Urban Farming Policy and the Impact in Traverse City - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Urban Farming Policy and the Impact in Traverse City

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A new policy in the state now gives local control when it comes to animal agriculture and zoning regulations in primarily residential areas.

It was passed last week by the Michigan Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development.

It's a move that takes away some protection from the Right to Farm Act.

But Traverse City is ahead of the curve - already having rules in place to protect certain residential animal raisers.

People can have up to four chickens and two bee hives in their backyards.

Local non-profit SEEDS doesn't raise animals currently, but if they, or anyone else wanted to expand livestock beyond a city or county ordinance, this new policy changes who decides what's allowed.

The city planning and engineering department doesn't foresee this policy affecting animal raisers in Traverse City.

9&10's Marisa McKay and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson spoke to some local urban farming participants to learn why this practice is so important to the region.