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Veteran Advisor

Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Not so many years ago, within the memory of many of us on this site, there were about four 160 acre farms per section.  That means every road had four sets of farm buildings on it, 2 on one side and 2 on the other.  Every farm had hogs.  All the hogs smelled.  Everyone got used to it and nobody rushed to live in the country.  (I remember trying to figure out how to get the hog smell off before going out on a date with a girl who lived on a hog farm and who probably worried about it too.)

 

Farmers got older, got more land, and finally in 1998 the hog price crisis and new few farms raise hogs but they raise a gazillion of them.

 

Now there is often no hog smell as drive down the country road.  There are still four sets of buildings, but now three of them are on 5 acre lots and are owned by city people who just happen to live in the county.

 

Even some of the non-livestock farmers are against livestock now.  So everyone passes laws and sues.

 

Well, we don't quit at hog smell.  We sue or are sued over grain bin fans running at night, combines making dust, nitrates in the water, pesticides in streams that never had a fish but don't have fish now - (I know what I wrote).

 

Lawyers are just like farmers.  The little ones are going broke but the big ones prey on anything within snapping reach of their jaws.  That more and more is things like hog smell, combine dust, grain bin fans and agriculture itself.

 

Every one of us is subject to being sued, of course.  It's getting more and more likely that what we do will be controlled by people who don't have a clue what we do or how their laws and regulations affect us.  WOTUS and nitrates are a couple of topics that spring to mind.

 

Enjoy your day.

22 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Jim do you think there is a China protest aspect to this also?

 

Or Will China's ownership position increase the success potential for the lawyers and the greedy opportunists?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Greedy  opportunists  - interesting  - - -

 

Curious -  how  close  of  proximity  the  board  members  residence  would  be  to  the  operations  in lieu  of  the  litigation  ? ?     

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Comparing  hog  operations  in last century (50's-60's - 70's )  with travel on roadway 250th st. NW   to   I-80  or  I-380  -  Maybe  ?

 

Complications  may  vary  -  &   exemptions  &  exclusions  forthwith  - - -

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Betsy Freese wrote that Smithfield will have to obey the tariffs if any come about, so my guess is they are stuck with all the regular laws.  The news says Smithfield is going to fight it.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Imagine   that ,  those  near  by, local   folks  shouldn't  even  thought  about  getting  a  settlement  for  stench,  flies, etc. - - -

 

Experts at the North Carolina extension said the waste water should be run through a water treatment plant, although that's not economically feasible according to Mark Rice of N C State according to The News & Observer - - -

 

Having executive salaries & compensation  in the  $10,000,000. oo   to $30,000,000. oo  range in  2014 ( The Virginia Pilot, April 28 2015),  how could anyone expect the company to pay out this kind of settlement ? ? 

 

    

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Honored Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

I forget.......... the courts are supposed to take from the rich and give to the poor.  No need for a court case or a jury, just compare tax returns.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

A lot of this is about the lost art of being a good neighbor, there are manure treatments that could solve most of this, but of course that costs money.  The owner/operator many times actually lives in town and takes care of sites out in the country and add too that cases where neighbors hate each other to boot, so they see little need to spend $2,000/yr per site to keep the odor and flies down.  But that lawsuit should be a wake up call "our factories have no walls".

 

This isn`t the olden days of kids in the back of the LTD stationwagon saying "ewwww! What`s that smell?" as they drove by a guy spreading manure with a M Farmall and New Idea spreader from his 50 sow herd.   Dad would say, "That`s the smell of money kids" and it was only an occasional smell.  The hog farmer`s wife the only one putting up with the flies.

 

The last few years these hog sites have sprung up like mushrooms and the head integrators are trying to fly under the radar "Oh we`re just little ol Pa & Pa Kettle with our little ol 5,000hd hog sites".....Ah no yer not.  A 5,000hd site is probably going to have the sewage of a 20,000 population town and there might be 3 or 4 of them on a section.   They ain`t no Ma & Pa Kettle anymore by any stretch.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

So  if  you  get  a  multi-million  $$$$$$   salary ,  you  and  the  company  you  work  for  are  immune  from  litigation,   now  I  get  it  - - -     

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog Nuisance Suit Costs Smithfield $50 Million

Let me see if I have this right.  There's bacon on every cheeseburger now.  Americans have and like cheap food (and it may be we eat more of it than we should).  Somebody figures out how to make money selling CAFO hogs to put bacon on the cheeseburgers of the overweight customers.  That person makes a lot of money so he/she builds some more CAFOs, thus making it cheap enough a person can buy an 8oz bacon cheeseburger (gee, let me see, is that 8oz of burger PLUS the cheese PLUS the bacon or is that 8oz of burger INCLUDING the cheese and the bacon - wait what about the bun? - oh, it don't weigh much anyway))))  (not sure how many parenthesis to close with so I just threw in a few extra just in case.)

 

And it used to smell a little all the time but now it smells a little more some of the time/place but a lot more some other time/place but it's kind of like an airport, hey, you don't show the house when the airplane traffic is heavy, do you?  And the person who likes the access to the interstate pretends the noise isn't that bad - hey remember uncle Ralph that used to live by the train tracks and claims he doesn't even hear the whistle at the crossing?

 

Yeah, well, maybe times change and maybe people are trying to take advantage of ........I don't know, changing times.  Hey!  Don't tell your secretary she's looking nice today.  You'll find out that times are a changing.  

 

Now, where were we?  You kids roll up the windows we're driving by that cattle yard and I don't want the smell in the car when we get home.