Michigan Conservation Districts are the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan. As local, special purpose units of government, each Conservation District is governed by a locally elected, five-member board of directors. The guiding philosophy of Michigan Conservation Districts is that local people should make decisions on conservation issues at the local level, with technical assistance provided by government. MWSP technical assistance and outreach is most often delivered by Michigan’s Conservation Districts.
The Environmental Stewardship Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides assistance to soil and water conservation districts, drain commissioners and land users in the conservation and development of our soil and water resources. Programs administered by the division encourage the installation and management of sustainable resource protection practices at the local level.
Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) staff provide specialized training to the MWSP water quality technicians who deliver the program to agricultural producers. The training curriculum which includes environmental stewardship and water quality protection practices is based on Michigan State University research, the technical standards of USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), state regulations by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment as well as federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service states science and technology are critical to good conservation. NRCS experts from many disciplines come together to help landowners conserve natural resources in efficient, smart and sustainable ways. Whether developed in a laboratory or on the land, NRCS science and technology helps landowners make the right decisions for every natural resource. NRCS succeeds through partnerships, working closely with individual farmers and ranchers, landowners, local conservation districts, government agencies, Tribes, Earth Team volunteers and many other people and groups that care about the quality of America’s natural resources. MWSP Water Quality Technicians attend many NRCS training programs.
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is yet another way the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan ‘s agriculture industry is proactively and comprehensively addressing environmental concerns. This program is the state’s latest tool to assist in the implementation of agricultural pollution prevention practices on farms.