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February 28, 2013

Missouri Farmers Care Applauds Ruling In Favor of Farmer Gavin Hauk

Jefferson City - Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) leaders announced last week that they applaud the Circuit Court of Scotland County for ruling in favor of farmer Gavin Hauk, who had been denied a permit to place a new 4,960-head hog facility by the county commission on the basis of its County Health Ordinance.

"This is a great victory for modern agriculture and for Mr. Hauk," Missouri Farmers Care Chairman Don Nikodim said. "Agriculture is the lifeblood of our rural and statewide economy and local governments should not be restricting farming practices that are proven safe for animals, people, and the environment."

The MFC leader noted that Scotland County's Health Ordinance is unusually restrictive in that it requires farmers to place confined animal feeding operations at least two miles from a "populated area", citing expert testimony in the case that indicated this restriction would prevent any new operations throughout the entire county. and is four times more restrictive than state law. The court also found that the Scotland County Commission had ignored their own ordinance by issuing twelve earlier permits.

"Gavin Hauk was merely trying to improve his farm and bring more economic activity to Scotland County," Missouri Farmers Care Treasurer Dale Ludwig said. "We hope that the judgment in Scotland County is the beginning of a process to allow more growth in the Missouri livestock industry. Many of these ordinances have stifled rural economies and I hope that county governments take a second look at them."

The Court ordered Scotland County to pay damages of $178,566 Mr. Hauk for delayed construction and lost revenue and also ordered the County to issue Mr. Hauk a permit.

Members of Missouri Farmers Care include: Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Inc., Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, Missouri Egg Council, Inc., MFA Oil, Missouri Agribusiness Association, FCS Financial, Missouri Dairy Growth Council, Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, Cargill, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives Missouri Pet Breeders Association, Monsanto, United Producers, Inc., Missouri Sheep Producers, Missouri Livestock Marketing Association, Missouri Farmer Today, Professional Pet Association, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, and the Missouri Whitetail Breeders and Hunting Ranch Association, Lathrop & Gage, Conservation Federation of Missouri, and the Missouri Sporting Dog Association.

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