Since I farm in Missouri and there is a proposed constitutional amendment to the state’s constitution, friends have asked me about resources on the proposition that appears on Tuesday’s ballot. I encourage everyone to look into the topic and I always encourage people to vote.
This is an important topic for our family farm and our neighbors throughout the state who have various choices to consider and should be able to choose freely without others trying to control us. If you’d like my stance on the amendment, I am voting yes to protect the right of all farmers in Missouri to farm and encourage others to do the same. I am also voting yes to protect consumer choice when we go to the grocery stores. I love walking into the grocery store and having many different options and I want to make sure my children grow up and have that same right.
The Proposed Constitutional Amendment
As I have looked around the internet, I have found a lot of buzzwords and some half-truths that really bother me. Some sites are using language that doesn’t reflect the actual ballot. I encourage you to go straight to the Missouri Secretary of State website on the ballot’s right to farm initiative to be certain you have the facts.
Section 35. That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.
Here is the proposition:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?
The potential costs or savings to governmental entities are unknown, but likely limited unless the resolution leads to increased litigation costs and/or the loss of federal funding.
Resources to Use As You Consider Your Vote
I have been providing friends various links of information to read and wanted to put them here for you to access and to hopefully share with friends who live and vote in Missouri. We would love to get a show of support for farmers this Tuesday when we go to the polls.
A fellow Missouri farmer wrote this great post “Yes? No? What to do and who to believe? It’s voting time.”
Two organizations I am active with are providing resources on their websites. I recommend you read these pages from Missouri Farmers Care (Background on Missouri Farming Rights Amendment and Farming Rights Frequently Asked Questions) and Missouri Farm Bureau (Keep Missouri Farming, Amendment #1 Q&A Sheet and Amendment #1 FAQ’S).
The campaign fighting this amendment is spending a lot of money to get their word out. Just this week, the HSUS (which I have written about before) provided $375,000 to campaign against this farmer-driven amendment. One thing that others are suggesting this new amendment would do, would be to open our farms up to foreign takeovers. The amendment will not change any legislation on the books and Missouri already limits foreign farm ownership to one percent. That will absolutely stay in effect. Amendment 1 will not void federal, state or local laws.
I am so committed to the cause, I appear in a video alongside fellow Missouri farmer Blake Hurst and others talking about the proposition.