- Right to Farm Act: What It Is and Isn't
In recent years, when people mention the Right to Farm Act (RTFA), it often conjures up images of small landowners raising chickens in their backyards, despite the protests of their neighbors. The reality of the RTFA, however, is quite different. First enacted in 1981, the RTFA was designed to help existing commercial farmers protect their livelihoods against lawsuits that were beginning to pop up as a result of urban (and suburban) sprawl. In the 1970s, when the urban population began to expand outside of the cities, they often found themselves downwind from existing commercial farms. Before too long, odor complaints, noise complaints, and ecological concerns led to lawsuits, and many farmers were soon caught up in expensive and stressful litigation. Read more here.
For more information, contact:
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Right to Farm Program
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
PH: (517) 284-5619, (877) 632-1783
- Michigan's Right to Farm Act Frequently Asked Questions
- Right To Farm Act 93 of 1981
- FY2017 Right to Farm Complaint Response Annual Report
- What are GAAMPs? The Michigan Right to Farm Act, P.A. 93, was enacted in 1981 to provide farmers with nuisance protection. This state law authorizes the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop and adopt Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) for farms and farm operations in Michigan. These farm management practices are scientifically based and updated annually to utilize current technology promoting sound environmental stewardship on Michigan farms.
- FY2017 Right to Farm GAAMPs Review Annual Report
- Current MDARD Site Suitability Determinations
- 2019 Site Selection GAAMPs Draft
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 Request Application and Information Checklist - Updated September 2014
GAAMP Siting Checklist that was updated in November 2015.
- FY2017 Right to Farm Livestock Facility Siting Annual Report
- 2019 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.
- 2019 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
- 2019 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.
- 2019 Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control GAAMPs
American agriculture has been able to meet consumer demands for a reliable and abundant food supply through the use of improved technology. For over 50 years, this technology has included the use of pesticides and other pest management techniques. GAAMPs for Pesticide Utilization and Pest Control were first adopted in 1991. They address worker safety, application procedures, transportation, storage, disposal of unused pesticides and containers, and record keeping.
- 2019 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.
- 2019 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.