We attended the city council meeting this past Monday, July 20, with the purpose of asking for a public hearing on allowing backyard chickens in Belgrade. 

I would like to note that this now has been denied a fair chance for the fourth time, twice with a tie vote break by the mayor! They refused us a public hearing and require us to obtain 15% of Belgrade resident signatures to put it on the ballot. While we are taking measures to do this, we also deem it irresponsible of the city council considering the current risks affiliated with Covid 19 and exposing ourselves to thousands of people to obtain these signatures. 

All we asked was for a public hearing on the matter. However, their response was simply that they didn’t want to take the time to do a public hearing so we have to beat the pavement to get it on the ballot, which we are willing to do. They also mentioned that this could cost up to $5,000 to do so. 

We are hoping to get the word out about our petition. By signing this petition, you are signing for the right of the people to be able to vote to own back yard chickens. The ordinance is even more strict than our neighboring cities of Bozeman and Manhattan, but has yet to be met with an open mind. We would be happy to inform anyone about this current proposed ordinance and we are hoping to be able to spread the word and our cause. 

As they mayor said “eggs are cheap,” but this is about so much more than eggs. In these times of uncertainty, knowing how to handle, raise, care for, and see the cycle of where food comes from is very important. Anyone who knows about sustainability and raising your own food knows this to be true.

Ashley Fiske

Belgrade