Farmers, along with other rural and urban residents, are concerned about nonpoint source pollution of Michigan's surface and groundwater. Protecting surface and groundwater from contamination is a priority and we recognize agriculture shares the responsibility with many others.
Nonpoint source pollution prevention programs implemented by state and federal agencies should reflect a coordinated, integrated and consistent management approach. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) should coordinate all agricultural nonpoint source pollution programs.
Michigan's conservation districts are an important component of MDARD’s nonpoint source pollution programs. These voluntary programs are best administered by locally elected conservation district boards who understand their community's needs and problems.
Agriculture should lead watershed management, or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will make efforts to place permits on the industry. We encourage full representation of agricultural interests in watershed initiative projects funded through the Clean Water Act. Any management practices prescribed by the project should be voluntary rather than mandatory. Municipalities share the same responsibilities to our environment and should be held to the same standards and penalties as private individuals.