Concerning the April 12 editorial “Hog farmers still rule”: I am concerned that the editorial board is not truly educated about hog farms and the lawsuits in which they are a part of, as well as how actual processes are carried on a day-to-day basis on the farm. I only know this because I grew up with eight nursery hog houses and two turkey houses. I have worked in the hog houses, which are owned by my dad, for around six years.
Beginning the summer of my freshman year of high school, I began working in the hog houses, starting my day at 5 a.m. every day of the week. So I know the amount of blood, sweat and tears a farmer has to put into a swine operation to make it be profitable.
It seems to me the editorial board of The N&O thinks someone should be able take a farmer’s hard-earned money all because of a natural disaster, completely out of the farmer’s control. Even if the farmer had done everything required of him regarding the security of his hog lagoon?
If a hog farmer is spraying waste in a field as usual and all of a sudden the wind gusts very strong for a moment and waste drifts over to the neighbor’s garden and ruins a few plants, is that worth having to pay more than the farm is worth? The maximum damages someone can receive now is the monetary value of the farm itself. Regardless, the farmer should not have to pay an outrageous amount of money they have worked so hard to earn. I find it a severe tort to make a farmer pay excessive damages for something they had absolutely no control over.
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I concur that if something happens on a farmer’s place and someone is hurt or wronged, the farmer has an underlying responsibility to pay that person something. But for someone to even suggest that someone should be required to pay more than the value of their farm in damages, that is completely audacious; again this coming from someone who lives that life when I leave N.C State for that summer to start work at home.
House Bill 467 was a truly just bill and came at a time that could not be better. Especially if someone is involved on the defendant side of any of the current cases going on that this relates to, such as Murphy Brown Farms. I do not believe that Murphy Brown had as big of a role in the actual lawmaking process than the opponents of HB 467 would have the public believe. Murphy Brown knew that this legislation was justified and would make it through the House and Senate.
This bill is the right thing, it is the way it should be ... to protect the financial security of the people that provide food for the people of this country. Farmers, a mere 2 percent of the world’s population, are responsible for feeding almost 8 billion people. But being the providers we are, we are one of the most taxed and regulated industries in the country, and we have to feed the country!
This bill is a step in the right direction of treating farmers the way we deserve to be treated, it is truly exciting that it happened here in our state. But we still have a long way to go in introducing policy that continues to make things a little easier on the farmers of this country. Nothing about farming is easy, but if we have a chance to make anything easy for farmers I’m sure they would appreciate it.
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the editorial.