and whatever else needs to be done.
The kids do anything from feeding the livestock to throwing hay bales. Jim also continues to have a role in the operation. He is in charge of spraying the crops.
Hershbergers use no-till practices and worked with NRCS to implement a Pest Management Plan, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) and put in manure storage.
Abbey Dorr, groundwater technician for Cass County Conservation District, worked with the Hershbergers to complete their assessments and through the verification process.
For more information on MAEAP or how to get involved, check out Web site at www.maeap.org or contact Dorr at the CCCD at (269)445-8643.