Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP)

The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.  MAEAP was developed by a coalition of agriculture farmers, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and conservation and environmental groups. While the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is the verifying agency, MAEAP is also a partnership effort.  MAEAP teaches farmers how to identify and prevent environmental risks and work to comply with state and federal environmental regulations. Farmers who successfully complete the three phases of a MAEAP system are rewarded by becoming verified in that system.


Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state. As a result, a one-size-fits-all approach to environmental protection simply does not work on Michigan farms. MAEAP effectively overcomes this challenge by offering areas of concentration known as systems. Each system focuses on a different aspect of a farming operation. Farmers can become verified in all systems applicable to their farm.

FARMSTEAD ~ the MAEAP Farmstead System addresses environmental risks of the entire farmstead, from safe fuel handling to the proper storage of fertilizers and pesticides. It focuses on protecting surface and groundwater. It is the one MAEAP system which is applicable to every size and kind of operation.

CROPPING ~ the MAEAP Cropping System primarily focuses on environmental issues related to cropping activities, such as irrigation and water use, soil conservation, and nutrient and pest management. The system has components focused on environmental issues related to managing diverse commodities.

LIVESTOCK ~ The MAEAP Livestock System primarily focuses on environmental issues related to livestock activities, including manure handling, storage and field application, as well as conservation practices to protect water and prevent soil erosion. The Livestock System targets all Michigan livestock farms, regardless of species or size. The Livestock System concentrates on production and conservation practices, equipment, structures and management activities associated with animal production.

MAEAP's Three Phases

Phase 1 ~ Education involves farmer attendance at a qualified MAEAP educational session. Held across the state, these sessions introduce farmers to MAEAP and update them on new and emerging regulation and opportunities affecting agriculture.  

Phase 2 ~ On-farm risk assessment focuses on evaluating environmental risks and devising farm-specific and economically viable solutions. Each MAEAP system uses a unique risk assessment tool developed to adderss the environmental impacts of that system. 

Phase 3 ~ Third-party verification is completed by MDARD upon farmers request. MDARD verifies the farm has met the requrements of Phase 1 and 2, the State's Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practicies (GAAMPs) are being followed, and the farm has implemented practices specific to system requirements. To maintain verified status, farms are reverified every three years.


  • Helping protect the Great lakes.
  • Using proven scientific standards to protect our air, water and soil.
  • Maximizing natural nutrients and reducing use of fertilizers made from fossil fuels.
  • Making good neighbors.
  • Ensuring safe storage of fuel, fertilizer and chemicals.
  • Balancing efficient production and sound environmental practices.
  • Having emergency plans ready to deal with the unexpected.
  • Protecing natural resources using environmentally sound practices.
  • Taking care of the land while making a living for our families.

Contact Your Local MAEAP Technician
To learn how to get started with MAEAP, contact your local MAEAP Technician.  
Charlevoix Conservation District MAEAP Tech Service Area:  Cheboygan,
Emmet, Charlevoix and Otsego Counties.  Contact Chris Anderson directly at the
District office, Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30 pm, 231-582-7341.  

MAEAP Program Website