Contributing more than $84 billion to the economy every year and employing 17% of our state’s workforce, the agricultural industry has long been integral to North Carolina’s growth and success. North Carolina’s farmers and agricultural businesses deserve legislation that supports their continued growth and protects against troubling legal practices, which is why we were disappointed to see that Governor Cooper chose to veto the Farm Act of 2018 (S711) today. As such, we’re now calling on the General Assembly to override the governor’s veto so this sound policy can become law.
The Farm Act contains a number of important provisions for North Carolina’s farmers and agricultural businesses. Among them is a piece that we strongly support: new legal protections against “nuisance” lawsuits. As we’ve seen, these types of lawsuits can be particularly dangerous for the agricultural industry—the uncertainty surrounding when and why you could be sued makes it difficult for small and large farmers alike to make business decisions about their operations. These new protections will require nuisance lawsuits to be filed within commonsense time frames and prohibit penalties against farmers unless their operation has violated a state regulation or farming rule. North Carolina’s largest industry and the small business farmers who feed the world face so much uncertainty on a daily basis—these protections will make their job just a little bit easier.
We urge the General Assembly to act swiftly to override this veto and will continue to advocate for the farmers and agricultural businesses who need our support.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs