Tag: farm

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Indiana’s factory farm case


The Supreme Court began its new term Monday with a remembrance of “a dear friend and a treasured colleague,” the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Oct. 5)

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Nearly five years after Richard and Janet Himsel’s legal battle over odors and other alleged harm from the nearby confined hog feeding operation began, it appears to be coming to a close.

Earlier this year, the Hendricks County couple, with the help of a local environmental group, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on their case that claimed Indiana’s Right to Farm Act violated the U.S. Constitution. On Monday, the nation’s highest court rejected that appeal. 

The court is asked to review more than 7,000 cases each year, and it usually accepts only about 100 to 150. Kim Ferraro, senior staff attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council and the plaintiff’s counsel, said in July when the petition was filed that they always knew it was a long shot — but a shot they felt worth taking. 

Ferrarro did not immediately respond to IndyStar’s request for comment. 

Richard Himsel lives on the farm his family has had since 1940 in Danville, Ind. Himsel has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Farm laws. He says the presence of the industrial-sized hog farm adjacent to his property, 1,600 feet from his home, has diminished the quality of his life. Due to the odor, his wife no longer lives on the property. (Photo: Doug McSchooler/for The Star)

Defense counsel Chris Braun, a partner at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, said in a statement that this is a “huge win for Indiana farmers and the entire agricultural community.” He said this change allows farmers to modernize their operations and change the use of their farmland “while being protected from nuisance lawsuits by neighbors who disagree.”

The issue in the petition to the court was whether Indiana’s Right to Farm statute provides complete immunity for nuisance and trespass liability to confined feeding operations, and in doing so, violates the Takings Clause of the Constitution. That clause says that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Richard and Janet Himsel — along with another neighboring couple — filed a lawsuit in 2015 after an 8,000-hog barn moved in next door two years before and allegedly began causing harm. 

This livestock operation less than a mile away from Richard Himsel’s property, on County Road 425 West in Hendricks County. Himsel lives on a Danville farm his family has owned since 1940. Himsel has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Farm laws, saying it protects corporations and large farming operations over the rights of smaller farmers and individuals. (Photo: Doug McSchooler / For The Star)

The case began in Indiana Trial Court, where they alleged the farm diminished their quality of life — that the odors from the farm made being in their homes unbearable and made their throat and eyes sting, and reduced

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Argentina farm body says grains tax cuts not enough, lambastes government

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BUENOS AIRES, Oct 2 (Reuters)Argentina’s main farm association said on Friday that government measures to cut export taxes on grains were inadequate and failed to address issues facing local farmers amid a grave economic crisis and strict capital controls.

The center-left government said on Thursday it would reduce the export levy on soybeans, soymeal and soyoil by 3 percentage points to 30% to stimulate stalled sales and bring in much-needed foreign currency.

Farmers in Argentina, the world’s top exporter of processed soy, have held back on selling their soy harvests, a concern for the government as foreign currency reserves dwindle amid the coronavirus pandemic and low confidence in the peso as the country heads for its third straight year of recession.

Argentina is also just emerging from a sovereign default after restructuring over $100 billion in foreign currency debt.

The Liaison Commission of Agricultural Entities, which incorporates the four main farming bodies, called the government’s plans “insufficient” and “isolated measures, which look like patches” rather than a comprehensive strategy.

“The lack of dollars is a consequence of the terrible export policies that have been taken, looking only at tax collection and discouraging growth of exportable production,” it said in a statement, adding it had not been consulted on the measures.

Argentina’s powerful farm sector has clashed with various governments before over taxes. Current President Alberto Fernández resigned from his position as then chief-of-staff in 2008 amid a fierce dispute with the industry over tax hikes.

The farm body said that the temporary reduction of some taxeswas of little help to farmers themselves, who have said many of the benefits will be soaked up by grain processors rather than growers.

Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of soybean meal and oil, the third largest of unprocessed soy beans and one of the most important sellers of beef, corn and wheat.

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Nicolas Misculin; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and John Stonestreet)

((adam.jourdan@thomsonreuters.com; +54 1155446882; Reuters Messaging: adam.jourdan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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