Indiana Right to Farm Act STANDS – US Supreme Court and Himsel

On Monday, October 5, 2020, the US Supreme Court denied the petition for Certiorari in the Himsel v. Himsel case.  This decision is an affirmation of the constitutionality of the Indiana Right to Farm Act.

The decision of the US Supreme Court to let the Indiana Court of Appeals decision stand is an important benchmark in Indiana agriculture.  The ability of farmers to use the best and most contemporary farming practices, as well as make use of economies of scale in production both for profitability and the maximum care of the agriculture product is critical to both keep Indiana competitive in the global marketplace and for farmers to continue to operate and earn a liveable income from the important industry of agriculture.

Agriculture has changed more in the past one hundred years than it had throughout the previous millenium. Those who challenge modern farming practices fail to understand the critical role modern agricluture plays in our ability to feed ourselves and the world.  They also fail to understand the most basic tenant of farming – to take the best care of your livestock and crops as both a moral imperitive and as a path to profitability.

Carroll County Hog Barns

Farmers work hard, care deeply for livestock and crops, and strive to produce the best.

From National Hog Farmer:  U.S. Supreme Court upholds Indiana’s Right to Farm Act


Maple Leaf Farms – Indiana Duck Production

Indiana ranks #1 in the nation for duck production, largely due to Maple Leaf Farms in Leesburg, Indiana.  I had the opportunity to visit Maple Leaf Farms a few years ago as part of the Indiana Bar Association Agriculture Section Annual Meeting held at their conference center.  Our hosts were terrific people, the farm we visited was very interesting, and the duck was tasty.

For more information about duck production, check out this new article from Agri News:  Best Duck Isn’t Luck:  Journey from Farm to Table.

American Soybean Association – Started 100 Years Ago in Carroll County, Indiana

The American Soybean Association got its start 100 years ago just outside of Camden, Indiana, in Carroll County on September 3, 2020.  Soybean production went from 112, 926 acres in 1919 to 76.1 million acres in 2019, making soybeans the second-largest US crop.

Like most farmers in Carroll County, our farm includes soybeans in rotation each year.  Carroll County ranks 23rd in the State for total number of soybean acres (2017 data), and Indiana ranks 5th in the nation for soybean production.

The first ASA president was Taylor Fouts.  Descendants of the original Fouts family live in the area and continue to farm.

Then – brothers Taylor, Noah, and Finis Fouts

NOW:  American Soybean Association Website

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Right to Farm – Himsel v Himsel

Shoutout to Brianna Schroeder for a great summary of the Indiana Supreme Court case Himsel v Himsel, decided on February 21, 2020.  Please check out her well-written and very readable article via the link, below:

Modern Livestock Farms Are within the Right to Farm Despite Size and Scope

This is a case involving the Indiana Right to Farm Act, and particularly, the Indiana Supreme Court makes clear that modern agriculture practices – including contemporary livestock farming – is consistent with historic agriculture use.  Quoting from the article:

“The farmers and the amici argued—and the Court agreed—that the Act preserves farmland by protecting farmers against nuisance lawsuits even if the modern farm arrives after the neighbors built their homes in the area. The change from cropland to livestock farming is not a statutorily “significant change” that would remove the Act’s protections. The farm was used for agricultural purposes in general at least as early as 1941, and neighbors’ non-farming land use began well after 1941. The neighbors knowingly built their homes in an agricultural area. That was enough for the Act to apply. The Court also rejected neighbors’ attempt to “repackage” their nuisance claim as one for “trespass” or “negligent siting.” ”

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on several other principles of law which support the Indiana Right to Farm Act in general, and as applies to this case.

All farmers should (continue to) be considerate and compassionate toward residential neighbors, However, residential neighbors need to be aware of modern farming practices, now, and in the future.

Indiana State Fair – Modified 2020 State Fair Livestock Show

Unfortunately, the community and state effects of COVID have changed the way the Indiana State Fair will be presented for 2020.  We will not see the traditional state fair with activities, concerts, and wall-to-wall people enjoying 4H exhibits, shows, food, concerts, and the midway, but there will be 4H livestock and exhibits honoring the agriculture and youth focus of the Indiana State Fair.

Read the press release here:  2020_Indiana_State_Fair_Cancellation_Release.FINAL