Support for MAEAP Funding Bill Grows

Support for MAEAP Funding Bill GrowsMAEAP Verified Farmer (Megan DeLeeuw of Hand Sown Farm - Washtenaw Co)

Michigan agricultural and conservation groups are joining forces to support Senate Bill 494, so that vital fee-based funding can continue for one of our state's vital conservation programs -- the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).

Sponsored by fellow farmer Sen. Kevin Daley (31st Dist.), the bill renews agricultural fees that help fund the MAEAP program's work with farms to protect water quality and soil health.

Specifically, the legislation seeks to:

  • Continue the $1/ton fertilizer fee and $270 pesticide registration freshwater fee that generates millions of dollars annually in support for the MAEAP program.
  • Create additional funding sources for incentives to implement on-farm conservation and pollution prevention practices.
  • Expand research opportunities into practices that improve soil health, water quality, and economic impacts.
  • Clarify funding to support water quality monitoring, cleanup activities, and emergency response to prevent fertilizer or pesticide pollution.

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) joins a wide range of supporting partners advocating for passage of the bill, including The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Farm Bureau, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Cherry Marketing Institute, Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Michigan Bean Commission, Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Pork Producers Association, and Michigan Soybean Association.

“This legislation was carefully crafted with input from farmers, commodity representatives, environmental groups, state agencies, and others,” said Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski. “It positions our farmers to continue improving how we care for the land and water to ensure we can continue farming it for generations to come.

“This enables us to continue providing nutritious and abundant food to Michigan families.”

The reach of the MAEAP agricultural framework -- and its crucial need within Michigan's delicate and intricate freshwater ecosystem -- is key to the program's success, as well as its crucial role in the health and economic security of our state. It's huge win-win according to the bill's many supporters.

“We appreciate Sen. Kevin Daley for crafting a common-sense proposal that continues support for environmental stewardship in Michigan agriculture,” said Chuck Lippstreu, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “Through fertilizer and pesticide fees, Michigan agriculture contributes millions of dollars annually to support environmental programs in our state. Senate Bill 494 renews these fees, while avoiding any costly new fee increases imposed on farmers and rural businesses.”

Many thanks to the Michigan Farm Bureau's "Michigan Farm News" for originally covering this story.

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