Farming

Right-to-Farm Debate Heats Up

Controversies over laws in all 50 states that protect the rights of farmers to actually farm.

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Credit: cwwycoff1 / photo on flickr

If I asked you to think of an agricultural-law issue that's been making news in states across the country recently, you'd probably throw up your hands in the air. Maybe you'd shrug and suggest something to do with genetically modified food (GMO) labeling. And if I told you, as I am, that the answer to my question was Right-to-Farm laws—which NPR labeled "a divisive national issue" earlier this year—I suspect my first task would be to explain just what the heck the term means.

Right-to-Farm laws are on the books in all fifty states. They are enshrined into some state constitutions, including in Missouri, where the state constitution now guarantees, in perpetuity, "the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices" in the state.

Right-to-Farm laws like Missouri's generally serve two key purposes. First, they protect farm owners from state and local regulations that might restrict farming. For example, Louisiana recently issued a statewide ban on all private burns in the state, a measure adopted as a result of dry conditions. But the state's farmers are exempt from the ban. That's because Louisiana's Right to Farm Law defines burning as a generally accepted agricultural practice.

Second, Right-to-Farm laws also protect farmers against the real specter of nuisance lawsuits. In particular, they help protect farmers against lawsuits by neighbors who—in legal parlance—come to the nuisance. "Many agricultural areas have seen individuals without farm backgrounds and little understanding of farm operations moving into the neighborhood," reads a 2013 University of Maryland report on the state's Right-to-Farm law. "Once there, they find noises, insects, farm equipment on the roads, smells and normal characteristics of agricultural and rural life unexpected and objectionable and then they complain."

So Right-to-Farm laws protect farmers against those who move near farmland, only to then complain about the all farming that's going on around them. The laws can also protect new agricultural businesses. For example, a New York Right-to-Farm law recently helped a goat farm in the Catskills beat back opposition from neighbors after the owner sought to reopen a vacant barn in the center of the small town of Andes and turn it into a microcreamery.

While the creamery or the practice of agricultural burning in Louisiana may not be terribly controversial, other generally accepted agricultural practices around the country, along with legal protections for farmers, have put Right-to-Farm laws in the crosshairs of activists in recent years.

The Humane Society of the United States, a leading animal-rights group, opposes Right-to-Farm laws. In a piece on Missouri's Right-to-Farm law, Modern Farmer labeled HSUS the "outside group most often associated with trying to dictate how the farmers of Missouri operate" in the state. NPR called the fight in Missouri, which ended in defeat for animal-rights advocates, "a fight between two sides that loathe each other."

Some environmental groups also oppose the measures. That's the case in Indiana, where retired farmer Dick Himsel is suing a neighbor, a hog farm, despite the state's strong Right-to-Farm law. The Hoosier Environmental Council, a group that "has targeted food safety, animal rights and the environmental impact the corporate livestock industry has in Indiana," filed the suit on behalf of Himsel, whose lawsuit centers on his claims about odors and dust he says the neighboring CAFO has emitted since it first opened two years ago.

But don't Right-to-Farm laws preclude lawsuits like Himsel's? Not exactly. The fact they serve as an affirmative defense doesn't prevent (and hasn't prevented) people like Himsel from filing lawsuits against farming operations. It just makes such lawsuits far less likely to succeed than non-agricultural nuisance lawsuits.

Himsel says he'd love to pack up and move from his Indiana farm, but he claims the hog farm has devalued his property so much that he couldn't sell it off. In a perfect world, if Himsel's claims are true, then the hog farm might offer to buy Himsel's property at a reasonable price. Right-to-Farm laws make a fair-market-value purchase like that far less likely.

The flipside of Himsel's argument is what many see as proper comeuppance for animal-rights groups. These groups have used the law to restrict foie gras, dictate minimum sizes for hen cages and pig crates, and crack down on other agricultural practices. For years, they've been on the offensive. Right-to-Farm laws—particularly those enshrined in state constitutions—put these groups on the defensive.

When animal rights groups have sought to defend their own rights to advance their agenda in the marketplace of ideas, I've defended that right. But using the law to crack down on the rights of farmers has had the unintended consequence of forcing those same farmers to fight back with laws of their own.

Supporters of Right-to-Farm laws include Protect the Harvest, a Missouri-based advocacy group founded by entrepreneur Forrest Lucas in 2011. The group "exists to defend our way of life, preserve our food freedom and stand up for America's farmers, sportsmen, and animal owners." Protect the Harvest argues that Right-to-Farm laws "simply prevent outsiders" from meddling in "current laws and regulations that keep our food healthy, maintain strong welfare for our animals, and reduce impact on the environment."

In many cases, I agree with Protect the Harvest. I have no doubt at all that Right-to-Farm laws offer important protections for farmers of all sizes.

Still, I don't go whole hog on the laws. Ten years ago, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels actively encouraged a doubling of hog farming in the state and strengthened Right-to-Farm protections for CAFOs in Indiana. If there's a problem today in Indiana, then it's one Daniels helped foster.

Ultimately, I think states should do nothing either to discourage or to encourage farming. They should always rebuff efforts to legislate away the important rights of farmers to farm. But states shouldn't set centralized agricultural goals that attempt to artificially bolster market demand, either.

The future of Right-to-Farm laws will play out in Indiana and other states in the coming years. Oklahoma voters will decide next year whether to add Right-to-Farm language to that state's constitution. And down the road, Right-to-Farm laws could include protections for marijuana growers. If you hadn't heard of Right-to-Farm laws until today, expect to see lots more on them in coming years.

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    1. Goddammit Straffin’. You are going to hell for that.

      “What he found behind the door of the unlocked stall is something he said will “haunt his dreams forever.” The security guard reports when he entered the stall, Johnson was inappropriately pleasing herself with a Jimmy Dean package of sausage. He said that when he entered “She didn’t even stop. She just stared at me and kept going.”

      1. Ah. Fake news site.

        1. Why? Suthen, Why?

        2. Yeah man, I do agree, it’s got to ALL be fake, here…

          I just got done trying it, shoving a Jimmy Dean sausage up my twat, and I had to FAKE my orgasmism! (I made it sound VERY real though, probably enough to fool a news media type person anyway).

    2. Not a fake story – my brother worked at a Walmart, and they caught a guy in the bathroom sticking a broom handle in his ass. Not even in a stall. Overnight.

    3. In all fairness, if you look like that, what other option do you have? Though it looks like a salami would have been a better choice.

      1. Why must you waste good salami by sticking it up your sheisser hole? What’s that? You eat it after?!! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

  1. Yeah….our burn ban isnt controversial at all. It is actually pointless. People stopped burning a good bit before the ban as it is unbelievably dry here. Only an idiot would burn anything in these conditions and bans rarely stop idiots.

    I am drowning in junk mail. The remnants of Patricia can’t get here fast enough to suit me.

  2. Why do we need a law to allow people to farm? Farm all you want. Do i need a right to fart law? People complain about my stink all the time.

    1. You sir, have never weaned calves within earshot of a subdivision.

      1. was the subdivision there before the farm?

        1. You sir, have never belonged to a gun club located since the ’30’s in what was (then) a rural area and is now surrounded by small plots with homes.

          1. Meh. If you guys were using your guns right, those houses would be miles away.

  3. With subsidization and exceptional legal protection, agriculture has seen and is seeing unequal treatment in its favor. On what general principles is that based? Note that it’s tradition, the EU does it similarly.
    As for coming to a nuisance, that’s a matter of priority and effective pluralistic organization (allocation). There are some general principles in that (see law and economics). The state also has a role to play in defining animal versus property rights.

    1. Yeah man, I agree?

      BTW, under “right to farm”, could I keep a barn full of these creatures?

      ? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0310/S00003.htm ?

      Or would I be “busted” for some sort of “trafficking” offense?

      1. Now that makes for some serious motorboating!

      2. I’m not quite clear on the preferences of the average heterosexual male; maybe someone can help me out here: wouldn’t that poster be considered advertising for the benefits of genetic engineering?

    2. “The state also has a role to play in defining animal versus property rights.”

      An assertion is not an argument.

      1. True. The problem is defining “autonomy”, things like the required level of intelligence and emotional capacity. One could err one the side of caution (assuming autonomy), or resort to voting (hence the state) in order to define and sumbsume. Simply put, the harm principle may include harm to animals; and what’s to be done in this case of uncertainty?

        1. “Simply put, the harm principle may include harm to animals; and what’s to be done in this case of uncertainty?”
          Buy from those whose practices you prefer?
          IOWs, let the market handle it.

          1. Libertarianism isn’t about “letting the market handle it”, it’s about “having individuals make choices and take responsibility for the outcome of their choices”.

            1. what is the difference?

              1. If you say “let the market handle it”, that suggests that things should be commodified. It’s a caricature of libertarianism that progressives like to attack.

                But libertarianism is not about commodification, it’s about the freedom of individuals to make their own choices, including the choice of when to participate in markets and when not to.

                (Confusingly, in progressive language, “decommodification” doesn’t mean giving people a choice in whether to trade in some good, but instead means forcing people to pay for provision of the good by the government.)

            2. Win Bear|10.25.15 @ 7:18AM|#
              “Libertarianism isn’t about “letting the market handle it”, it’s about “having individuals make choices and take responsibility for the outcome of their choices”.”

              Distinction absent difference.

          2. There appears to be a fundamental problem. If you respond to slavery with “buy from those whose practices you prefer”, you don’t address the problem. A market for defining personhood?

            1. Sevens|10.25.15 @ 10:52AM|#
              “There appears to be a fundamental problem.”
              Yes, it’s your strawman

              “If you respond to slavery with “buy from those whose practices you prefer”, you don’t address the problem.”
              Nobody said anything about slavery; that’s your strawman.

              1. No, it’s an analogy. Both are about determining the normative nature of beings, one about persons (slavery), the other about animals. The analogy continues between telling people to buy from those whose normative definitions regarding persons (slaves) they prefer, and telling people to buy from those whose normative definitions regarding animals they prefer.

        2. You are a fucking idiot, go behind the woodshed and beat your meat and leave the conversation to adults.

        3. Simply put, the harm principle may include harm to animals; and what’s to be done in this case of uncertainty?

          Even as stated, the “harm principle” is a necessary, not a sufficient condition, for the use of state power. And it applies to “members of a community”, which farm animals really are not. But as stated by Mill, the “harm principle” is too vague to be useful, since just about anything people don’t like can be (and has been) defined as “harm”.

          The “harm principle” is generally a progressive creed; libertarians subscribe to the non-aggression principle.

          1. Distinguish the two, Bear. I guess you have in mind to set apart “indirect” harm as non-agressive.

            1. The “harm principle” is a principle for how to govern if you already assume the existence of a single “society”, a “state”, and “laws”. It’s the liberal and progressive view of government.

              The NAP doesn’t try to address all possible tradeoffs between society and individuals; rather, it just states that people should not initiate force against each other. Under the NAP, a libertarian society may consist of many constituent societies co-existing in the same space, each with vastly different notions of “harm”, “law”, and “punishment”, but those constituent societies may not initiate force against each other.

              1. Do you believe the harm principle attempts to draw trade-offs? I think it’s not a utilitarian concept, or one that specifically deals with groups.

                Your spheres of justice (social groups) don’t help in explaining the neutral status and what violates that. A broad concept of force – or of aggression – appears equivalent to a broad concept of harm. If you will, define “harm”, “force”, and “aggression”, respectively.

                Without doubt, you say that animals are not members of any society and thus deny that the harm principle applies to them. Does the non-agression principle – which you apparently see as independent of membership status – apply? (Restrict this to obvious bodily harm, to violating physical integrity.)

                1. A broad concept of force – or of aggression – appears equivalent to a broad concept of harm.

                  Yes, which is why the NAP usually is taken to refer to physical violence.

                  Without doubt, you say that animals are not members of any society and thus deny that the harm principle applies to them.

                  I have no idea whether the “harm principle applies to animals”; I don’t think the “harm principle” is even well defined.

                  Does the non-agression principle – which you apparently see as independent of membership status – apply?

                  The NAP is just a shorthand that tells others what moral principles you live by; it’s not a law and it doesn’t derive from anything else.

                  In order to truthfully say “I believe in the NAP” it is necessary that you believe it to be immoral to threaten or initiate violence against other human beings.

                  It is clearly not necessary to believe that it is immoral to initiate violence against animals; if it were, only vegetarians could claim to believe in the NAP, but clearly the way the term is used, it applies to many non-vegetarians.

                  1. We don’t essentially disagree, then. Both concepts are based on the idea of negative liberty. It’s not entirely clear what role autonomy (more specifically: the capacity to reason) plays. It’s clearly possible to apply physical force to animals, that force restricts them in ways in which they wouldn’t have been restricted and they have an aversion to that force. Is that insufficient because they are not intelligent enough, because they don’t think in moral categories?

    3. Agriculture has hardly seen treatment in its favor. For thousands of years surplus agricultural products served as the main collateral behind money. That usage created writing, accounting, and money. That was actually the free market at work – and it created agriculture (the business supply-side) that was roughly aligned with agriculture (the product demand-side) – low profit but remarkably stable.

      Once we went to a banking based money, we separated out landownership from agricultural production. In so doing, agricultural production has now become both low profit and hugely unstable – while landownership has become very stable. The government subsidies are ultimately given to the LANDOWNER – not the farmer. The checks may go to Iowa – but the farmer then turns around and pays the owner of the land he leases to farm. I’d guess that 50%+ of farmland – and hence 50% of those subsidies – is owned by hedge/pension funds and the uberwealthy (usually from FIRE sector because they know the game) in SF/LA/NY/etc.

      If farming itself were so lucrative and the system was so gamed in its favor; then farmers would probably not be an average age of late 50’s with their kids completely uninterested in farming as a career. The only young people interested in farming now are illegals and they are hardly doing so to get on a gravy train. The system is gamed in favor of landowners and land speculators from the FIRE sector. Just like everything else in this fucking ‘free market’.

      1. By your guess, 50% of farm land is owned by farmers. That’s a lot of “direct” funding. Further, retail (who owns the buildings?) receives no such subsidies, so it is about agriculture. (Another exception: coal mining.) And when governments guarantee prices for no matter how much farmers produce, then that’s something you rarely find in other fields. It doesn’t mean the business will be lucrative. Much supply.

        1. I’m not excusing the subsidy. But the reality is that it is not there to support farmers. It is there to prop up land prices so that banks can keep everything mortgaged (a ‘liquid’ land market). And yes – all land that is more expensive than farmland gets even bigger subsidies from government (in the form of favored income or tax loopholes or other market distortions). Land that is cheaper than farmland is in general still directly owned by government – or is controlled by government in other ways (usually via water/access) to keep the land market distorted. It has nothing to do with ‘farmer power’. Farming is merely an obviously land-extensive industry that doesn’t raise the price of generally ‘cheapest’ land. It’s all about the land and land-debt and the real rentier class here. If libertarians still read Henry George they would understand the dynamic. Instead they are a bunch of fucking tools.

          1. Worth thinking about. Of course several interests can align, and whether one understands it as a side effect or not, farmers get some benefits others don’t.

            “… doesn’t raise the price of generally ‘cheapest’ land.” Give that more detail, please.

            1. Farming itself doesn’t raise the price of land. But the relation of land to crops is different than any other. Every other business uses land as mere space. With farming, the land is also akin to capital machinery as well – it produces the crop. When land prices disconnect with crop prices because of say monetary policy that has no linkage to commodity backing, you get problems. If land prices go up (and hence required rent on that land), farmers MUST overproduce. Try to get two crops in or something – otherwise you can’t cover the increased land rent and the farm gets foreclosed. But with the combo of constant food demand and (usually) land price increases everywhere (due to those prices rising becuase of monetary policy), overproduction simply reduces crop prices and everything is back to square one and land is foreclosed and bank now has inventory. And the result can be much worse than just that – rising ranch land prices in panhandles area in WW1 and late 1920’s made ranching non-viable. The result was the rapid conversion to farmland instead. And when a wet 1920’s turned into a dry windy 1930’s, that initial conversion from ranch/prairie to farming turned 50 million acres into Dust Bowl.

              Ag subsidies are a crappy statist solution for the symptom – because the powers that be don’t want to solve the real problem (ie the disconnect between land prices and crop prices when crops can’t be legally monetized).

          2. “If libertarians still read Henry George they would understand the dynamic. Instead they are a bunch of fucking tools.”

            Isn’t it great when the one true Scotsman shows up to explain the heresies of the rest of us?
            JFree, you left out Elvis’s alien love-child in your conspiracy theories.

            1. Eat your haggis

          3. If libertarians still read Henry George they would understand the dynamic.

            Libertarians are not actually interested in the excruciating details in which government causes harm or who, in detail, engages in rent seeking through regulation and public spending. Libertarians generally oppose subsidies, regulation, and large scale public ownership of resources.

            Instead they are a bunch of fucking tools.

            With your apparent, pointless obsession with the details of just one of many failures of progressive policies, it looks to me like you are the “tool”.

            1. I actually agree. Modern libertarians are not at all interested in the details of rent seeking and market distortions caused by government. And worse, many of them have gone down the Randian path of blaming the wrong people anyway. Politically that’s a real problem. Because it means that socialists like Sanders are the only ones out there making noise about the main beneficiaries of rent seeking and market distortion. And in that vacuum, the socialists crappy solution becomes the only one on the public agenda. Libertarians cede identification of the problem to socialists – and then are left with nothing to do but whine about their political irrelevancy.

              And Henry George is the exact opposite of government ownership of resources. The three countries that have implemented his LVT – Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (pre-takeover) – are a fuckload more free market and entrepreneurial than the US.

              1. JFree|10.25.15 @ 1:11PM|#
                “….Modern libertarians are not at all interested in the details of rent seeking and market distortions caused by government….”

                Cite(s) missing.

              2. I actually agree. Modern libertarians are not at all interested in the details of rent seeking and market distortions caused by government. And worse

                Worse? What’s “bad” about not being interested in the details of rent seeking and market distortions? Agricultural subsidies should end, period. It makes no difference who in detail the rent seekers are or how in detail they have corrupted government.

                And Henry George is the exact opposite of government ownership of resources.

                Did I say anything to contradict that? But Henry George was not a libertarian, he was a progressive. His moral premises contradict libertarianism, and the fact that he happens to agree with libertarians on a few issues doesn’t change that.

                1. Knowing the details matters. If you don’t know how/who the rent-seeking and distorting takes place, then simply ‘ending subsidies’ is gonna be nothing but a game of whack-a-mole. More importantly, ending those subsidies is also gonna mean acquiring the power to do so. And in politics/voters, identifying the actual problem is 90% of the battle because that’s the person who’s gonna be able to simplify/demonize/emote and the other crap of modern politics.

                  Randians (not libertarians I know but in the absence of libertarians saying anything to the contrary the two get conflated in the public mind) do ‘identify a problem’. To them, the problem is the useless poor who distort markets and rent-seek in order to loot and mooch. Which fits very neatly with the Romney/crony/plutocrat crowd – but begs a question. If the ‘beneficiaries’ of this distortion/rent are so freaking poor, then is this distortion/rentseeking an actual problem or are Randians just reverse Robin Hoods engaged in class warfare? The distortion/rentseeking is obviously not working – since the poor are not getting rich. They may be idle – but they ain’t playing polo in Gstaad with their winnings from a life of idleness. As long as libertarians play the three monkeys, then the only pols correctly identifying the problem are gonna be the Sanders/Warren/Occupy crowd – and everyone is gonna be stuck with their crackpot solutions.

                  1. And I’d argue Henry George was one of the last of the classical liberals – and the very last of the classical economists. His economic argument was phrased in the same language as Smith and Ricardo. At the exact moment that economics changed its language to ‘marginalism’ or ‘neo-classical’. So ‘university-trained’ economists ignored him as an autodidact and George became less than a footnote.

                    He argued about monopoly in the exact same terms as the anarchists of the day (like Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner) but argued with them as well. In his case in favor of privatizing but taxing the land monopoly, eliminating the money monopoly, eliminating the patent monopoly, keeping the copyright monopoly, and eliminating the tariff monopoly – and viewed all of those monopolies as originating in government force. Some of those anarchists later went left (syndicalists or Chombots) – and some went right (American libertarians now via Rothbard) – but NONE went progressive. The modern notions about land property being ‘absolute’ property are a purely 20th century phenomenon. Everyone in the 19th century understood that private land property originates in a government grant of a land patent.

                    The Progressive movement was ENTIRELY about welcoming, embracing, and extending government monopoly. Whether for the purpose of ‘efficiency’ and getting rid of unruly competition (Rockefeller, Morgan, etc) or for the leftist statist purposes.

      2. You know jack shit about farming, you should STFU.

        1. I know jack shit about farming. But I won’t “STFU” because I pay a lot in taxes, taxes that farmers use to enrich themselves through rent seeking.

          1. I seek rent. From the tenant in my duplex. I don’t get a government check though. I must be doing it wrong.

    4. Uh, no…fuck off.

      1. Migrate on, Chip.

  4. It’s a shame it’s behind a paywall:
    “Ocean Beach bonfires? Sure. $35 fee? No way!”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/ent…..ate-result

    Ocean Beach is on the west of SF, and bonfires there are common. Now, the gov’t wants permits to burn and will charge for the pleasure.
    The writer is a columnist and an *editorial writer* for the Chron, and she laments that this is symptomatic of SF in 2015…..
    ‘because it privatizes enjoyable things’!
    Yes, folks, those editorials you read are written by someone who believes the Fed Gov’t is a private organization!

    1. It’s more likely a county or city ordinance, or if it’s considered a state beach, then the State imposing the fee, not the Federal government.

      I just can’t wrap my brain around, “because it privatizes enjoyable things!” The only way it makes sense is interpreting the “pursuit of happiness” clause as the requirement that government provide for or subsidize happiness, because it’s a RIIIIiiigggghhhhtttt and if you don’t pay for it, you’ve prohibited it.

      1. I wanted to follow up…

        I don’t think she thinks the fed. gov’t is a private organization, I think what she’s saying is that if you require a permit and/or fee, it creates private enjoyment. Only those who obtain the permit or pay the fee have access, thus the enjoyable thing is taken out of the public sphere and it is privatized.

      2. “It’s more likely a county or city ordinance, or if it’s considered a state beach, then the State imposing the fee, not the Federal government.”

        Sorry that article is pay-walled: The beach is part of the GGNRA – Golden Gate National Rec’l Area – fed.
        You might be right re: her claim of ‘privatization’, but then she uses the Google Buses as an example; buses provided by tech firms to get their employees back and forth, so I sort of doubt it.
        I’m afraid she’s just an average J-school grad and a Philippino woman, so she got a token job.

  5. “When animal rights groups have sought to defend their own rights to advance their agenda in the marketplace of ideas, I’ve defended that right. But using the law to crack down on the rights of farmers has had the unintended consequence of forcing those same farmers to fight back with laws of their own.”

    And this, exactly this, is precisely what animal rights groups are trying to do. The membership of groups like HSUS and PeTA are just another subset of authoritarian lefties who know what’s good for you better than you do, and want to force you to do as they see best.

    They have their own set of Top Men who will decide what’s best for us schlubs.

    1. And utilize the law to financially harass and cripple the weakest industry member (in this case the farm) into submission.

  6. I’m rapidly reaching the point where I think a good portion of my fellow citizens need to be put in a home for the mentally bewildered.

    Case in point: about thirty years ago, an airport was built in an area roughly fifteen miles from a city near where I live. The city expanded, as cities will. Gradually the land around the airport filled up with houses…and then a bunch of the homeowners wanted to shut the airport down..because of aircraft noise.

    Don’t these people fucking think?

    1. “Don’t these people fucking think?”

      That’s a rhetorical question, right?

      1. Sadly, it is.

    2. It is not their fault they chose to live next to an airport. They were forced by the evil corporations/rich/Koch brothers/etc…

    3. Depends. To begin with, noise violates others’ property. It doesn’t matter whether the former owners of the land that’s now held by house owners tolerated it. As long as no property rights were transferred to the airport, any current property owner affected by noise has a right to object. It doesn’t matter whether the airport was there prior to the current owner who objects. What matters are the property rights retained by, vested in, the land affected by noise. One has to look at whether these were contractually transferrred at some point, not at whether the aiport was there prior to the current owner.

      1. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. First, noise does not per se violate property. Just because a tree rustles in my yard and you can hear it doesn’t mean that your property rights somehow are violated by my tree rustling.

        Second, it is well known that your property rights do not extend to excluding aircraft above X feet from transiting above your property, let alone making noise while doing so.

        Third, it sure as hell matters whether the airport was there prior to the homeowner precisely because it affects what property rights are retained by the (prior owner of the) land. If the prior owner didn’t have the right to bring a nuisance/trespass claim, how can they somehow magically generate that right when they transfer the land to you?

        “One has to look at whether these were contractually transferrred at some point, not at whether the aiport was there prior to the current owner.”

        Look up the concepts of waiver and laches. Both would probably be legally applicable.

        1. If the prior owner didn’t have the right to bring a nuisance/trespass claim, how can they somehow magically generate that right when they transfer the land to you?

          Who says the prior owner didn’t have a right to bring such a claim? What people are saying is that just because the prior owner didn’t choose to bring such a claim doesn’t mean the next owner should be prevented from bringing such a claim.

          1. Indeed, Bear.

            As for the rest of your response, Trsh, I’m not talking de lege lata. The way property rights are currently drawn means that the airport (owner) has partial property rights to adjacent land — he is allowed to “impose” externalities (immissions), to pollute the land of others. In a way, he has the right to use their land.

  7. Pig farms are horribly smelly. They also do real environmental damage. If I recall correctly, they are the biggest polluters of waterways in Iowa.
    But, if that’s the cost of bacon, so be it.

    1. Speaking of pig farms, here’s my favorite new grocery item lately: http://gardein.com/products/pu…..cket-meal/

  8. Imagine how inefficient farming would be if the government did the farming, like the inefficiency of the government schools.

    1. See agriculture programs in, say, Soviet Union, China, Cuba, N Korea, Argentina, yadda

      1. “See agriculture programs in, […], China,…”

        Read “Hungry Ghosts”; how to starve 30-40M people by ‘good intentions’.

  9. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year w0rking 0nline and I’m a full time student. I’m using an 0nline business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great m0ney. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Here’s what I’ve been doing?
    ………. http://www.homejobs90.com

  10. The author ought to distinguish between rights, entitlements and power. A right is a moral claim to freedom of action, as embodied in the right to farm laws (which only a mixed or totalitarian economy would need). Power on the other hand is a time derivative, in this case the number of people the government can kill per unit of time. Governments with lots of hydrogen bombs, standing armies and militarized police are powerful. Entitlements are typically government gimmies doled out in exchange for votes. Aside from that the article was a good read. The American Liberal Party of 1931 was adamantly opposed to farm relief or any other kind of government meddling.

  11. I could see protecting a farm if I moved next door, but the new farm moved next to me. Are neighborhood now has very large semis driving up and down our street. I have tractors filling my house with dust, pesticides sprayed next to my organic garden and lots of farm workers driving in and out all day. We have developed breathing problems from the dust. This farm is actually more a distribution center for nursery plants Tham an actual farm but it falls under farming. They have no rules. They can operated 24 hours a day with unlimited semis. I can’t sell because my house has now a lower value but I can’t stand living in my home. I have lived here peacefully for 30 years but this last 12 months suck because of right to farms laws. It really should be called neighborhood destroying so someone can make money law.

    1. it could happen

    2. “I can’t sell because my house has now a lower value but I can’t stand living in my home.”

      Bullshit.
      You choose not to sell because you hoped it was of higher value.
      You guessed wrong; tough shit.

      1. Nonsense. It *was* of higher value until an external actor destroyed that value. No different than an EPA regulation telling him he can no longer use his boat dock.

        However, this is why people live in cities and HOAs. To avoid this risk.

        I guess he should have bought a larger plot of land. To insulate himself.

  12. What I want is them to be cut off from the government. They get subsidized when crops are great, they get subsidized when crops are terrible. They get paid to grow crops nobody needs, and paid to grow nothing at all. They whine and lobby and complain. Nobody else gets treated this way, so what makes them so special??

    Farmers are the biggest welfare queens around, who use nostalgia and romanticism to get their way. Let them learn some market discipline….

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