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EMS in Agriculture

Examples of Agricultural EMS and other Environmental Quality Assurance Programs:

  • Through a cooperative agreement of state agencies and with assistance from the US EPA, North Carolina's Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance is developing an EMS program for Pork producers in that state.
  • Iowa Soybean Association is developing a program called Certified Environmental Management Systems for Agriculture (CEMSA), based on the ISO 14001 EMS and involving up to 150 farmers.
  • Utah State University Extension's Agriculture EMS program integrates voluntary Environmental Management Systems into Utah's Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) strategy. The project website offers fact sheets, a newsletter and other valuable information on agricultural EMS especially as it relates to AFOs.
  • The Virginia Poultry Environmental Management Systems website and the Wisconsin Dairy EMS website (WisEMS) were created as part of our "Partnerships in Livestock Environmental Management Systems."  The sites offer state- and industry-specific guidebooks, assessment tools, and template forms.
  • A Midwest insurance agent has developed his own program for using EMS to lower insurance costs for manure haulers and dairy farmers.  Read "EMS Lowers Insurance Rates for Manure Haulers in Wisconsin"in the Farm and Home Environmental Management Programs newsletter.
  • Murphy-Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods has developed a swine production EMS in cooperation with the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance.  ISO 14001 third-party certified EMSs have been established on all company-owned hog farms across North Carolina and Virginia. Each has received the ISO 14001 certification from the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization.   In addition, Smithfield Packing Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has announced that its Tar Heel, North Carolina meat processing plant was awarded ISO 14001 certification.
  • State water officials, environmental groups, US EPA and others are participating in Project XL with the United Egg Producers to develop a comprehensive program to help participating facilities achieve “superior environmental performance” by implementing an environmental management system (EMS) through a general permit issued by individual States or EPA.U.S. EPA.  Project XL, which stands for "eXcellence and Leadership," is a national pilot program that allows state and local governments, businesses and federal facilities to develop with EPA innovative strategies to test better or more cost-effective ways of achieving environmental and public health protection.

Environmental Quality and Assessment Programs

  • The mission of the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance program (MAEAP) is to develop and promote a recognized, voluntary, proactive environmental assurance program targeted to the agricultural industry. The program aims to ensure that producers are engaging in cost-effective pollution prevention practices and are in compliance with environmental regulations.
  • The Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program is New York's response to federal clean water legislation and public concerns about the environmental impacts of farming practices. AEM is a multi-agency program that provides farmers with technical, educational, and financial assistance to address environmental concerns on their farms.
  • The American Soybean Association's Farm Management Assessment Program features a BMP Reference Book and Workbook on CD-ROM to assist soy growers in assessing farmstead conditions, developing an action plan, and documenting good stewardship of land and resources.
  • Lodi wine grape growers have developed a comprehensive, online "Lodi Wine Growers Workbook, A Self-Assessment of Integrated Farming Practices" dealing with issues such as viticulture, soil management, water management, pest management, habitat, human resources and wine quality.
  • The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQA) was established as a voluntary means to promote quality dairy products through improved on-farm practices, concentrating on the three distinct areas of public health, animal health and environmental stewardship.  The certification program is a partnership among California's dairy industry, federal, state and regional regulatory agencies and the UC Cooperative Extension.
  • The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship curriculum, is a producer-targeted educational product and supporting workshops, developed by a team of 30 Land Grant University, NRCS and ARS cooperators.

Benefits of an EMS:

  • Improves environmental performance
  • Facilitates regulatory compliance
  • Protects property value
  • Documents your stewardship efforts
  • Improves neighbor and community relations
  • Reduces livestock health risks
  • Enhances management
  • Protects health and well being of family and employees
  • Capitalizes on public & private environmental programs