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Livestock*A*Syst program helps farmers keep their noses and their land clean

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Green farming is gaining popularity, both in practice and in regulation. Livestock producers who want to follow environmentally safe practices and also keep within regulations can do so with the aid of the Livestock*A*Syst program.

The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) provides a service called Livestock*A*Syst progressive planning to assist producers in using a risk-management-based assessment to work their way to MAEAP verification.

Producers may request to work with a non-regulatory MAEAP partner to identify any practices that pose environmental risks and come up with solutions to reduce those risks. Together, these make up a confidential Livestock Improvement Action Plan, which the producer will follow to reduce those risks. The partner’s assessment will keep in mind the level a farm must reach to be in compliance with regulations as well as the farm’s own environmental goals.

Once the plan is completed, a producer will be well positioned to move toward MAEAP livestock system verification. Its many incentives include having a clear understanding that everything is being done on the farm to protect the environment.

"With the assessment, you know what you’re doing right and what areas, if any, need additional attention," said Natalie Rector, MSU Extension nutrient management educator. Producers who progress all the way to MAEAP verification will know that they are in conformance with the Right-to-Farm manure generally accepted agricultural management practices and other laws that regulate agriculture.

MSU Extension developed the Livestock*A*Syst program workbook and hosts many events and educational meetings related to farm compliance.

Click here to download the bulletin.