A local farm has been recognized by the state for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices.

22 farms have been recognized under the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Of those, Shurmur Farms of Dexter was named a verified farm in cropping and farmstead systems. The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right to Farm practices.

Officials say Michigan is leading the national agriculture community in effective stewardship practices with the voluntary, incentive-based program. By taking the steps necessary to become an environmentally verified operation, the 22 farms contribute to the assurance of sustainable farming practices. The multi-year program encompasses four systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all four systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks.

To become verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting a thorough on-farm risk assessment, and developing and implementing an action plan addressing potential environmental risks. The state department conducts an on farm inspection to verify program requirements and when completed, the producer receives a certificate of environmental assurance. To remain a verified farm, inspections must be conducted every five years and action steps must be followed. Twitter photo. (JM)