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Woman’s Effort To Keep Farm Animals Draws Support

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(credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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WILLIAMSTOWN TWP. (AP) - A woman’s effort to keep goats, chickens, pot belly pigs and rabbits on her mid-Michigan property is drawing support from online donors.

Jessica Hudson told the Lansing State Journal that donors have pledged $12,000 to support her legal dispute with Ingham County’s Williamstown Township. She said the Right to Farm Act should protect her.

Hudson, her husband, Jeremiah, and her five children, ages 2 to 11, moved from nearby Lansing last year in order to keep farm animals. They said they moved because her children have food allergies and they wanted access to goat milk and affordable eggs.

“I moved out of the city so that I could have a farm but now live in a place that has tighter restrictions,” said Hudson.

The dispute began following a neighbor’s complaint, and the township board voted this month to take legal action to force the removal of the animals from her 1.5-acre Sweet Peas Farm, which is one of six properties in a 70-acre section of the township. The board cited a local ordinance that prohibits farm animals in an area zoned for single-family homes.

Williamstown Township Supervisor Mickey Martin has said the township must enforce zoning laws, even though she sympathized with Hudson.

Hudson’s property is adjacent to the city of Williamston, which recently changed its ordinances to allow managed farm animals such as chickens.

Hudson has vowed she will keep her animals. She said she wants to farm “enough to help my children … and maybe earn some money on the side.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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