Turunen’s swine saga stretches five years; Fate of UP’s largest hog producer rests with court

IN LIMBO–Baraga farmer Roger Turunen with his “Hogan Hogs” last week. After battling the DNR for nearly five years Turunen awaits the judge’s ruling in his Circuit Court case. DNR personnel have inspected the few pigs Turunen owns and found some to violate the Invasive Species Order, and others not in violation. Turunen continues to farm and sell pigs under the protection of an injunction issued by Circuit Judge Charles Goodman. The DNR appealed the injunction unsuccessfully in 2013 and 2016.

by Barry Drue
A nearly-five year legal battle over his right to raise his “Hogan Hogs” continues for Baraga pig farmer Roger Turunen. The four-day Baraga County Circuit Court session pitting Turunen against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has concluded. Both sides await 12th Circuit Judge Charles Goodman’s decision—and both sides say they will appeal if they lose. Few would have imagined this case consuming vast legal resources for both parties this long. And it’s likely going to continue through the appellate process. The State sent three Assistant Attorneys General to L’Anse for the court week, and two of them have been on the case for years. Turunen noted his attorneys “get paid for every day” through his own funds and many donations, both large and small, that come in to help fund his David vs. Goliath battle against the DNR. “There are a lot of people who don’t like the DNR,” Turunen dryly notes. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.