hog farmers

Waterkeepers up to their old tricks:Misleading the public about hog farmers

The Waterkeepers are up to their old tricks once again. They have recently published a petition, pushing folks to “tell the Cooper administration: Hold industrial hog polluters accountable.” The petition was accompanied by a short article that discussed cesspools, dumping waste, pollution, and a lack of transparency by hog farmers.

The Waterkeepers chose to frame the General Permit and hog farmers in such a way that left us confused and a bit offended. So, we’d like to clarify a few things:

  1. Hog farmers are not opposed to the General Permit. We understand that regulations are important. We do, however, have concerns regarding some of the requirements. Those concerns do not mean we are opposed to regulations, rather we just want to ensure that the permit has sound and sensical requirements that benefit both hog farmers and the community.

  2. Hog farmers already regularly report management of swine manure to the state, unlike what the Waterkeepers say.

  3. The Waterkeepers say it is “time for more oversight, accountability, and transparency.” Hog farmers have had state oversight for years. We’ve been held accountable by the state, trade organizations, and the community. And, as for transparency regarding manure management…we’ve given explanation after explanation of how it works. We’ve written blogs, aired TV commercials, and invited people to farms. Just last week we published two blogs discussing lagoons. No transparency?

  4. If the Waterkeepers are so concerned with the pollution of water, why do they only focus on hog farmers? Why do they continue to ignore sewer spills which were far worse than hog farm spills during the horrific Hurricane Florence?

We could go on and on about the discrepancies the Waterkeepers post, but we think you get the idea. They love to frame hog farmers as careless polluters. The truth is, we aren’t. We care.Publicly, we’d like to say, that we appreciate the Waterkeepers offer to be our accountability partner, but respectfully decline. We prefer partners who don’t spread falsehoods about us. We don’t need that negativity in our lives.

NC Farm Families: 2016 Summary


In Review

North Carolina Farm Families has had a busy year educating the public, answering attacks, leading an intensive media campaign, and protecting the farm families of North Carolina. These efforts would not be possible without the support of all of you and so many friends. Thank you.Your constant support has allowed NC Farm Families to accomplish goals and make positive strides for farm families across the state. The following is a brief summary of the 2016 year.

Media Campaign

January 2016……………..Phase 1 of Media Campaign Launched

  • The first wave of ads focused on the messages that farmers work hard, are important to the economy, feed 20 million Americans, and hog farmers are not harming the waterways (Black River). These ads were aired through TV, radio, newspapers, and Internet statewide.

April 2016………………….Phase 2 of Media Campaign Launched

  • The second phase of ads aired on TV, radio, and Internet. The focus was the cycle of applying waste, how complex the regulations that hog farmers must comply with, and how James Lamb has done it right for 18 years.

August 2016……………Phase 3 of Media Campaign Launched

  • The final phase took on Robert Kennedy Jr. and his claims that hog farms were “sprouting like mushrooms,” lagoons were overflowing, and hog farms were hidden.

Results—Polls taken after every ad showed an increase in hog farm favorability.ending

 Other Events and Activities:

  • Presence at community events
  • Daily social media monitoring, posts, and engagement (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter)
  • Published Op eds in local newspapers
  • Presented at universities, events, and to organizations.

Speaking to a class at the University of Mount OliveCommunity Day Parade in Harrels, NCJames Lamb and Miss Spivey's Corner at the Smithfield Expo 

What Now?

We have certainly done a lot, but there is much left to be done. The Waterkeepers and cohorts have stepped up their attacks on farmers. Recently, they released 9 videos online that accuse hog farmers of polluting and claim racial bias. They are dead wrong…again.NC Farm Families is dedicated to upholding our mission to protect the farm families of NC. And, we plan on doing just that by setting the record straight. Stand with us as we continue to fight for the truth.

Stay up to date by joining our email list on our website and following us on social media. You can also read our responses to attacks on our blog, The Farmkeepers, also found on our website.banner