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Right to Farm

Right to Farm
Michigan Agriculture Logo

Right to Farm

Right to Farm Program

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. 

RTF Act

Right to Farm Act Contact Information

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

Email: MDARD-RTF@Michigan.gov 

RTF Staff Map

Overview

GAAMPs logo

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.

Current GAAMPs

Archived GAAMPs (2016-2021) 

Emergency Management of Raw Milk Guidance

2021 Right to Farm GAAMPs Review Annual Report

2021 Right to Farm Proactive Review Annual Report

2021 Right to Farm Complaint Response Annual Report 

Forms

GAAMPs Review Application

Complaint Form 

Resources

Generally Accepted Processing Practices (GAPPs)
Generally Accepted Fruit, Vegetable, Dairy, Meat and Grain Processing Practices

Biosolids
Education and technical assistance to those individuals affected by the land application of biosolids.

Urban Agriculture
An overview of topics related to Urban Agriculture in Michigan.

Aquifer Protection and Dispute Resolution Program
Well owners can file complaints with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) if their well fails to produce its normal water supply or to provide potable water.

Spill Response
The rapid, cost-effective cleanup, and proper use or disposal of manure, pesticides, and fertilizer.

Bodies of Dead Animals Act
For concerns about animal mortality, disposal, management, please refer to the Bodies of Dead Animal Act; which provides the framework and rules which govern the management of diseased livestock.

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control
For any disturbances greater than 1 acres in size or within 500 feet of a lake or stream, please consult with your local SESC Construction Storm water staff for applicability and regulations.

Michigan Well Code
For additional information regarding the water wells, setbacks from contamination, ground water resources and construction.

MSU Pollinators
For additional information regarding the water wells, setbacks from contamination, ground water resources and construction.

Cottage Food Law
Additional information for Farm Markets in identifying licensing requirements and exemptions for the sale of food products.

Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule
Additional information on Produce safety - mandatory, regulation of farms that grow produce that is typically eaten raw and sells a minimum of $25,000 of sales in a year. Other exemptions may apply.

NewFarmers.usda.gov
Resources for planning new farms.

Animals at Large Act
In Michigan, an owner cannot allow an animal (defined here as cattle, horses, sheep, swine, mules, burros, or goats) to run at large.

Ag Opinion #7302
2018 Attorney General's opinion regarding the preemption of local ordinances by the Michigan Right to Farm Act.

Technical Resources