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Michigan Right to Farm Law, what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by festivefeet, May 15, 2009.

  1. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    We have chickens against our township ordinance. We live on about an acre and have neighbors on each side of us. One neighbor two houses down, back in the woods, has a rooster, goat and goose (I know, because I can hear them). The man across the street has two ponies and next to him is a farm field. No farm animals are permitted at any of these residences, but they still exist. We also probably have a rooster, which we would really like to keep.

    I ran across a hatchery in Brighton MI that mentioned the Michigan Right to farm act. Does anyone what this act actually means?:

    * Learn the things city hall don't want you to know....

    * Did you know?? There is no law that states the size of a farm. The supreme court of Michigan says that a farm is any place that commercially produces a product useful to

    * humans... This means if you have a chicken and you sell or try to sell the eggs that that chicken lay's, you are a Farm...

    * Everyone, Everywhere in Michigan has a right to Farm. This is your state Law but city hall won't tell you about it. I had this Battle and have learned so much about our right to grow, raise and share Any and All thing Beneficial to humans..

    * Please take the time to look up MICHIGANS<RIGHT TO FARM LAW, Know your rights when that zoning guy shows up and tell you , YOU CAN"T DO THAT >>>

    * Michigan has the strongest right to farm laws in the U.S.


    MICHIGAN RIGHT TO FARM ACT

    Act 93 of 1981
    AN ACT to define certain farm uses, operations, practices, and products; to provide certain disclosures; to
    provide for circumstances under which a farm shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance; to provide
    for certain powers and duties for certain state agencies and departments; and to provide for certain remedies
    for certain persons.
    History: 1981, Act 93, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1981;¾Am. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30, 1995.
    The People of the State of Michigan enact:
    286.471 Short title.
    Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Michigan right to farm act”.
    History: 1981, Act 93, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1981.
    286.472 Definitions.
    Sec. 2. As used in this act:
    (a) “Farm” means the land, plants, animals, buildings, structures, including ponds used for agricultural or
    aquacultural activities, machinery, equipment, and other appurtenances used in the commercial production of
    farm products.
    (b) “Farm operation” means the operation and management of a farm or a condition or activity that occurs
    at any time as necessary on a farm in connection with the commercial production, harvesting, and storage of
    farm products, and includes, but is not limited to:
    (i) Marketing produce at roadside stands or farm markets.
    (ii) The generation of noise, odors, dust, fumes, and other associated conditions.
    (iii) The operation of machinery and equipment necessary for a farm including, but not limited to,
    irrigation and drainage systems and pumps and on-farm grain dryers, and the movement of vehicles,
    machinery, equipment, and farm products and associated inputs necessary for farm operations on the roadway
    as authorized by the Michigan vehicle code, Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1949, being sections 257.1 to
    257.923 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
    (iv) Field preparation and ground and aerial seeding and spraying.
    (v) The application of chemical fertilizers or organic materials, conditioners, liming materials, or
    pesticides.
    (vi) Use of alternative pest management techniques.
    (vii) The fencing, feeding, watering, sheltering, transportation, treatment, use, handling and care of farm
    animals.
    (viii) The management, storage, transport, utilization, and application of farm by-products, including
    manure or agricultural wastes.
    (ix) The conversion from a farm operation activity to other farm operation activities.
    (x) The employment and use of labor.
    (c) “Farm product” means those plants and animals useful to human beings produced by agriculture and
    includes, but is not limited to, forages and sod crops, grains and feed crops, field crops, dairy and dairy
    products, poultry and poultry products, cervidae, livestock, including breeding and grazing, equine, fish, and
    other aquacultural products, bees and bee products, berries, herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds, grasses,
    nursery stock, trees and tree products, mushrooms, and other similar products, or any other product which
    incorporates the use of food, feed, fiber, or fur, as determined by the Michigan commission of agriculture.
    (d) “Generally accepted agricultural and management practices” means those practices as defined by the
    Michigan commission of agriculture. The commission shall give due consideration to available Michigan
    department of agriculture information and written recommendations from the Michigan state university
    college of agriculture and natural resources extension and the agricultural experiment station in cooperation
    with the United States department of agriculture natural resources conservation service and the consolidated
    farm service agency, the Michigan department of natural resources, and other professional and industry
    organizations.
    (e) “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity.
    History: 1981, Act 93, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1981;¾Am. 1987, Act 240, Imd. Eff. Dec. 28, 1987;¾Am. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30,
    1995.
    286.473 Farm or farm operation as public or private nuisance; review and revision of
    Rendered Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Page 1 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 502, 525, 538,
    544, 546, and 584 of 2008
    Ó Legislative Council, State of Michigan Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov
    practices; finding; conditions.
    Sec. 3. (1) A farm or farm operation shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance if the farm or
    farm operation alleged to be a nuisance conforms to generally accepted agricultural and management
    practices according to policy determined by the Michigan commission of agriculture. Generally accepted
    agricultural and management practices shall be reviewed annually by the Michigan commission of agriculture
    and revised as considered necessary.
    (2) A farm or farm operation shall not be found to be a public or private nuisance if the farm or farm
    operation existed before a change in the land use or occupancy of land within 1 mile of the boundaries of the
    farm land, and if before that change in land use or occupancy of land, the farm or farm operation would not
    have been a nuisance.
    (3) A farm or farm operation that is in conformance with subsection (1) shall not be found to be a public or
    private nuisance as a result of any of the following:
    (a) A change in ownership or size.
    (b) Temporary cessation or interruption of farming.
    (c) Enrollment in governmental programs.
    (d) Adoption of new technology.
    (e) A change in type of farm product being produced.
    History: 1981, Act 93, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1981;¾Am. 1987, Act 240, Imd. Eff. Dec. 28, 1987;¾Am. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30,
    1995.
    286.473a Repealed. 1999, Act 261, Eff. Mar. 10, 2000.
    Compiler's note: The repealed section pertained to complaints generally.
    286.473b Recovery of costs and expenses.
    Sec. 3b. In any nuisance action brought in which a farm or farm operation is alleged to be a nuisance, if the
    defendant farm or farm operation prevails, the farm or farm operation may recover from the plaintiff the
    actual amount of costs and expenses determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the farm or
    farm operation in connection with the defense of the action, together with reasonable and actual attorney fees.
    History: Add. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30, 1995.
    286.473c Property subject to disclosure; contents of statement.
    Sec. 3c. (1) Certain real property is subject to those disclosures described in section 7 of the seller
    disclosure act, Act No. 92 of the Public Acts of 1993, being section 565.957 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
    A seller of real property located within 1 mile of the property boundary of a farm or farm operation may
    voluntarily make available to the buyer the following statement: “This notice is to inform prospective
    residents that the real property they are about to acquire lies within 1 mile of the property boundary of a farm
    or farm operation. Generally accepted agricultural and management practices may be utilized by the farm or
    farm operation and may generate usual and ordinary noise, dust, odors, and other associated conditions, and
    these practices are protected by the Michigan right to farm act.”.
    (2) Certain subdivided land is subject to those disclosures described in section 8 of the land sales act, Act
    No. 286 of the Public Acts of 1972, being section 565.808 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
    History: Add. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30, 1995.
    286.474 Investigation of complaints involving farm or farm operation; memorandum of
    understanding; generally accepted agricultural and management practices; unverified
    complaints; applicability of other statutes; preemption of local ordinance, regulation, or
    resolution; ordinance proposed by local unit of government; generally accepted
    agricultural and management practices for site selection and odor controls at new or
    expanding animal livestock facilities; advisory committee; manure management plan;
    duties of department; definitions.
    Sec. 4. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the director shall investigate all complaints involving a farm or farm
    operation, including, but not limited to, complaints involving the use of manure and other nutrients,
    agricultural waste products, dust, noise, odor, fumes, air pollution, surface water or groundwater pollution,
    food and agricultural processing by-products, care of farm animals and pest infestations. Within 7 business
    days of receipt of the complaint, the director shall conduct an on-site inspection of the farm or farm operation.
    The director shall notify, in writing, the city, village, or township and the county in which the farm or farm
    operation is located of the complaint.
    (2) The commission and the director shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the director of
    Rendered Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Page 2 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 502, 525, 538,
    544, 546, and 584 of 2008
    Ó Legislative Council, State of Michigan Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov
    the department of environmental quality. The investigation and resolution of environmental complaints
    concerning farms or farm operations shall be conducted in accordance with the memorandum of
    understanding. However, the director shall notify the department of environmental quality of any potential
    violation of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.101 to
    324.90106, or a rule promulgated under that act. Activities at a farm or farm operation are subject to
    applicable provisions of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.101
    to 324.90106, and the rules promulgated under that act. The commission and the director shall develop
    procedures for the investigation and resolution for other farm-related complaints.
    (3) If the director finds upon investigation under subsection (1) that the person responsible for a farm or
    farm operation is using generally accepted agricultural and management practices, the director shall notify, in
    writing, that person, the complainant, and the city, village, or township and the county in which the farm or
    farm operation is located of this finding. If the director identifies that the source or potential sources of the
    problem were caused by the use of other than generally accepted agricultural and management practices, the
    director shall advise the person responsible for the farm or farm operation that necessary changes should be
    made to resolve or abate the problem and to conform with generally accepted agricultural and management
    practices and that if those changes cannot be implemented within 30 days, the person responsible for the farm
    or farm operation shall submit to the director an implementation plan including a schedule for completion of
    the necessary changes. When the director conducts a follow-up on-site inspection to verify whether those
    changes have been implemented, the director shall notify, in writing, the city, village, or township and the
    county in which the farm or farm operation is located of the time and date of the follow-up on-site inspection
    and shall allow a representative of the city, village, or township and the county to be present during the
    follow-up on-site inspection. If the changes have been implemented, the director shall notify, in writing, the
    person responsible for the farm or farm operation, the complainant, and the city, village, or township and the
    county in which the farm or farm operation is located of this determination. If the changes have not been
    implemented, the director shall notify, in writing, the complainant and the city, village, or township and the
    county in which the farm or farm operation is located that the changes have not been implemented and
    whether a plan for implementation has been submitted. Upon request, the director shall provide a copy of the
    implementation plan to the city, village, or township and the county in which the farm or farm operation is
    located.
    (4) A complainant who brings more than 3 unverified complaints against the same farm or farm operation
    within 3 years may be ordered, by the director, to pay to the department the full costs of investigation of any
    fourth or subsequent unverified complaint against the same farm or farm operation. As used in this
    subsection, “unverified complaint” means a complaint in response to which the director determines that the
    farm or farm operation is using generally accepted agricultural and management practices.
    (5) Except as provided in subsection (6), this act does not affect the application of state statutes and federal
    statutes.
    (6) Beginning June 1, 2000, except as otherwise provided in this section, it is the express legislative intent
    that this act preempt any local ordinance, regulation, or resolution that purports to extend or revise in any
    manner the provisions of this act or generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed
    under this act. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a local unit of government shall not enact,
    maintain, or enforce an ordinance, regulation, or resolution that conflicts in any manner with this act or
    generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed under this act.
    (7) A local unit of government may submit to the director a proposed ordinance prescribing standards
    different from those contained in generally accepted agricultural and management practices if adverse effects
    on the environment or public health will exist within the local unit of government. A proposed ordinance
    under this subsection shall not conflict with existing state laws or federal laws. At least 45 days prior to
    enactment of the proposed ordinance, the local unit of government shall submit a copy of the proposed
    ordinance to the director. Upon receipt of the proposed ordinance, the director shall hold a public meeting in
    that local unit of government to review the proposed ordinance. In conducting its review, the director shall
    consult with the departments of environmental quality and community health and shall consider any
    recommendations of the county health department of the county where the adverse effects on the environment
    or public health will allegedly exist. Within 30 days after the public meeting, the director shall make a
    recommendation to the commission on whether the ordinance should be approved. An ordinance enacted
    under this subsection shall not be enforced by a local unit of government until approved by the commission of
    agriculture.
    (8) By May 1, 2000, the commission shall issue proposed generally accepted agricultural and management
    practices for site selection and odor controls at new and expanding animal livestock facilities. The
    commission shall adopt such generally accepted agricultural and management practices by June 1, 2000. In
    Rendered Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Page 3 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 502, 525, 538,
    544, 546, and 584 of 2008
    Ó Legislative Council, State of Michigan Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov
    developing these generally accepted agricultural and management practices, the commission shall do both of
    the following:
    (a) Establish an advisory committee to provide recommendations to the commission. The advisory
    committee shall include the entities listed in section 2(d), 2 individuals representing townships, 1 individual
    representing counties, and 2 individuals representing agricultural industry organizations.
    (b) For the generally accepted agricultural and management practices for site selection, consider
    groundwater protection, soil permeability, and other factors determined necessary or appropriate by the
    commission.
    (9) If generally accepted agricultural and management practices require the person responsible for the
    operation of a farm or farm operation to prepare a manure management plan, the person responsible for the
    operation of the farm or farm operation shall provide a copy of that manure management plan to the city,
    village, or township or the county in which the farm or farm operation is located, upon request. A manure
    management plan provided under this subsection is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information
    act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.
    (10) The department shall do all of the following:
    (a) Annually submit to the standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction
    over issues pertaining to agriculture and local government a report on the implementation of this act.
    (b) Make available on the department's website current generally accepted agricultural and management
    practices.
    (c) Establish a toll-free telephone number for receipt of information on noncompliance with generally
    accepted agricultural and management practices.
    (11) As used in this section:
    (a) “Adverse effects on the environment or public health” means any unreasonable risk to human beings or
    the environment, based on scientific evidence and taking into account the economic, social, and
    environmental costs and benefits and specific populations whose health may be adversely affected.
    (b) “Commission” means the commission of agriculture.
    (c) “Department” means the department of agriculture.
    (d) “Director” means the director of the department or his or her designee.
    History: 1981, Act 93, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1981;¾Am. 1995, Act 94, Eff. Sept. 30, 1995;¾Am. 1999, Act 261, Eff. Mar. 10, 2000.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. HenMamma

    HenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2008
    Emmet TWP, MI
    What exactly is it you want to know?
     
  3. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    The hatchery you speak of is where I got my chickens. They are very nice folks, and my suggestion is to call them. They will gladly answer any questions you have.
    Basically, you are within your rights to have chickens. There have been some supreme court cases here in MI that have basically said no town or city ordinance can override the right to farm act. Sometimes you have to educate a City or Town on the right to farm act because they may not be aware of it. If you have any other questions you can PM me, and I'll do my best to help you out [​IMG]
     
  4. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2009
    Clio Michigan
    Great post!
     
  5. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    She PMed me. I explained as best I could, and hopefully it helped her out some [​IMG]

    Bluemoon
     
  6. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    It helped a lot. Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  7. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    I tried reading through that whole Right to Farm thing. It was a little confusing to my mini brain... Can you explain it in layman's terms? Is there any stipulation on size of property or what constitutes a "farm". Do we have to register anything, or post anything or fulfill any requirements? I live on an acre and a half, by a lake. Subdivision has grown up around me. There is an association, but I have read the bylaws and there is nothing in it about poultry raising. We are not zoned agricultural, though we are on the edge of farmland and the nearest city is 25 minutes away.
     
  8. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    No in MI it does not matter if you have 1/10th a acre or 100 acres. They wrote the law this way on purpose. The RTFA covers you as long as you practice GAAMP ( Generally Accepted Agricultural Practices )

    Some Town and City ordinances go against the Right To Farm Act, and due to some supreme court cases ( I believe the most recent one was in 2007 or 2008 ) The supreme court basically said... Town and City Ordinances can not trump State Law. You can go to the MI.gov website and find a copy of both our State Law and a section that explains what GAAMP is.

    If you live in a city or town that does not know about RTFA and GAAMP you can print copies from MI.gov website and supply them a copy for their reading pleasure. Most of the time they will back off after that.

    Bluemoon

    * edited for typos*
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  9. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    but you must sell your products in order to let this fly!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    Quote:Yes [​IMG] Thanks Boyd [​IMG] Put a sign out on your lawn that says $2/doz ( or $20/doz ) it doesn't matter. You also don't need to show proof you sell them. Just a sign will work. There is no dollar amount associated with RTFA in MI.


    Bluemoon
     
    1 person likes this.

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