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Senate, House Ag Committee Lauded for MAEAP Bills
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On Wednesday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of Senate Bills 122 and 123 as introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg). Also that day, the House Agriculture Committee reported House Bills 4212 and 4213, as introduced by Reps. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) and Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes), respectively, out of committee.


Source: Michigan Farm Bureau

Contact: Matt Smego, (800) 292-2680, ext. 2044 or Scott Piggott, ext. 2021

Senate, House Ag Committee Lauded for Advancing MAEAP Bills

LANSING, Feb. 17, 2011 - A broad cross section of Michigan appreciative of the Michigan Senate and House Agriculture Committeeswift and decisive actions in approving legislation this week that would strengthen the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and encourage more farms of all sizes and types to participate in voluntary and proactive environmental practices that help protect the state.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of Senate Bills 122 and 123 as introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg). Also that day, the House Agriculture Committee reported House Bills 4212 and 4213, as introduced by Reps. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) and Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes), respectively, out of committee. The House bills mirror the Senate legislation with only minor amendments, and are expected to be considered on the House floor next week.

The Senate and House bills would add value to MAEAP by, among other things, raising MAEAP prestige and cementing the program in state statute so that MAEAP moves from its current designation as a discretionary state program to a permanent one with dedicated state funding. Under the proposed legislation, MAEAP participation would continue to be voluntary, and all applicable environmental permitting for farms would remain unchanged.

These bills represent an important step toward increasing the number of MAEAP verified farms by 500 percent by 2015 as they create program certainty and recognize the value of a farmo the Senate prior to the vote in that chamber. More MAEAP-verified farms are a good thing for the environment, for farms, and for communities.

"On behalf of the fellow MAEAP supporters, we thank the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee for supporting and advancing legislation which will benefit Michigan in a variety of ways from helping to safeguard the environment and promote conservation to making Michigan farms more environmentally and economically sustainable," said Matt Smego, Michigan Farm Bureau legislative counsel.

Supporters of the MAEAP legislation include the following organizations and agribusinesses:

  • Cherry Marketing Institute
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • GreenStone Farm Credit Services
  • Julian Vail, LLC
  • Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association
  • Michigan Allied Poultry Industries
  • Michigan Apple Association
  • Michigan Asparagus Growers, Inc.
  • Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee
  • Michigan Cattlemen
  • Michigan Christmas Tree Association
  • Michigan Corn Growers Association
  • Michigan Equine Partnership
  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • Michigan Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Association
  • Michigan Floriculture Growers Council
  • Michigan Food and Farming Systems
  • Michigan Food Processors Association
  • Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council
  • Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Michigan Pork Producers Association
  • Michigan Sheep Breeders Association
  • Michigan Soybean Association
  • Michigan State Horticultural Society
  • Michigan Sugar Company
  • Michigan Vegetable Council
  • National Grape Cooperative
  • Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc.

MAEAP background - MAEAP is a comprehensive program designed to assist all farmers in implementing cost-effective pollution prevention practices on farms and in meeting federal and state environmental goals and requirements. Learn more about MAEAP and the programonline at www.maeap.org.