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E-M:/ Coverage of SB 205



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Enviro-Mich message from "Tom & Anne Woiwode" <woiwode@voyager.net>
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Enviro-Mich folk:

If you want to do a quick informal study of the way the same story can be
spun to achieve significantly different reads, the reporting on SB 205
offers up such an opportunity.

Lansing State Journal title for the AP story:
"Bill to boost farming clears Legislature"
(no website available)

Booth Newspapers story:
"Bill curbs townships regulation of farms"
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf?/news/stories/19991209farmm.frm
(This story by Dave Poulson gives a very good overview of the issue, by the
way!)

The Lansing State Journal printed a good editorial today on the topic as
well (no website available).  Talking about the claims that SB 205 protects
family farms, the editorial points out that the bill "actually has less to
do with farming than the powers of local government.  It severely curtails
how cities and townships can regulate the practices of farms inside their
environs."  The editorial goes on to explain why that is a problem: "The
nature of farming in Michigan and the United States is changing.  Farms are
growing larger, and ownership is shifting from individuals to corporations."
Then they ask rhetorically "will the ultimate beneficiaries be family
farmers or these emerging agricultural corporations?"
In conclusion, the editorial says "allowing existing farms to operate as
they have for decades is a goal the state and all local governments should
share.  But Michigan should be careful not to let visions of how farming was
once drive how it deals with what agriculture will be."  Too bad some of
that simple wisdom didn't have a chance to sway the debate.

Anne Woiwode

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tom, Anne, Nate and Pete Woiwode
5088 Powell Road
Okemos, MI 48864

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