- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A team of farmers, government workers and concerned citizens is gearing up to steer changes to urban agriculture in Michigan.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1tvCWu9 ) that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has created the 20-person Urban Livestock Working Group. The members come from a cross section of agriculture, municipal, food and community groups.

Department Spokeswoman Jennifer Holton told the newspaper that the team is charged with creating a framework for the expansion of urban and suburban agriculture.

“The MDARD really wants to see livestock agriculture grow but it must be done in a way that makes sense,” Holton said. “We cannot compare Detroit to Escanaba. This working group will be able to provide a framework for incorporating livestock into urban and suburban settings.”

The paper reports the formation follows a change to the Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices that removed protections from people who want to raise farm animals in areas not zoned for agriculture.

A start date for the group, which will be facilitated by a third party yet to be chosen, has not been set.

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Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, https://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

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