The Right to Farm (RTF) program within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) responds to nuisance complaints involving farms and will assess a farm operation at a farmer's request. Program staff evaluate farm activities to decide whether a farm is following the Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs). Staff are also available to answer any questions or participate in outreach activities to help farmers, neighbors, and local government officials understand the RTF Act.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Right to Farm Program
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-284-5619, 877-632-1783
- What are GAAMPs?
GAAMPs are guidelines for farm management that help promote a positive image of Michigan agriculture. They were developed and adopted by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development because of the Michigan Right to Farm Act, P.A. 93, enacted in 1981. Farms who follow GAAMPs are afforded a certain level of protection if a nuisance complaint is filed against them.
- Emergency Management of Raw Milk Guidance
- 2020 Right to Farm GAAMPs Review Annual Report
Manure Management / Utilization GAAMPs
Site Selection GAAMPs
- 2022 Site Selection GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- Current MDARD Site Suitability Determinations
- 2021 Site Selection GAAMPs
To establish a new livestock farm operation or expand an existing facility is a complex process. Water quality protection, odor control, existing land use and ownership constraints, and future land use or development patterns, are all considered in this process. Also included are facilitating feasibility and cost efficiency for the operator, maintaining esthetic character minimizing conflicts with adjacent land users, and complying with all applicable state and federal laws and local regulations. Through careful planning livestock farmers can increase productivity while developing or continuing good relationships with their surrounding community.
- Livestock Production Facility Siting Application
Please submit completed livestock siting applications or questions to MDARDemail@example.com.
Care of Farm Animals GAAMPs
- 2022 Care of Farm Animals GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- 2021 Care of Farm Animals GAAMPs
GAAMPs for the Care of Farm Animals were first adopted in 1995 and include 19 species of animals raised on Michigan farms. Animal care includes nutrition, manure management and sanitation, animal handling and restraint, transportation, facilities and equipment, health care and medical procedures, and recommendations for the environment. Domestication of livestock has made farm animals dependent on humans. Humans have responded to this dependence with a commitment to practice humane conduct toward domestic animals and to prevent avoidable suffering at all stages of their lives.
Nutrient Utilization GAAMPs
- 2022 Nutrient Utilization GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- 2021 Nutrient Utilization GAAMPs
GAAMPs for Nutrient Utilization include guidance on environmentally sound land application of commercial fertilizers, manure, and other organic materials; such as food processing by-products, municipal wastes, and aquatic plant materials for crop production. Nutrient management practices include regular soil testing, manure nutrient analysis, and realistic crop yield goals. Areas covered by these practices include: On farm fertilizer storage/containment, Land application of fertilizer, Soil conservation and erosion control, Irrigation management, and Container grown (greenhouse) plants.
- On-farm Composting Registration Form
Irrigation Water Use GAAMPs
- 2022 Irrigation Water Use GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- 2021 Irrigation Water Use GAAMPs
GAAMPs for Irrigation Water Use are based on the core principle of stewardship. Stewardship in irrigation management includes conservation of water quantity, protection of water quality, and productivity of soil, plant quality, and crop yield. The GAAMPs do not establish legal criteria to resolve water use conflicts nor do they confer priority rights to water use.
Pesticide Utilization/Pest Control GAAMPs
Cranberry Production GAAMPs
- 2022 Cranberry Production GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- 2021 Cranberry Production GAAMPs
Michigan has a favorable climate, proper soils, and the fruit processing capability to support a significant cranberry industry. Producers need to follow sound pesticide utilization/pest control, nutrient utilization, and other technical management practices in order to minimize the environmental risks associated with cranberry production. The cranberry plant is a wetland crop species. Therefore, construction of cranberry beds typically involves activities in wetlands. Because of this unique situation, both technical and regulatory practices were adopted for cranberry production in this set of GAAMPs.
Farm Markets GAAMPs
- 2022 Farm Markets GAAMPs (DRAFT)
- 2021 Farm Markets GAAMPs
Michigan has a diverse variety of farm fresh products. Many of these products can and are being directly marketed to the public locally. The Farm Market GAAMPs, first adopted in 2010, help define and provide guidance as to what constitutes an on-farm market and farm market activities.