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Bill to amend Nebraska’s Right to Farm Act ‘unnecessary’ for agriculture

A bill that’s been introduced in Nebraska’s Unicameral would further protect the state’s farmers and ranchers from nuisance lawsuits.

But, Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen says its unnecessary and  tips the balance between zoning regulations, residents and producers. “Because you want to protect the well-being of the neighbors, but you also want to make sure it’s possible for the livestock producer to have an operation.”

LB 662 would amend the Nebraska Right To Farm Act by:

  1. Limits standing to nearby landowners to allow those who may be affected by an agricultural
    operation to seek a remedy while preventing outside organizations with no presence in Nebraska
    from using nuisance lawsuits to harass our agricultural producers.
  2. Creates a rebuttable presumption that an agricultural operation is not a nuisance if using commonly
    accepted industry practices.
  3. States that an agricultural operation is not a nuisance merely because of a change in ownership or
    size, nonpermanent cessation or interruption in agricultural activities, participation in a government sponsored program, the use of new technologies, or a change in the type of farm product produced.
  4. Sets the statute of limitations for nuisance suits against agricultural operations at one year from the
    date complainant first experiences the nuisance.

NeFU opposes the bill and Hansen says the legislation is narrowly drawn to protect large companies who own operations in the state. “Nebraska, as a state, has avoided a lot of the anti-livestock sentiment that has impacted other states because we’ve been historically, Nebraska-nice kind-of-state even though we are the nation’s top producing red meat state.”

During testimony in front of the ag committee Tuesday, two speakers supported the bill, including Lincoln Premium Poultry, while several others were opposed.

Hansen hopes that representation will help the bill die in committee.

John Hansen, NeFU President:

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