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Indiana’s Right to Farm Law Under Attack

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Justin Schneider
Justin Schneider

The constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Farm Law is once again being challenged in another high profile lawsuit. The latest attack on the Right to Farm Law involves a lawsuit filed by the Hoosier Environmental Council against a livestock operation in Hendricks County.  Justin Schneider, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel with Indiana Farm Bureau, says the law was designed to protect farmers from just this kind of nuisance lawsuit, “If a farmer is doing a good job no matter how they are raising their livestock, the Right to Farm law says you cannot take action against them.” He said this lawsuit is just another attempt by the Hoosier Environmental Council to generate some negative publicity, “Livestock agriculture is something the Hoosier Environmental Council has not been real supportive of, and I think this litigation shows that.”

 

The Hoosier Environmental Council claims the law “unfairly protects giant corporations and industrial-scale livestock operations.” Kim Ferraro, the plaintiffs’ lawyer and senior attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council, said, “Indiana’s Right to Farm laws can be profoundly harmful to rural Hoosiers.”  Schneider says those arguments don’t apply since the Right to Farm Law protects a farmer’s right to farm no matter what his size or what he is raising, “There are a lot of arguments that are made around the periphery, which is what we have in this case. A lot of talk about bad ag, big ag, and factory farms in an attempt to paint this in a negative light.  But, at the end of the day, it is the judge’s job to sift through all that stuff and get the facts and the law and apply the facts to the law without regards to the PR arguments that are being made.”

 

 

Schneider says Indiana’s Right to Farm Law is strong enough to protect farmers, “It has been proven constitutional and had stood up to many legal challenges.”  But, he added it cannot stop the nuisance lawsuits from being filed, “It is the times we live in — people want to file lawsuits, and neighbors feel they have a right to say what you can do with your land.” He said Indiana farmers are well-positioned to continue to expand and continue to raise livestock

 

 

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