Darling Farms is verified through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), which is a voluntary, innovative and proactive program helping farms of all sizes prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. The program, offered through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, is one of the most proactive ways for the state’s farmers to make such efforts, MAEAP Manager Joe Kelpinski says.
Daring Darling Efforts
Darling Farms is verified in two of MAEAP’s verification systems, farmstead and cropping, which means the farm has implemented environmentally sound practices. The systems help the Darlings work to protect groundwater and surface water and prevent water resource contamination, among other efforts.
All Across Michigan
Kelpinski says more than 3,000 farms are verified through MAEAP as of November 2015. Additionally, at least 10,000 Michigan farms have started the verification process. Farmers understand the need to improve, protect and heal water resources like Lake Erie , which has suffered from algal infestation, and its surrounding watersheds. Local farmers and research communities are focused on being part of the solution and have already made significant strides through proven conservation practices. U.S. Geological Survey data released in September 2015 indicated algal bloom-fueling phosphorus dropped 49 percent in the River Raisin since 2008, which in turn reduces the amount flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin.