To Ohio Farmers and Producers:
We would like to make sure you know and understand your rights as an agricultural operation under Ohio law. The Ohio General Assembly has long recognized the importance and value of the food and agriculture industry to our state by providing “affirmative defenses” that can protect producers from civil liability for the unintended or unavoidable consequences of farming.
An “affirmative defense” is a legal defense that can defeat a claim in a court of law. It cannot prevent someone from filing a lawsuit, but it can assist the defendant in responding to the claim. It’s important to remember that the recognized defenses won’t protect someone who isn’t following the law or using best management practices for the activity that is the source of the complaint.
The attached document from The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension details the six categories of “affirmative defenses” which are:
• Affirmative defense to claims involving the application of fertilizer for
certified fertilizer applicators
• The Ohio “Right to Farm Law” affirmative defense to nuisance claims
• The Ohio Agricultural Pollution Abatement law affirmative defense for
nuisance involving agricultural pollution
• Affirmative defense to nuisance for facilities operating under a confined animal feeding facility permit
• Affirmative defense to statutory nuisance claims
• Affirmative defense for nuisance involving forestry pollution
In the event of legal action, contact an attorney. Please read the attached document and if you have general questions about this topic, we would encourage you to reach out to your local OSU Extension Office. Thank you for all that you do for Ohio’s food and agriculture industry.
Dorothy Pelanda, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture
Dr. Cathann Kress, Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean, College of Food Agricultural and Environmental Services at The Ohio State University
Terry Cosby, State Conservationist, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Leonard Hubert, State Director, United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency
Bob Short, President, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Click here to learn more information about Affirmative Defense