Once again 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. Once again 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 in an article from the Lansing Journal you can read here, and the gathered all the details in a blog post by Mrs. Hudson you can read here. I also cover this in depth in the first twenty minutes of episode 1090 of the show, so I won’t fully rehash it all here.
I do want to provide the basic details though and ask you to help out in two ways.
First the basics of the story is in order to deal with her families food allergies Jessica and her family did a lot of research and bought a small land holding (1.5 acres) in a fairly rural looking area. They asked township officials before buying if they could have small livestock like goats and pot bellied pigs. They were told yes that the 2 acre minimum was for large animal like cattle and horses.
Then someone complained and the township of Williamstown now says they are in violation of an ordinance and the animals must go.
Note, this wasn’t a near by neighbor as all of them 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.” Well that is exactly what the Hudson family does.
The problem is like most local bureaucrats they don’t really care about the law, they want things their way and likely figure what can one small family do against their local masters? Well I have news for those folks, it is no longer one small family, it is one big family because the TSP community is now on the case! Yep I am asking all 65,000 of you to do what you can to help if you feel this cause is worthy. As you all know I DON’T do this often, I pick my battles but this is a great one to fight and win.
The family is trying to raise 20,000 dollars for a legal defense fund. The real hope is when the township realizes they can’t just bully this family they will back down. If that happens Mrs. Hudson has already agreed to not use the money for other purposes but make it available to others who have to fight a similar fight. To pay it forward. I have personally been contact with her an I KNOW she understands that this fight is bigger than her and her family.
The dream the Hudsons have is the exact same dream of millions of Americans and the same dream as thousands of members of this audience. If a local township can take it away from them, then it can happen to all of us. A line has been drawn and I know what side of it I am on. Today I personally donated 250 dollars and when they are within 250 dollar of their goal I will donate another 250 to help them reach it.
I don’t expect everyone to do that, we have been blessed so much by TSP and this community that we can do things like this. As I built TSP I always promised you that if you came with me on this ride I would give back over and over because it is what I believe is right, this is just one example of that. But if you can give a little as 5 dollars it will add up very fast and make a real difference. We did something similar for Jan Cline a few years ago and I was SO PROUD of this community, so many of you told me how good it felt, so lets do it again.
Yes let’s send a message to the Hudsons, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, we are with you and a fight for liberty anywhere is a fight for liberty everywhere. Your fellow citizens are with you and will not leave you to this fight by yourselves. Let’s make sure that the bureaucrats in Williamstown Township get that message to, and that they know they are on the other side of it.
How you can help
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 “Jack 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 TSP Sentinels 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).
Sample Email – This is what I am sending, feel free to use similar language or simply cut and paste it verbatim.
——my email to Williamstown Township begin——
Dear Members of the Williams 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 about keep small livestock prior to their purchase and were told this would be acceptable. So 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, so clearly you are simply ignoring the state law of Michigan.
3. In general this seems completely unnecessary, the adjacent neighbors clearly have no problem with the animals, the area is clearly quite rural and the property is 1.5 acres in size. This isn’t a family trying to keep 50 chickens in a suburb on a 1/10th acre lot. It seems you are bullying this family simply do to your own personal bias, and because you can.
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. You might think this is the actions of only one concerned citizen who by the way isn’t even from Michigan, I am from Texas. It would be very unwise for you to make that assumption.
The reality is I am part of a very large community of more than 65,000 like minded individuals. We have seen this type of thing before, we have acted before. I want to inform you that we are not very familiar with what it feels like to lose a fight like this one. Perhaps when it is over you can inform us of how it feels to lose such a fight?
I do have a better solution, as you now know that this family will be well funded to fight you. Given you also know that you are likely to lose and end up on the hook for her legal fees, don’t fight simply comply with your own state law. Or choose to continue to oppress this family and rest assured I and thousands of others are not just watching we are willing to support this family and ensure that you are not able to violate their rights.
Again we have done this before and we will do it 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) you choose to resolve this issue with some common sense, yet if not rest assured the problem and the fight will not go away.
——my email to Williamstown Township ends——
Again 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.
If you send an email and want to share what you sent just do so in the comments section below.
Here is the contact information for the Township Authorities
4990 N. Zimmer Road, Williamston, MI 48895-8180
Phone: (517) 655-3193
- firstname.lastname@example.org – Supervisor-Mickey Martin
- email@example.com – Clerk-Ernie Gaffner
- firstname.lastname@example.org – Treasurer-Mike Fielek
- email@example.com -Janet Eyster
- firstname.lastname@example.org -Robert Hayes
- email@example.com-Rick Williams
- firstname.lastname@example.org-Rod Imhoff