Recent changes to the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s (MDARD) Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices for Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Facilities (Site Selection GAAMPs) have impacted the opportunity for individuals and families living in populated areas to seek Right-to-Farm protection under the Site Selection GAMMPs. These changes, approved by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development in April 2014, define a “populated area” as having more than 13 non-farm residents within one eighth mile of the site or having a non-farm resident with 250 feet of the livestock facility. Next the changes define Category 4 locations as being populated areas that do not allow agriculture uses by right. Category 4 areas are unacceptable for livestock production within the Site Selection GAAMPs. Provisions within the GAAMPs do provide governmental units with Category 4 areas the opportunity to establish their own guidelines for livestock production within those locations. These changes left little time for some county and township governmental bodies to prepare. Most do not have the experience, historic precedent, or complete knowledge to quickly establish guidelines for Category 4 areas.
Community Considerations for Raising Livestock in Populated Areas is a workshop being jointly sponsored by Michigan State University Extension and MDARD. The day long forum is intended to facilitate discussion on establishing guidelines for raising livestock in populated areas. The goal of this conference is to discuss the considerations, concerns, and the process for developing policy at the local level. The workshop will be held on April 10, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI.
Steve Cohen, Manager of Food Policy and Programs for the City of Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will provide the keynote address. In 2004 Portland became the first U.S. city to establish a Food Policy and Program Manager position. Mr. Cohen was selected to create this innovative program. Cohen’s work focuses on all aspects of a sustainable food system including planning, food security, education, economic development, urban agriculture, purchasing, waste reduction, and climate change. Mr. Cohen will be discussing the challenges and opportunities provided by Portland’s Food Policy Program.
Registration information for Community Considerations for Raising Livestock in Populated Areas may be found online. The registration fee is $35.00 and lunch will be provided.