MSU Farms Go Green!
The Eaton Conservation District is pleased to announce that the first three research farms on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) have achieved verification under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MSU Cow Calf Teaching & Research Center, MSU Swine Teaching& Research Center and the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center received recognition June 30 from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for becoming verified under the MAEAP Farmstead and Livestock Systems.
Joe Kelpinski, MAEAP verifier with MDARD applauded MSU’s verifications. “It was a pleasure to work with MSU through the verification process. As one of the premier land grant research colleges in the United States, MSU is known for their teaching and research. By obtaining their MAEAP verifications, the MSU facilities that were verified have shown not only their commitment to continued research on improving animal production, but that they are focusing on doing so in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Their continued efforts in this area have enabled them to meet the rigorous MAEAP standards and show that production and environmental commitment can coexist to the benefit of both in livestock production systems. These facilities are to be commended for their efforts.”
All three MSU centers are utilized by faculty, staff, and students to develop successful graduates, conduct innovative research, and engage stakeholders. The facilities are used to advance agriculture using multidisciplinary approaches to teach, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge in livestock biology and management
while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students.
The Cow Calf Center, established at its current location in 1954, is a 340-acre, pasture-based operation that focuses on the breeding and management of beef cattle. The Swine Center, established in 1997, has a closed breeding program which produces animals that are used for research in nutrition, behavior, genetics, environmental management, meat science and muscle biology, and production management. Animals are also used for class projects and experiences for all MSU students, as well as many 4-H, FFA, and other youth and adult activities. The Beef Cattle Center, established in 1964, conducts basic and applied beef cattle (ruminant) research and teaching that benefits beef cattle producers and ultimately the consumers of Michigan.
“Becoming MAEAP verified was a logical step for our South Campus farms. Although we are mandated to implement best management practices, with so many of our stakeholders investing time and resources to achieve MAEAP verification we felt it was important for us to do the same. We are proud to plant the MAEAP verified sign in front of our facilities and look forward to having all our farms verified.” said Dr. Janice Swanson, Chair of the MSU Department of Animal Science. Other farms and facilities on campus are in the process of achieving MAEAP verification. This process can take anywhere from a few months to several years depending on the size of the farm and their ability to dedicate time to working on the MAEAP process in addition to normal farm responsibilities.
MAEAP focuses on helping farmers adopt management practices that proactively prevent pollution on the farm. Producers are encouraged to use soils tests to assess fertilizer demands of crops and minimize nitrogen and phosphorus loading of Michigan’s groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. The program also focuses on responsible soil erosion, manure management, odor management, well water testing, pesticide use and storage, irrigation management, water conservation, fuel storage, and a number of other issues that pertain directly to the farmstead. MAEAP is a voluntary program that allows farmers to access free, confidential, technical assistance to protect natural resources on the farm. It offers a nonregulatory route for farms to be assured they are in compliance with Right to Farm and applicable laws.
For more information on MAEAP or other conservation programs please contact your local technician, Jennifer Silveri, at the Eaton Conservation District, (517) 543-5848 ext 112 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the farms on MSU’s Campus visit http://www.ans.msu.edu/facilities.
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