For this farmer, MAEAP recognition proves he’s doing the right things to keep his farm running for another 100 years
Ron Stadler’s family has been farming since 1896. The family farm sits on 120 acres in Monroe County and has seen its fair share of cash crops and livestock come and go over the years. Nowadays, Ron’s focus is on growing corn, soybeans, and produce. He’s proud to carry on the family farming tradition and does what he can to care for his land, so it stays healthy and productive.
That’s why Ron decided to get involved with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). A voluntary program, MAEAP helps Michigan farmers adopt cost-effective practices that reduce erosion and runoff into ponds, streams, and rivers.
Ron first learned about MAEAP 15 years ago while attending a farming seminar. It took him a few years to warm up to the program. Eventually, his local MAEAP techs won him over and convinced him to give the program a chance.
“The local MAEAP tech, Taylor, is a terrific guy. I saw him at a couple of meetings and decided to have him come out to the farm and see what he had to say,” says Ron. “He took his time explaining things to me and wasn’t pushy, which I appreciated. Working with nice folks like him made the decision to participate even easier.”
Ron earned his first MAEAP recognition in March 2019 in the Cropping category. Once he got started, Ron was pleasantly surprised to see how easy the process was. There were only a couple of minor tweaks that he needed to address, like putting out a sign to show where his chemicals were kept. His MAEAP tech also took the time to talk with him about his farming practices.
“Everything we talked about, like wind erosion and water flow, were common sense things for farmers like me to know. They really help you learn a lot about your farm and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you are doing things the right way,” says Ron.
Although Ron was initially hesitant, he’s now eager to share his MAEAP experience with other farmers and encourage them to participate.
“The fear factor is a big concern. Maybe they don’t think it’s really worth their time,” says Ron. “I tell folks not to fear MAEAP. It’s not a policing organization. The local techs are a great resource and will go out of their way to work with you. It’s an easy process and doesn’t cost anything, just time.”
Ron proudly displays his MAEAP sign at the produce booth he runs in Detroit’s Eastern Market. It gives his customers confidence that he is using good farming practices and doing things the right way.
Looking back, Ron wishes he had jumped on the MAEAP bandwagon sooner.
“MAEAP encouraged me to stop and think about my farming practices,” says Ron. “It’s a good program to have. I’ve been happy with it. And they give you a nice sign too!”
To learn more about the MAEAP program, visit www.maeap.org, write firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 517-284-5609.
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