GWINN - Shady Grove Farm U.P., LLC has been recognized as the first farm in Marquette County to be environmentally verified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.
"We chose to become verified not only to confirm for ourselves that our farming practices were what we believed them to be, (environmentally friendly) but also so the general public had verification, instead of just our word," farm owner Randy Buchler said in a press release. "We want everyone to understand what we do and how we do it. We want to be transparent and give people the information they need to be fully informed about our practices. We want people to feel good about choosing products from Shady Grove Farm U.P."
Buchler lives on the farm with his wife, Libby, and children Hala and Teyan.
From left, Teyan, Randy and Hala Buchler feed sheep on their farm in Gwinn. The farm was recently environmentally verified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
MAEAP is a multi-year program that encompasses three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system - livestock, farmstead and cropping - examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all three systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks.
Shady Grove Farm U.P. has been verified in all three systems.
MAEAP is a voluntary, non-regulatory program that helps farmers prevent or minimize pollution in cost-effective and sustainable ways.
Shady Grove Farm U.P. sits on a six-acre parcel, but only uses about one acre for livestock that includes about 150 laying hens providing Certified Naturally Grown eggs and seven wool-providing sheep, along with a diverse selection of Certified Naturally Grown vegetables, herbs and berries.
To learn more about the products sold by Shady Grove Farm U.P. - which includes eggs and wool products - check out www.shadygrovefarmup.com or look up the farm's Facebook page.
For more information on Certified Naturally Grown standards, visit www.naturallygrown.org.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.