Local News

Big Business Creates Malodorous Dispute

Posted August 18, 1996 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Hog business is big business in North Carolina. It's also become a smelly issue that's about to be carried out in a Johnston County court.

As more and more people find themselves living closer to hog farms in the eastern part of the state, the odor emanating from such farms is becoming the subject of much controversy. To those who run or work at the farms, the smell of money seems most important. Those protesting say it smells like their property values are coming down.

Farmer Terry Barefoot (pictured, left) has waste ponds, barns and 2,880 hogs, and his neighbors don't like it. The debate over hog odors and what it does to the neighborhood is now in court.

Twenty-seven people, led by Wilton Parker (below, left), are suing the farmer. Parker says he and his neighbors are upset about the odor.

Another similar trial 15 months ago was decided in favor of a hog farmer. This time, the plaintiff's attorney plans to take the jury to the farm in question.

The attorneys trying this case are the same ones who were involved in the previous trial. Each of the 27 plaintiffs in the case is asking for $10,000 from the farmer, and the shutdown of the farm.

Jury selection began Monday. The case is expected to go on for several weeks.