Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: "Right to Farm" right for Missouri

Friday, August 1, 2014

Over the past several weeks, I have become alarmed at the significant number of people who have apparently received misinformation concerning the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment. This will appear as Amendment No. 1 on next Tuesday's ballot.

The opposition to this bill comes mainly from groups that are opposed to animal agriculture, while most of the agricultural organizations in the state, are in favor of it. Amendment No. 1 was drafted to provide a safety net for both farmers and consumers. It will help protect Missouri's farm families from out-of-state animal rights' groups that have targeted Missouri agriculture in the past.

The Missouri Farming Rights Amendment:

WILL NOT invalidate county or state ordinances.

WILL NOT give farmers a "blank check." No Missouri farming regulations will be changed.

Opponents argue that Amendment No. 1 is an open invitation for foreign entities to purchase Missouri farmland. This is NOT the case, as Amendment No. 1 has no impact whatsoever on foreign ownership of farmland. Missouri's current 1 percent limit remains in effect, regardless of what happens with the "Keep Missouri Farming" Amendment.

Missouri Attorney General Chis Koster recently expressed his support for Amendment No. 1, but I think Congresswoman Ann Wagner stated it best: "Missouri's Right to Farm ensures that government bureaucrats and special interests cannot trample over the inherent rights of our farmers who allow us to put food on the kitchen table, keep our families healthy and provide essential services we can't live without. I applaud Amendment No. 1, and I will fight to ensure its passage this August so that our farmers have the rights they deserve."

We all have a chance next Tuesday to protect Missouri farming from excessive and overly restrictive regulations that may limit production and drive up food costs by voting "YES" on Amendment No. 1.

This letter is an expression of my opinion only, and does necessarily represent the opinion of, or endorsement by, the Saline County Commission, of which I am a member.

Tom Stallings, Marshall
Saline County Presiding Commissioner