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May 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm #49831
you may want to reconsider after reading this:
Michigan Bans Animals On Small Farms
Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events May 2, 2014 31 Comments
michigan small farm livestock ban
Image source: absorbine.com
Many Michigan residents will lose their right to keep livestock on their own property due to a new ruling from the state’s Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Commission ruled April 28 that local governments have the right to ban livestock from any area zoned residential in the state.
The action will “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals,” Gail Philbin of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live. The Right to Farm Act is a state law designed to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits and zoning regulations. The Commission ruled that the Right to Farm (RTF) Act does not apply to homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock.
“It’s all ‘Big Farm,” and it’s ‘Big Farm” deciding against the little farm,” Kim White, who raises chickens and rabbits, said of the Commission’s vote. “They don’t want us little guys feeding ourselves. They want us to go all to the big farms. They want to do away with small farms and I believe that is what’s motivating it.”
“The Commission is essentially taking sides in the marketplace,” Philbin said.
Bees, Chickens and Goats Now Illegal?
Governments could ban goats, chickens and even bee hives on properties where there are 13 homes within an eighth of a mile of a livestock property or another home within 250 feet of the property, under the Commission’s ruling, Michigan Public Radio reported.
Discover The Only Way Back To True Freedom And Liberty In America…
“I believe we have over 100 communities in Michigan who have ordinances on the books against chickens and bees and other things, and they will be able to continue to move forward with those,” Jamie Clover Adams, the director of Michigan’s Department and Rural Development, told Michigan Radio.
The rationale for the Commission’s action is that officials are afraid there would be political pressure to repeal the Right to Farm to Act in order to stop backyard farming, Michigan Radio reported.
Opponents of the rule change have not laid out a course of action yet, although some backyard farmers are considering a legal challenge. Other possible courses of action include legislation in the state legislature and a ballot initiative.
Some homesteaders in Michigan could find themselves in a complete regulatory limbo because of the Commission’s action. Blogger, writer and organic farmer Michelle Regalado Deatrick does not know if she’ll be able to keep her livestock, because about half of her 80-acre farm may not be zoned for farm animals.
Pig — god’s law“We’re building up a mixed production farm, planning to farm during retirement, and we have a permit in hand for a livestock facility,” Deatrick said, “but have waited with building until we were sure of what the GAAMP changes would be. Now we’re having to reconsider our business plans and may sell the farm and buy a farm in a more rural area with definite [Right To Farm] protection, or move to another state that’s more welcoming and protective of small farm rights.”
GAAMP refers to the Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices, a set of guidelines put out by the state of Michigan. The current GAAMP designates many small farms as Category 3 lands where livestock might not be allowed.
“Category 3 sites may be zoned for agriculture, but are generally not suitable for livestock production facilities,” the GAAMP states. “They may be suitable for livestock facilities with less than 50 animal units.”
Another problem is that local governments in Michigan are under no obligation to follow the GAAMP. It is simply a set of guidelines.
Michigan is one of several areas where property owners have had to fight for the right to raise food on their own land. Off the Grid News has reported that property owners in Florida and Quebec have been barred from planting vegetable gardens.May 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm #49842
Our government is getting far to big and powerful, this just isn’t right at all….May 8, 2014 at 12:33 am #49847
a couple updates:
You recently signed a petition, “Protect small farms in Michigan!.”
Thanks—your signature means a lot.
George John Thompson, the petition’s creator, addressed the petition to all of the Michigan Legislature. We’ve found that individual members of the Legislature are a lot more receptive to petitions that are started by their own constituents, so we think this campaign will have an even bigger impact if—in addition to the state petition—there is also a version of this petition to your own state legislators, Representative Joel Johnson and Senator John Moolenaar.
Will you start a version of this petition to Rep. Johnson and Sen. Moolenaar?
Click here to start your petition.
As a reminder, the petition you signed reads:
Reverse the recent decision to modify the Right to Farm Act in Michigan. Protect our individual rights to provide our own food and make small farmers a priority in Michigan!
Here’s what George John Thompson wrote about it:
Protecting small farms in Michigan should be a top priority. Many farmers’ markets are a consortium of small farms producing local produce. This is a vital part of local economies in many areas in Michigan and around the country. Michigan lawmakers should support the rights of individuals not just the interest of big business.
Click here to start a petition on the same issue to Rep. Johnson and Sen. Moolenaar.
–Milan, Joan, Matt P., Bobby, and the rest of the team.
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
First off thank you for your support on this huge issue! Our voice is growing… Fast. I would like to personally thank The Michigan Small Farm Council and The Institute for Responsible Technology for their support. We now have a small army and our voice is growing louder.
A recent article on Mlive stated that the Michigan Department of Agriculture is well aware of our growing petition. I would like to take a short moment and make a few points regarding this issue. The Chief Dept. Director of the MDARD stated that, “the Right to Farm Act has only ever applied to commercial agriculture, not an individual’s right to provide his or her own food.” Shouldn’t the same laws used to protect big ag provide protection to the individual and to the small farmer? Furthermore, the article went on to state that the new modifications wouldn’t hurt agriculturally zoned areas. Yet, whether or not small farmers could be protected from suburban sprawl would be left to a judges decision. With no legal protection under the law. Also not mentioned were individuals on private land and their right to keep chickens or bees. We need to make a firm stand on our rights, this is a democracy not an autocracy! The deputy director has made it clear that he wants agriculture to be a large part of a new Michigan economy. Sadly it appears he wants big ag to lead the way and leave small farms by the wayside. We need to make it clear that individuals in the state of Michigan decide whats right in our state, not an appointed official!
And again, please share this important issue! As of now we do not have many twitter followers of this petition. If you could please copy this link and share http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-small-farms-in?mailing_id=22203&source=s.icn.em.cr&r_by=10491515May 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #49880
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