The Arkansas Farm Bureau’s support for C&H Hog Farms lies firmly in the organization’s foundational support for private property rights and right-to-farm laws, as defined by its grass-roots, member-developed policy.
“The Arkansas Farm Bureau believes these farmers, and all property owners, should be able to use their land in compliance with the law,” said ArFB President Randy Veach, a cotton and soybean farmer from Manila (Mississippi County). “Our position alongside C&H Hog Farms is in no shape, form or fashion a political statement.”
Veach noted that Arkansas Farm Bureau is local, statewide and national in its scope, is non-partisan and does not endorse specific candidates.
“Though political candidates may speak out on this issue, we see this as much more significant than a political statement,” Veach said. “This situation affecting C&H cuts across political boundaries, farm size and purpose. This is about doing what is right for Arkansas’ farmers and ranchers.”
The organization’s support for C&H has been amplified by the recent decision by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to deny the farm’s operational permit, despite no environmental infractions during the farm’s more than four years of operation. The Pollution Control & Ecology Commission, which has oversight of ADEQ, has issued a stay that allows the farm to operate while the legal appeal is under review.
“Farm Bureau’s mission is very clear,” Veach said. “We are to advocate the interests of agriculture in the public arena; disseminate information concerning the value and importance of agriculture; and provide products and services that improve the quality of life for our members.
“Let me be very clear: Farm Bureau supports a clean, healthy, vibrant Buffalo River. Our farmers and ranchers, without exception, are the best caretakers of our water, soil and air, as well as the animals they raise.
“And they do this to provide us with the safest, most affordable supply of food, fiber and shelter in the world. It is with that belief in mind that the Arkansas Farm Bureau continues to support C&H Hog Farms.”
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization with more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
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