Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

ACES Program Promotes Best Management Practices

Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES) Program now available to farmers and ranchers

To enroll in the program contact Jay Olsen at (801) 718-0517
Access the program web page here

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has developed a certification program that rewards and recognizes farmers and ranchers who use best management practices to protect the environment.

The Agricultural Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES) program is a voluntary, incentive based program that assists agriculture producers in their effort to protect the environment (natural resources) and remain sustainable. It also gives farmers and ranchers better access to a growing market, driven by consumers, for environmentally friendly agricultural products. The ACES program has been developed under the direction of the Utah Conservation Commission (UCC), with advice from the Utah Water Quality Board. It provides access to information about environmental regulations, and best management practices to implement those regulations. The ACES program is divided into four sectors of farm and ranch operations: Farmstead, Animal Feeding Operation, Cropping, and Grazing.

The goal of ACES is to benefit farmers and ranchers by:
• Complying with environmental regulations
• Mitigating fines if a discharge happens following a large weather event
• Providing certification for 5 years with renewal available for another five years if proper management practices are still being followed
• Allowing records to be retained on site /or by producer
• Providing information to maximize productivity and minimize expenses
• Coordinating access to planning experts and financial resources
• Creating value added marketing and promotion opportunities

The program benefits consumers by providing:
• Recognition for enhancing our local food supply
• Improved wildlife habitat
• More sustainable open space
• Improved water quality

Workbooks have been developed to assist agricultural producers work through the process of certification. They can be found on the UDAF website: http://ag.utah.gov/aces/index.html  Workbooks contain questions regarding current regulations, required management standards, and best management practices. After the producer has completed the requirements of certification with the help of a certified planner they contact UDAF who will verify the certification. They can find the closet certified planner by contacting their local conservation district. 

To enroll in the program contact Jay Olsen at (801) 718-0517

 

 

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Posted: November 12, 2014