Amendment 1 will keep Missouri farming

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The beginning of June saw several congressmen speak about the "Farming Rights" amendment. Congressman Sam Graves and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver have joined their colleagues -- Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Congressman Billy Long and Congressman Jason Smith -- in endorsing Amendment 1.

In a recent a press release, Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said: "Amendment 1 will help protect the farm and ranch families that are the backbone of Missouri's economy and ensure that consumers have as many food choices as they want. Missouri's congressional leaders understand the importance of this issue to our state and we appreciate their support. Family farmers have led the charge on Amendment 1 from the beginning and we are working to educate voters across the state on why they should vote 'Yes' on Amendment 1 on the August 5 ballot."

Some may still have questions as to what Amendment 1 is. In a nutshell, it is to ensure farmers have the right to farm and ranch.

Here are a few things this amendment will do, according to www.mofarmerscare.com:

-- Save Missouri jobs and defend the hardworking farm families that drive our state economy.

-- Protect Missouri's family farms from out-of-state animal-rights groups that have targeted Missouri agriculture in the past.

-- Protect small farms and family farmers as they do not have the resources to mount legal challenges or relocate their farms like corporations can.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment:

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.

What you will see

2014 Ballot Summary:

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.

According to information from the Missouri Farmers Care website, the amendment will protect the Missouri farm families who serve to provide food for every family while saving Missouri jobs and ensuring access to quality food at the grocery store. This constitutional amendment is supported by farmer-led agriculture organizations and family farmers, and will protect Missouri's number one industry and help protect Missouri from out-of-state special interests.

Some of those farmer-led organizations and members include Missouri Pork Association, MFA Inc, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Cattlemen's Association and Missouri Farm Bureau.

"Missouri agriculture is united behind passage of Amendment 1 and we are committed to passing this amendment to protect consumer choice and farm families' ability to pass their farms and ranches on to the next generation," Missouri Farmers Care Chairman Don Nikodim said. "Outside animal-rights groups have targeted agriculture repeatedly and they are attempting to spread misinformation about this amendment. The truth is that Amendment 1 is supported by family farmers, and it is designed to protect family farmers."

Missouri Farmers Care representative Dan Kleinsorge said they have been working to promote this legislation for over a year.

"We've been working a while. Signs are going up all over the state and we're gearing up for it to pass," he said.

With the support of the agricultural organizations and farm families and individuals, he is happy to see this as a farmer-driven effort.

There is still work to be done as the legislation will be up for vote on August 5. Kleinsorge, Nokodim and the rest of Missouri Farmers Care will be encouraging people to vote 'Yes' for Amendment 1 in a few weeks.

For further information about Amendment 1, please visit www.MOFarmersCare.com.