At the same time that MDARD is taking action to limit small farm rights, it is also taking action to expand the rights of corporate and very large farm rights in our state. At the last Ag Commission meeting in September we heard presentations on how Michigan's waters can be put to increased use to produce more agricultural products in Michigan. Water withdrawal is again on the agenda on November 12th. It appears that despite water issues in Toledo earlier this spring, and despite recent issues on the Pine River, MDARD is positioning itself for much greater water withdrawals for agriculture going forward. This is an issue that affects all of us. More agriculture in Michigan may be a good thing, but we need a more diverse agriculture in Michigan than MDARD currently envisions. We certainly need more than just factory farms, and before we make further investments we need to know who benefits from the profits of corporate agriculture in Michigan, and we need to know where all the manure goes.
Meetings of the Commission of Agriculture are free and open to the public. Everyone who attends is permitted 3 minutes to address the Commissioners, if desired. Members of the Michigan Small Farm Council will be there, as always, and we hope to see you there.