North Carolina's hog industry has been getting organized this year to fight what it considers misleading information about its farming operations and nuisance lawsuits challenging their environmental practices.
A group called North Carolina Farm Families held a rally Thursday on the old Capitol grounds in Raleigh and dropped off more than 11,000 petitions with Gov. Pat McCrory. The governor also spoke to the crowd of more than 300 and lent his support.
The group counts Smithfield Foods and Murphy-Brown among their supporters. Both companies are now under the umbrella of China-based WH Group.
Speakers like North Carolina Pork Council CEO Deborah Johnson singled out the Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental group that has sued the industry and erected billboard bringing attention to pollution from large hog operations.