statutory protections, nuisance suits, agricultural operation definition, agricultural production, one-year limitations, legal exclusions, constitutionality, states rights, statutory defense

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In the1980s, state legislatures in all fifty states enacted statutes commonly referred to as "right-to-farm" laws. Arkansas enacted its right-to-farm law ("the Act") in 1981. While there are similarities, these laws differ from state-to-state. All right-to-farm laws provide agricultural producers with statutory defenses to nuisance challenges, subject to certain conditions. As one scholar has noted, right-to-farm laws are designed "to protect existing farm investments by reducing actions under nuisance law that enjoined agricultural activities." These laws also work to preserve farmland and protect established farmland from the pressures of urbanization, allowing "farmers to continue with their husbandry pursuits rather than enjoining them from farming due to the presence of a nuisance."