Michigan Right to Farm Act in Jeopardy!! You must act now!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Prettypuddles, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Prettypuddles

    Prettypuddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Warren, Michigan
    Hello Fellow Chicken Lovers from Michigan,

    If you are like me, you have some chickens because you love to raise them properly with care and love to feed them and their eggs to your family. Well, your rights to have even just one chicken are under attack! For years you have been protected from local ordinance violation by the Michigan Right to Farm Act. Proposed changes to this act next week are going to strip you of that right. It will only pertain to the 'mega' confinement factory farms. You must write to express your opinion by February 12. If you can manage, take a trip to Lansing this coming Wednesday and express your opinion in person!!! I am going, and everyone who physically can - should!
    These are your rights we are talking about! 'Big Agri Business' is afraid of the small farm and of people being able to sustain themselves - It hurts their bottom line. Next they will try and make laws against you growing your own vegetables - and that is not fantasy, it is already happening in other areas! Please do your research, and write letters, emails now, and/or show up to express your opinion, We need to stick together as citizens so we don't lose our fundamental right to feed ourselves, our family, friends and neighbors food we produce ourselves on our own land! It is immoral and should remain unlawful for them to deny you this.

    Here is a link to The Michigan Small Farm Council that has more details:

    http://www.michigansmallfarmcouncil.org/

    Here are the proposed changes in the 'wording' that would exclude anyone with less than 5000 chickens!

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/2014_DRAFT_SITE_SELECTION_GAAMP_443917_7.pdf


    Please write to the people listed on the last page of the pdf. Tell them to leave your rights alone and that urban, suburban, and small farms are what the people want, need and are entitled to under this act!

    Linda Kaluza
    Warren, Michigan
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Rusnakes

    Rusnakes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2013
    Hi Linda--can you summarize what exactly is the issue with the proposed changes? They are going to let local laws trump the Right to Farm Act? I went to the two sites you listed above, but I didn't find anything specific on the first site and the second link was difficult to pick out issues and effects.

    Many thanks for your time.
     
  4. pound4pound

    pound4pound Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2014
    watching, wild and free!
    even im far away, im against at it as well. they are trying to control what you do and they will do it slowly..to those on the watch i salute you!
     
  5. Prettypuddles

    Prettypuddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Warren, Michigan
    Hi Rusnakes,
    Here is an excerpt from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund site. It has dates of Jan 22, 2014 but apparently we get another chance to write, email and show up in Lansing on Feb 12. They say it much better than I can. They read through all the legaleeze and put it into laymen's terms.
    Here is a link to their page:
    http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/aa/aa-20january2014-MI.htm

    Michigan has the best Right to Farm Act (RTFA) in the country; under the RTFA, all Michigan citizens have the right to farm as long as they are a commercial operation (with no minimum sales requirement to be considered commercial under the law) and the farm is following applicable generally accepted agricultural and management practices (GAAMPs) issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

    The protection that Michigan's RTFA provides to suburban and urban farms on non-ag zoned land is now in jeopardy, however, due to proposed revisions to the GAAMPs from MDARD.

    MDARD has issued GAAMPs for "Site Selection" to help determine the suitability of sites for livestock production facilities. Until now this site selection criteria applied only to larger agricultural operations, not to farms in urban and suburban areas; under the proposed revision, the Site Selection GAAMP would apply to any farm with livestock.

    The proposal states that "sites that are exclusively zoned for residential use . . . are not acceptable locations for livestock facilities regardless of [the] number [of livestock]. Confining livestock in these locations does not conform to the siting GAAMP." In other words, those with livestock on land exclusively zoned for residential use will no longer be protected by RTFA.

    This move by MDARD is unjustifiable. In the words of attorney Michelle Halley, who successfully represented FTCLDF members Randy and Libby Buchler in a right-to-farm case one year ago,
    "The agency can't rewrite the law. They have only the authority to carry it out as the legislature intended. If they're going beyond that, they're violating the separation of powers. Period."


    Basically, for example, if you have only 2 chickens in your backyard and they are clean, quiet, happy and disease free. You are not protected because it will not be a suitable site for them.
    It may not seem like a big change (and it is a big change) to most, but if it goes through its just one more step in controlling our food. Already around the country, even more drastic steps have been taken making it illegal to grow your own vegetables and God forbid you give some to your neighbors and friends. That cuts into the Big Ag bottom line, and they don't like that very much. It has been called "Interfering with Commerce" and you can be ticketed! Anyway, sorry to ramble on.

    And yes, if this goes through, it will let local laws trump state laws (totally backwards way of doing things).

    Henry Kissinger said it best:
    “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”
     
  6. Prettypuddles

    Prettypuddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Warren, Michigan
    By the way, to be a 'commercial' operation, you must only 'intend' to sell some product. There is no minimum amount you must sell. Intend to sell a dozen eggs to your neighbor, mom or friend and your good. I read this in my research and I have not read anything else(yet) to dispute this.

    I will try to find the 'Michigan thread' and post this. Thanx for the advice.

    Linda
     
  7. Rusnakes

    Rusnakes Out Of The Brooder

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    So, if you did not sell your eggs, would you still be subject to the changes under this law? Just curious how far it will extend. I know a LOT of people who have backyard chickens here in SE Michigan (Ann Arbor area).

    Seems like the same crazy laws that now govern beekeeping (specifically sales of honey) are now seeping over to livestock. The changes for beekeeping basically shut down most small beekeepers for selling honey (like us).
     
  8. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I gave the link above to the Michigan thread. Sorry I did not make that clear. Here is the link again: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697050/michigan-thread-all-are-welcome/20980
     
  9. Prettypuddles

    Prettypuddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, it would still apply. Under the act now, you are allowed to have them. You just need to intend to sell (no time limit, dollar amount or other limits are set).
    Under the proposed changes, you will be required to remove your chickens if your local ordinance forbids it. Even if you just want them for yourself.
     
  10. Prettypuddles

    Prettypuddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Warren, Michigan
    Thank you, I appreciate it.

    Apparently, we all who wish, can speak for 3 minutes at this hearing. I am going to write something up and so is my husband so that we will be heard.
    Thank you all for your concerns.
     

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