Justin Brown, our MAEAP Technician, was presented with the MAEAP Verification Award. This award honors the top Technician out of thirty-seven across the state that achieves the most MAEAP verifications and re-verifications of farms and forests in their coverage area. Justin was at the very top, having helped 18 new farm and forest systems through the process to become verified, and 24 re-verified as a
5-year check up. Way to go Justin!
The Michigan Ag Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is a voluntary, confidential way for farms or forest landowners review their operations with Justin and make sure everything is up to snuff, meets state guidelines and is doing the best things to protect the environment. If something isn't meeting a benchmark, Justin provides ideas and helps that farm or forest owner to make improvements where they can. Then that farm or forest owner can choose to complete the process by becoming "environmentally verified" with the state, and show off all of their hard work and stellar environmental stewardship.
This is also a celebration for the farm and forest owners in Mason, Lake and Manistee County. Verifications wouldn't be possible if not for the interested and dedicated landowners that make sure they are managing their land in the best possible way. Thank you to those who went through the process and helped to make our area of the state top in environmental stewardship this year!!
Dani McGarry, our Executive Director, was honored with the Conservation Pioneer Award. This award highlights those that show exemplary merit, innovative thinking and leadership within their service area and community. The award presentation highlighted that Dani finds creative solutions, both internally for her staff, as well as externally when working with partner organizations. This innovative thinking has helped to leverage new partnerships, or expand existing ones, to ensure that community conservation projects move forward. Congratulations, Dani!