Michigan farmers can more easily sell their goods to people from small or temporary roadside produce stands now that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed Public Act 125 of 2013 to reform certain building code requirements 

Triston and Stacy Cole of Cole Farm in Mancelona joined Rep. Greg MacMaster for the signing of House Bill 4732.  Triston approached MacMaster about creating the legislation to waive the rules for plumbing and other building code requirements based on the smaller size and type of facility.

“This bill reduces regulation on agri-business, especially startups and small farms looking to expand,” Triston Cole said. “This bill keeps farms family-owned and operated, and increases direct sales to the public. This also will help to continue to strengthen the relationship between the community and our local farmers, as well as increase awareness of local farming activity.”

MacMaster said the regulations put an overly burdensome requirement on the farmer for what should be fairly simple and straightforward part of farmers providing healthy food options for people.

“The small stands and tents that farmers use to protect vegetables and other produce so people can eat fresh, wholesome food shouldn’t fall under the full-blown rules for full-size building structures,” said MacMaster, R-Kewadin. “Excessive government paperwork and mandates don’t need to be part of picking up some tomatoes, peppers or a dozen ears of corn from the local farm stand on the drive home.”

Typically, the stands in question are approximately 200 to 300 square feet in size – the new law exempts those up to 400 square feet from the plumbing requirement. Building permits and other safety requirements remain in place.

Ryan Romeyn of Providence Farm in Central Lake also applauded the regulation reforms in the new MacMaster law.

“This is great news and will be a great improvement to give farmers and consumers greater flexibility in marketing and purchasing locally grown products to benefit our local economies in Michigan,” Romeyn said. “Our farm is preparing to expand our roadside market, and this law will provide many more options that are economically viable. This will benefit farm families, farm employees, local residents and vacationers.”

The law also exempts tents of the same size from the code in its entirety, but does require a form of secure anchoring for all structures.

MacMaster can be contacted by calling toll free (855) DIST-105; by email, GregMacMaster@house.mi.gov; or through is office website, www.repmacmaster.com.

Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed into law Rep. Greg MacMaster’s House Bill 4732 into Public Act 125 of 2013, a law that waives some state building code requirements so small roadside farm produce stands don’t have to install plumbing. Pictured attending the signing were Stacy and Triston Cole of Cole Farms in Mancelona, Rep. Greg MacMaster, and his wife, Kim MacMaster.