American Farm Bureau's Duvall addresses national roundtable on lawsuit abuse targeting North Carolina farms
WASHINGTON – American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall joined a special national agriculture roundtable highlighting a recent wave of nuisance lawsuits targeting North Carolina hog farms. The Aug. 3 event, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, brought together legislators and agriculture leaders to discuss the growing threat to farmers and exposed how out-of-state trial lawyers are using nuisance lawsuits to circumvent state right-to-farm laws.
The discussion centered on the economic impact of nuisance lawsuits on America’s farmers and rural communities.
“This is pitting neighbor against neighbor and community against community,” said Duvall. “The regulations need to be on the trial lawyers. We need to let our farmers and ranchers do what they do best, and that is feeding the world. They will not be a nuisance. They deserve a fair shot. They deserve to grow and succeed,” he said.
North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten also addressed the panel. “What concerns me are the scars that could be left in rural North Carolina and in our rural communities due to these types of lawsuits,” he said.
Attendees also heard about the looming threat to all aspects of U.S. agriculture nationwide.
“This is something that not only affects our animal agriculture, it affects our crop agriculture. If we don’t do something about it now, there is not a farm in the country that won’t be affected,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The roundtable was hosted by Rep. David Rouzer (R-N.C.), House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Troxler and North Carolina Farm Bureau. Industry leaders in attendance included Wooten, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Chief Executive Officer Dr. Barb Glenn.