The Michigan Small Farm Council has been busy during the last week since the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development’s ruled that the Right to Farm Act protections will no longer apply to many homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock. Backyard and urban farming were previously protected by Michigan’s Right to Farm Act, though some members of the commission say it was never intended to do that. The commission’s ruling meant that Michigan homeowners would not be able to cite the Right to Farm Act in court or to their city council to protect their desires to raise small amounts of fresh food for their families and their communities. The decision was denounced aggressively by the commonwealth, and Inquisitr readers asked where they could find a petition to ask the commission to reverse their decision.
The Michigan Small Farm Council asks that all concerned citizens contact the Agriculture Commissioners directly to express their concerns about the GAAMPs changes. The commissioners, according to the MSFC, said that they would consider revisiting the changes in regulations. MSFC stated that emails, phone calls, and letters petitioning in support of small and backyard farms will go a long way. The council passed along their contact information, which you can find on the contact webpage. Michigan Small Farm Council also passed along information about an incredibly popular petition that is circulating on the internet. The Michigan Small Farm Council wrote on their Facebook wall:
“A lot of people have been asking for a petition to sign to let The State of Michigan know that you are not happy with the GAAMPs changes. This one was authored by someone outside of the Michigan Small Farm Council, but has gotten a lot of attention. As of this moment it has over 10,300 signatures, and it is growing fast. The attention this is getting is overwhelming but so deserved!”
The Michigan Small Farm Council also pointed out that Dru Montri, the newest commissioner, is the only one that voted against the new GAAMPs changes and supported Michigan’s small and urban farmers. While Gordon Wenk, chief deputy director of MDARD, maintains that the decision was a good one and believes people are misunderstanding the ruling, Wendy Banka, President of the Michigan Small Farm Council, disagrees. Banka told MLIVE, “People aren’t outraged because they will be required to follow good agricultural management practices for their small operations, they are outraged because” in many areas of the state these changes will make small and urban farming completely unacceptable under the new GAAMPs regulation.
The strongest petition circulating right now which was passed along by the Michigan Small Farm Council can be found on MoveOn Petitions.
[Photo via City Chickens Gone Country]