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29 April 2018 - NC Jury Hits Pork Giant

A few days ago, this story came across my Reuter computer . . .
Dateline - Raleigh, North Carolina - A federal jury in North Carolina is awarding more than $50-million in damages to neighbors of an industrial hog operation responsible for smells, noise and other disturbances so bad, they couldn’t enjoy their rural homes.

Jurors on Thursday awarded 10 neighbors of a 15,000-head swine operation a total of $750,000 in compensation plus $50-million in damages designed to punish the hog-operation division of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods.

Lawyers didn’t sue the farm’s owner, instead targeting the Chinese-owned corporation.
The decision is the first in dozens of nuisance lawsuits filed by more than 500 neighbors against hog operations across the country.

That’s the story that raises the question - What is the future of large livestock operations, whether it be cattle or hogs or dairy farmers, here in the United States?

I have said for a long time that anytime a developer comes into a rural community to put in a housing development, the company should also put up a sign saying ‘You are moving into farm country. Farmers work different hours and make noises at different times of the day than you are accustomed to and there may be odors you have never smelled before that come your way depending on the direction of the wind. This is part of producing food for consumers in America and the world.’

I can understand the home-owner’s concerns but they should have looked at all of this before making the home purchase and moving in, because farm life is different. I have told people for years, if you are moving to the country, be sure to spend some time in the area ahead of time, and meet with your neighbors, to acquaint yourself with some of the differences between rural and urban life. Perhaps that is one reason why I love this message on a sign posted by a farmer in his field . . . “The farmer allows people to walk across the field for free, but the bull charges.”

Think twice before you move into true farm country.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.