Agriculture and the Right to Farm
This is part four of the series regarding living in rural areas of the Flathead County in Montana. If you are considering moving to a rural area, you need to consider purchasing decisions, access issues, service delivery, agriculture and the right to farm, mother nature and wildlife. The first three posts can be accessed by clicking the links above. This post about rural living in Flathead County covers the topic of agriculture and farming.
Flathead County Planning and Zoning prepared an excellent document for both natives and newcomers to the area. They’ve given me their thumbs up to share here. The fourth chapter deals with farming and agriculture topics.
And I quote:
Agriculture and the Right to Farm
Agriculture is still an important part of the Flathead County economy, even as subdivisions appear more often than hay or mint and houses dot more fields than cow-calf pairs.
The folks who homesteaded this valley knew how to take care of their land and many of their descendants continue to feed their families (and yours!) by raising similar crops.
Here’s a few things you should know about your farming and ranching neighbors:
- Farmers often work around the clock, especially during planting and harvest. Dairy operators sometimes milk without stopping and hay is often baled at night. It is possible that adjoining agricultural uses may disturb your idea of peace and quiet.
- Land preparation and other operations can cause dust, especially during windy and dry weather.
- Farmers occasionally burn their fields and ditches to keep them clean of debris, weeds, and other obstructions. This burning creates smoke you may find objectionable.
- Chemical such as fertilizers and pesticides are often used in growing crops. You may be sensitive to these substances or have an allergic reaction.
- Animals and their waste can cause objectionable odors. Enough said.
- Areas of the county are in open range. This means if you do not want cattle or other livestock on your property, the burden is on you to fence them out. It is not the farmer or rancher’s job to keep them off your land.
- If you choose to live among the farms and ranches of Flathead County, do not expect the county to intervene in the normal daily operations of your agricultural neighbors. Right to Farm laws protect them from nuisance and liability lawsuits, enabling them to continue producing food and fiber for us all.
- Animals can be dangerous. Bulls and stallions can attack human beings. No livestock should be approached, particularly by children. It is not wise or safe to enter pens or pastures where animals are kept or offer them food or treats, even over a fence line.
- A dog’s natural tendency is to chase things that run from it. This type of “play” can mean injury to both pet and livestock, for which you will be held financially accountable. It is your responsibility to keep your dog out of your neighbor’s pastures and livestock enclosures.
I do not live near a cattle ranch or farm, so cannot provide any personal insight into those environments. I do live next door to a horse ranch, though. I hear the horses and smell the, uh, you know, smell of horses. I love it. Being outside on my property and hearing a neighing horse makes me smile.
Most of the items listed above are simple common sense. If you live near a farm or ranch, you will smell everything that occurs there. You may be impacted by noise. You will have to keep an eye on your pets and family members.
If you are interested in purchasing land or an existing home in rural areas of the Flathead Valley, I’d be happy to make sure you have the information you need to select the property or home that works for you. The same is true if you want to move into a city or town. I’m available to assist with those properties as well. Just call me at 406-270-3667 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part five of this series will address Mother Nature. Until then, enjoy!