Court rules in favor of pork farm: Right to farm statute upheld


Erica Quinlan, AgriNews Publications (IL)

May 6, 2019


INDIANAPOLIS — On April 22, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from the Hendricks County Superior Court reaffirming Indiana’s Right to Farm Act.


The case was brought against owners of an 8,000-hog concentrated animal feeding operation in Hendricks County, as well as hog supplier Co Alliance.


The lawsuit alleged nuisance and negligence. The plaintiffs complained about decreased property values due to the odor.


They also challenged the constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Farm Statute.


Right To Farm


The statute protects Indiana farms that operate in traditional agricultural locations and are not negligently operated.


It serves as a farmer’s defense to nuisance suits, provided the farm has been in continuous operation for more than one year at the time the suit is brought.


The hog farm was started in 2013. Beforehand, the land was used for crops and other agricultural purposes.


“This decision is great news for Indiana farmers and livestock producers,” said defendant Cory Himsel.


“It’s unfortunate that any farmer would have to endure the extensive demands of time and money and undergo the ongoing family stresses that a meritless lawsuit imposes on you. I am thankful for the Indiana courts and that justice prevailed.”


Chris Braun, a partner at Plews, Shadley, Racher & Braun, LLP, agreed that justice was served.


“This is a significant victory for Hoosier farmers who face costly and disruptive lawsuits brought by their residential neighbors for the odors associated with rural life, as well as for entities in the agricultural industry who supply livestock, feed and other support to Indiana’s farming community,” Braun said.


The court recognized that the RTFA is designed to “protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally accepted farming and livestock production practices, including the use of ever changing technology.”


“Indiana Farm Bureau has worked diligently to ensure that Indiana has a strong right to farm statute that protects farmers from unwarranted nuisance suits,” said Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau president...