This weekend, I read a story about Jessica Hudson and Sweet Peas Farm.
Long story short, a group of local bureaucrats find it necessary to oppress a family simply trying to do a bit of homesteading and live a better life. In this particular case, Michigan is the battle ground and once again it is time for all of us to step up and win a very winnable fight.
I first learned of this battle while listening to a podcast. There is also in depth coverage in the first twenty minutes of episode 1090 of the podcast I was listening to. Moreover, much of the content in this email comes from the this podcast’s website. The podcast referenced an article from the Lansing Journal you can read here, and the details from the family’s point of view is in a blog post by Mrs. Hudson you can read here.
For those of you who don’t have time to look into all of the links above, here’s the story in a nutshell:
First the basics of the story is in order to deal with her families food allergies, Jessica Hudson and her family realized that home grown food suited their dietary requirements. They performed a lot of research and bought a small land holding (3 acres) in a fairly rural looking area. They asked township officials before buying if they could have livestock and were told yes on any property over 2 acres. Having three acres, they didn’t worry.
Someone nearby apparently complained about some of the animals they had and subsequently, the township of Williamstown now says they are in violation of an ordinance and the animals must go. Keep in mind that all of the surrounding neighbors have signed a letter in support of the Hudson family.
The family has pursued several avenues to rectify the matter. They even complied with a request to present a plan and a 4H outline as they were told 4H would be exempt from the ordinance. Yet the township continues to violate its own agreements and now it appears a legal battle is brewing.
Ironically something like this just happened to the Buchler Family in Marquette County who won their case. The state court ruled that if you, ” are commercial in nature (meaning you sell something, anything, such as eggs or rabbits, or intend to do so, as is evident from signage or internet ads) you are protected by the Right-to-Farm Act, which supersedes local zoning ordinances in the state of Michigan.” Is this not what the Hudson family is doing?
More of the original text that I am referencing can be seen here. I would like to take this opportunity to mention that community support for local farmers is very important. What is taking place here is the sowing of the seeds of tyranny. Sounds extreme? Try reading the story in detail and putting yourself in this woman’s shoes.
Please take a few minutes and read about this story. Here are a few suggestions provided by Jack Spirko seen in the article, “Please Help Jessica Hudson of Sweet Peas Farm in MI.” The suggestions are precisely what I did:
1. Go read the article on the situation from the Lansing Journal then read Jessica’s account. Decide if this is something you want to support, don’t do it because “someone says so”, do it because you know it is right.
2. Make a donation at Jessica’s site, 5 bucks, 10 bucks, whatever is fine, trust me it adds up. Not only are the Hudsons not alone, neither are you! Your fellow people are with you on this one, it will matter.
3. Send an email to the township authorities and professionally let them know that you feel they are clearly in violation of the Michigan Right to Farm act along with unnecessarily oppressing this family and that you have chosen to financially support them, and that you will do so again if needed. (sample email text and contact info is below).
Below is my email that I took from Jack Spriko and modified. Feel free to do the same. Spread the word! PLEASE be professional in any and all contact, email is likely best but here is all the contact info I have for the authorities in question below.
Again any amount can help and please remember what I always say, a fight for liberty anywhere is a fight for liberty everywhere. This story could easily be any of us so let’s shut this down and do so with authority.
Here is the contact information for the Township Authorities
4990 N. Zimmer Road, Williamston, MI 48895-8180
Phone: (517) 655-3193
- email@example.com – Supervisor-Mickey Martin
- firstname.lastname@example.org – Clerk-Ernie Gaffner
- email@example.com – Treasurer-Mike Fielek
- firstname.lastname@example.org -Janet Eyster
- email@example.com -Robert Hayes
- firstname.lastname@example.org-Rick Williams
- email@example.com-Rod Imhoff
Thanks for taking the time to read!
From: Rob Kaiser [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 9:39 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Rob Kaiser
Subject: Jessica Hudson and Sweet Peas Farm
Dear Members of the Williamstown Township Government Offices,
I am writing as a courtesy to let you know that I am aware of your actions in relationship to the Hudson family and your requirement that they remove their animals from their property. Three things bother me about this issue in particular…
1. The family asked prior to their purchase and were told her actions regarding farming and/or livestock would be acceptable on land over 2 acres – and that their property met the requirements. It appears as though you have broken your word.
2. The case of the Buchler Family in Marquette County established in Michigan that if you are engaged in anything commercial in nature (meaning you sell something, anything, such as eggs or rabbits, or intend to do so, as is evident from signage or internet ads) that by Michigan law you are protected by the Right-to-Farm Act, which supersedes local zoning ordinances. This is a recent case almost identical to your situation with the Hudson family. It appears as though Williamstown Township is simply ignoring the state law of Michigan.
3. In general this seems completely unnecessary. The adjacent neighbors appear to have no problem with the animals, the area is clearly quite rural and the property is 3 acres in size. This isn’t a family trying to keep 50 chickens in a suburb on a 1/10th acre lot. This family is taking personal responsibility about their health and well-being by attempting to grow their own food in a responsible way on a sufficient amount of land.
Williams Township appears to be bullying this family.
This I find totally unacceptable and it leaves me with no choice but to support the Hudson family with a contribution to their legal defense fund and to let you know if necessary I will be back to do so a second or even third time. It pleases me greatly that people in the local community are supporting the Hudson family. What pleases me even more is that many people throughout the nation are aware of the actions of Williamstown Township and are taking action.
I currently live in Southern California and am working diligently to spread the word of the unjust behavior your township is engaging in. This is important. I am part of a very large community of tens of thousands of like-minded individuals. We have seen this type of thing before. We have acted before. We are familiar with freedom and liberty. We are familiar with people attempting to infringe upon it. What we are not familiar with is what it feels to lose a fight like this one. We are the resistance.
You are becoming aware that this family will be well funded to fight Williamstown Township. It appears as though Williams Township will likely lose this legal battle and could potentially be responsible for the Hudson family’s legal fees. I would like to kindly suggest that you simply comply with Michigan state law. If Williamstown Township continues to oppress this family, myself and thousands of others will continue supporting this family to ensure that their rights are not violated.
I would like to re-iterate that our community have resisted oppression such as this and we will resist this oppression again. This is a movement that will not go away. People should have the right in what is supposed to be “the freest nation in the world” to simply grow their own food and own a few animals especially in rural or semi-rural environments on reasonably sized properties as is clearly the case here.
I do hope that in the best interest of the citizens of your community (which I must remind you includes the Hudson family) choose to resolve this issue with some common sense. If you continue working towards the oppression of the Hudson or any other family for that matter, rest assured that communities far and wide will be there to provide support in the name of freedom and liberty. Thank you for understanding.