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Senate Agriculture Committee Hears More Testimony on GAAMP Changes

Posted on May 23, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

The Senate Agriculture committee took up a second week of testimony on Thursday on the changes to the Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) changes.

The changes recently approved by the Commission add a new category 4 that states land is not suitable for livestock if the area of the community is primarily residential (defined as more than 13 homes within 1/8 of a mile of the animals, or with any home within 250 feet of the proposed facility) AND does not allow for agricultural use.  This would still allow a local community to have an ordinance allowing livestock within their community in these areas if they choose to do so.

At the end of the committee hearing the chair, Rep. Joe Hune, expressed his desire to form a work group of individuals and organizations on either side of the aisle, legislators and the department to work this issue out.

If our communities have had or continue to have issues dealing with Right to Farm and the GAAMPs especially as this process moves forward with the new changes, please make me aware of them so those concerns can be passed along to the MDARD and then to the Commission (a request they made to us during their last Commission meeting).

Additionally, MSU Extension has written a few great articles regarding the changes and the positive impact this has on a local communities ability to allow for these types of activities within their own communities.  They can be found here:

Changes to Site Selection GAAMP mean communities have greater opportunity to plan for food systems

New Right to Farm Act Siting GAAMP now in effect

New Right to Farm Site Selection GAAMPs needs local government attention

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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