W. Va. Legislature approves Right to Farm bill

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Spreading manure
Manure being spread on a field.

CHARLESTON — The “Right to Farm” bill, or S.B. 393, has been passed by both houses of the West Virginia Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.

The bill, sought by West Virginia Farm Bureau, provides an amended definition of agriculture and protects farmers from what is known as “nuisance lawsuits,” whereby neighboring landowners suddenly decide an established agriculture operation is no longer desirable.

Protecting farms

Such lawsuits have been devastating to farmers around the country whose operations have been in existence for generations without complaint. S.B. 393 was sponsored by Senators Sypolt, Azinger, Baldwin, Blair, Boso, Clements, Hamilton, Jeffries, Maynard, Hardesty, Rucker, Smith, Takubo, Tarr, Plymale, Beach, Cline, Roberts, Swope, and Trump.

“This bill will provide a great sense of security for farmers across our state,” said West Virginia Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong. “Farmers who are using best management practices on their operations should not have to worry about suddenly being forced out of business by trial lawyers seeking big settlements for bogus nuisance claims. We’re grateful for a legislative body that understands the vast impact agriculture has on the economy of our state and the need to protect it from unwarranted litigation.”

West Virginia Farm Bureau was founded in 1919 to provide leadership, education, information, training and economic services to county farm bureaus to enhance the quality of life for its members.

For more information on WVFB, visit www.wvfarm.org.

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