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Is restructuring MAEAP delivery worth the benefits?

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The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts says a plan to move technicians for the state’s voluntary environmental assurance program out of conservation districts removes a local presence for farmers.

President Jerry Miller tells Brownfield the program has been successful because of its confidential, third-party outreach outside of state government.

“Not only would the districts lose a valued person that works hand in hand with the district, but they would be state employees who would not be directly co-located or directly involved with the district.”

The latest budget proposal from Governor Whitmer includes downsizing from the nearly 40 current Michigan Agriculture Environmental Program (MAEAP) technicians to 24 who would become state employees.

Is restructuring MAEAP delivery worth the benefits?