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      Forsyth Township's court hearing involving Gwinn farm concludes

      Forsyth Township's case against the owners of a Gwinn farm came to a close Wednesday in Marquette County Circuit Court.

      Judge Thomas Solka will decide whether or not Randy and Libby Buchler's Shady Grove Farm U.P. LLC is exempted from local zoning ordinances.

      On Wednesday, the defendants called six witnesses to the stand, including Randy Buchler.

      Buchler testified his farming is done with the best intentions for the community and the environment and that Shady Grove is the family's primary source of income.

      The township argues the farm's size exceeds zoning limits and, therefore, is not exempt under the Michigan Right to Farm Act.

      "It is commendable that people know what they're eating, that people control what they're producing for food, so all of their objectives are laudable," said Kevin Koch, an attorney for Forsyth Township. "But they should have sought direction before they did it and where they did it."

      "The Right to Farm Act says that if the farm is commercial in nature and it meets the applicable GAAMPS, that's Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices, then the farm is exempt," said Michelle Halley, an attorney for the Buchlers.

      Judge Solka expects make a ruling by Christmas.