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Environmental Programs at MDARD
The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development plays a leadership role in innovative environmental stewardship programs that have garnered national acclaim and serve as models for other states interested in pursuing active agricultural-environmental partnerships.
Michigan's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help protect our environment and wildlife. CREP implements environmentally sound practices on agricultural lands to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat.
The Department of Agriculture & Rural Development currently operates two main programs that work to preserve farmland and open spaces: the Farmland and Open Space Act, commonly known as "P.A. 116," and the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program.
MAEAP is a voluntary, pro-active program designed by state and federal agencies, farmers and industry partners to reduce producers' legal and environmental risks. It teaches effective land stewardship practices that comply with state and federal regulations and shows producers how to find and prevent agricultural pollution risks on their farms.
The program encompasses three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system -- Livestock, Farmstead and Cropping -- examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. Through each phase, producers will develop and implement economically feasible, effective and environmentally sound pollution prevention practices.
The Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program (MGSP) is a locally driven program that provides one-on-one technical assistance to farmers. The program helps farmers identify risks to groundwater associated with their pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer use practices and it coordinates local, state, and federal resources to help individuals reduce those risks. Two key components of the program are Clean Sweep and Pesticide Container Recycling, which work jointly to collect and properly dispose of outdated pesticides that may cause potential harm to the environment and to recycle containers that burden landfills.
RIGHT TO FARM PROGRAM
Michigan's Right to Farm law recognizes the importance of a farmer's right to farm while at the same time ensuring sound environmental stewardship. Michigan farmers receive protection from odor and noise related lawsuits by following a series of scientifically-based Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices.