This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

"God Bless the Farmer": Community Perceptions of Legal Challenges to Hog Farming Operations in North Carolina




Richardson, Dalton

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


This research is designed to complement existing research concerning the health and the ecological impact of industrial agriculture through semi-structured interviews with residents of Duplin County, where two major lawsuits over property and civil rights are currently underway. My analysis of the ways in which locals understand the nuisance lawsuit, playing out in federal court, as well as a civil rights lawsuit brings property rights to the center of understanding ways in which rural people seek to stop environmental injustices. I demystify the property-centric processes through which rural populations are attempting to regain their rights after being dispossessed in favor of industrial hog farming operations. Both land dispossession and environmental injustices are unique venues through which rural populations are stripped of their ability to enjoy clean air, water, and their property.