Union’s Begley Farms certified in two systems

Published 7:27 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

By Staff
Leslie "Ray" Begley of Begley Farms near Union recently became livestock as well as farmstead verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).
MAEAP is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agriculture pollution risks.
MAEAP teaches farmers how to identify and prevent environmental risks and to comply with state and federal environmental regulations.
It is a collaborative effort of producers, MDA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, Michigan State University, conservation groups and other state and federal agencies. More than 150 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process towards verification. To date, there are more than 500 farms that have been verified.
To become MAEAP-verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting an on-farm risk assessment and a third party on-farm verification. Farms can be verified in three systems: livestock, farmstead and cropping. New this year is verification for greenhouses. Abbey Dorr, groundwater technician for Cass County Conservation District, worked with Begley to complete his risk assessment. Contact Abbey at (269)445-8634.