University of Maryland Extension

What? More Poultry Houses?

Author: 
Mae Johnson

Editor's note: As a part of our ongoing right-to-farm law series, we are happy to have Mae Johnson, Administrator, Maryland Agricultural Conflict Resolution Service (ACReS), Maryland Department of Agriculture preparing this post.  Maryland's Right-to-Farm law requires mediation before going to court and ACReS mediates many of these Right-to-Farm disputes.  We asked Mae how past mediations have worked involving the Right-to-Farm law to illustrate how neighbors have a voice in the process.  Earlier Ashley Newhall posted on what life was like before RTF laws and I will finish up later this week with a post comparing Maryland's law with other states' RTF laws. 

If you have other issues we should be addressing please, let us know here.

Context:  A farmer decided to build more poultry houses to increase his family’s income.  His neighbors living nearby became angry as they imagined the increase in smells.  The producer felt that he was within his right to use his land to increase his poultry operation.  The neighbors felt they were within their rights to enjoy their property without the smell of poultry.  Under the County’s Right-to-Farm Ordinance, all purchasers and lessees must receive a statement specifically advising the purchasers or lessees of the existence of the Right-to-Farm Ordinance. Although the homeowners acknowledged the existence of the ordinance, they still felt they had the right to enjoy their property without the existence of poultry odors which they believed would increase with the addition of more poultry houses.

To continue reading, click over the Maryland Risk Management Education blog.

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