Friday, March 04, 2016

NM right to farm bill signed into law

Gov. Susana Martinez visited Southwest Cheese in Clovis Thursday afternoon to sign two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 72 and House Bill 270. A crowd from both agricultural and medical industries gathered around to witness the signing of these two bills. Senate Bill 72, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, took an existing piece of legislation, the Right to Farm Act, and updated it to better protect New Mexico farmers and ranchers. Walter Bradley, director of government and business relations at Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., said the bill amends the law to protect farm operations from nuisance claims. A claim may not be brought by a person if there is a purchase, lease, or rental of property near an existing operation unless the farm substantially changes its nature and landscape of operation, Bradley said. “Basically, if you’re new to the neighborhood and you move in near an existing operation, ranch, or farm, that business is allowed to grow without fear of a nuisance lawsuit being brought against it,” said Katie Goetz, public information officer of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Regarding Senate Bill 72, Martinez said there are nearly 25,000 farms and ranches across the state and are diverse in their sizes and end products. “The bill I’m signing today further protects this industry,” she said. “I understand the value of this industry. Supporting the agricultural industry has never been more important than it is today,” She said there’s been an increase in New Mexico of young farmers and ranchers of about 50 percent since 2007. “I think that’s an exciting thing—a trend that we want to see continue.” Martinez said. “With this bill, we assure our farmers and ranchers that they can continue their operations without having to worry about getting dragged into court, simply because a new neighbor thinks they’re too loud or they’re a nuisance.”...more

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