Local right-to-farm ordinances help maintain a supportive environment for farmers by limiting farmer/non-farmer neighbor conflicts. They are particularly useful where new residential and commercial development occurs adjacent to active farms. While new residents may be drawn by the charm of the rural landscape, they soon realize that farm operations create dust, odors and noise. In reaction to these perceived nuisances, non-farm neighbors may lodge complaints with the town or file lawsuits that can cripple or shut down farm operations. A local right-to-farm ordinance may help new residents prepare for living in a farming community.
The State of Connecticut has declared that "no agricultural or farming operation, place, establishment or facility, or any of its appurtenances, or the operation thereof, shall be deemed to constitute a nuisance" provided the operation is following generally accepted agricultural practices (see Appendix B, CGS § 19a-341). Generally accepted agricultural practices are determined by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Towns could consider enacting local "right-to-farm" ordinances to emphasize their support for local farms and farm businesses. In conjunction with an examination and subsequent update of local regulations that may hamper farm businesses, a local right-to-farm ordinance reaffirms a town's commitment to agriculture and identifies farming as an accepted and valued activity.