Clements: Friday’s National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable in Raleigh, North Carolina, will expose how trial lawyers have used the language of everyday nuisance lawsuits to get around right-to-farm laws in North Carolina, and win multi-million dollar verdicts against farmers who are engaged in everyday farming practices. National agriculture leaders and industry representatives will be there along with state politicians as well as U.S. Congressman David Rouzer, who is convening this special congressional field hearing.
Rouzer: My goal with this meeting is to do really two things, 1) to broaden the public awareness not only in North Carolina, but nationwide about the cases that are being tried about the particular lawsuits that are being pursued in the state of North Carolina, and also to point out the fact that this is not just a threat to North Carolina agriculture, it’s not just a threat to the state of North Carolina, it is a threat to American agriculture across the board. All forms of agriculture, I might add, are not immune to this type of treatment.
Clements: Rouzer, who chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, says legislators and industry alike need to understand what’s happening with North Carolina pork could happen to almost any farmer, anywhere in the nation.
Rouzer: I think it’s very important for the country to understand what’s taking place here in North Carolina, with the nuisance lawsuits that have already put a couple of our hog operations out of business. We want to highlight with this roundtable, this National Agriculture Leaders roundtable, is the fact that a nuisance really is in the eye of the beholder. And all the operations we have all across the country – pork, poultry, cattle you name it – there are rules and regulations that our operators are beholden to.
Clements: These nuisance cases create real risk for farmers and their right to farm. Current lawsuits impact the daily operations of farmers in North Carolina, and could impact others. Rouzer says federal policy is needed to help farmers.
Rouzer: If these suits are allowed to continue to move forward...if we don’t adopt some public policy at the federal level to help create a safe harbor for our farm families from these type of suits, American agriculture could really be at risk.
Clements: The event will be held Friday, August 3, at 9:00 AM in the Martin Building at the State Fairgrounds and will be livestreamed over the North Carolina Farm Bureau Facebook page. Micheal Clements, Washington.