Frustrated Brent Jackson plays the Bible card during hog nuisance debate


When you have no legitimate argument, it's time for, "What about Adam?"

Near the end of an hour-long debate on the Senate floor, Sen. Brent Jackson sounded exasperated. “I shouldn’t have to defend this dang bill,” he said, his voice cracking as if he were leading a tent revival. “There’s not a dang one of you all that has not eaten today or this week … Read the book of Genesis. Adam was a farmer.”

As the story goes, Adam did have a garden, and later a few livestock. But nowhere does Genesis say Adam raised 7,000 hogs in confinement barns a quarter-mile from his neighbors, built smelly, open-air waste lagoons the size of a football field and sprayed manure on that field, allowing the fecal bacteria to drift to and land on adjacent houses.

Pretty sure Adam didn't have *any* neighbors, much less ones who lived close enough to be bothered by his farming techniques. And of course we can't forget Cain slew Abel with what was very likely a farm tool, so if Adam's farming techniques were anything like his parenting skills, you know. Might have been some problems there. But blasphemy aside, this piece of hog manure legislation is what Brent Jackson is so self-righteously defending:

The NC Farm Act, Senate Bill 711, would all but erase citizens’ right to sue industrialized hog farms for nuisance. It also dissuades these farms, which raise from 500 to 50,000 hogs or more, to modernize their waste management systems. The neighbors of these farms would just have to get used to the stench, flies, buzzards, gnats, dust, truck traffic and dumpsters of putrefying hog carcasses. They are supposed to look at the bacon on their plates or the hams in the grocery store and feel grateful.

The Farm Act is a direct rebuke to the nuisance suits currently wending through federal court. However, it’s not the farmers but the world’s largest pork producer Murphy-Brown who is on trial. That’s because the company owns the hogs and dictates to the farmers how they will run their farms, down from the type and amount of feed to the method of waste disposal.

In the first case, the billion-dollar company was stung by a historic loss. The jury awarded 10 plaintiffs $50 million in compensatory and punitive damages, although it was later reduced by US District Court Judge Earl Britt, as legally required by a state cap on the amount. The legislation could nullify the two dozen more cases that are have been filed, but not yet heard.

Murphy-Brown does not want to lose again.

And it looks like Berkshire Hathaway doesn't want to start losing. Back on May 7 Brent Jackson received $8,000 from the Wordsworth family of Rocky Mount, big players in the pork processing and distribution game:

Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., doing business as MBM Corporation, provides customized foodservice distribution services in the United States and internationally. It offers supply chain services to quick service, fast casual, and full service restaurant segments. Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc. was formerly known as W&M Distributing. The company was founded in 1947 and is based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina with distribution centers in Aberdeen, Maryland; Aurora, Colorado; Buena Park, Ontario, Pleasanton, Rancho Cucamonga, Tracy, Riverside, and Manteca, California; Columbus and Lockbourne, Ohio; Cordele, Macon, Newman, and LaGrange, Georgia; Dallas, Forth Worth, and Lewisville, Texas

Here's more about the BH acquisition deal:

MBM, whose headquarters is 2641 Meadowbrook Road, was founded by J.R. Wordsworth in 1947 as a pork processor catering to its local market in Rocky Mount. The company has grown to become a $6 billion food service distributor, providing food service supply chain services to thousands of national and regional chain restaurants in the country. The company employs more than 3,300 nationwide.

The McLane press release states that MBM after the acquisition “will continue to be run in the same prudent and professional manner as it has been for the past 65 years, led by the current executive management team and operating out of its existing facilities in the same markets.” The only change to MBM’s business will be “new access to enhanced resources, operational best practices and intellectual capital that will provide significant upside and opportunity for increased levels of success for MBM, McLane and the customers both companies serve,” the McLane release stated.

“We are excited to become part of the McLane and Berkshire Hathaway family, which provides an extraordinary base to continue to serve our wonderful customers and expand our business,” Wordsworth, CEO of MBM, said in the release.

Wordsworth is a part-owner of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team.

Needless to say, if these huge hog farms currently stinking up North Carolina are forced to move elsewhere, the business that made Jerry Wordsworth a Billionaire (that's right) could dry up relatively quickly.