Correcting myths on Right to Farm Amendment

Posted July 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm


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As we get closer to the crucial vote on Amendment 1, the Farming Rights amendment, there are some myths being put out by the opposition that need to be addressed. On an issue of this importance, it is critical that voters have the facts before they head to the polls.

The biggest myth surrounding Amendment 1 is that it is solely for the benefit of the large agribusiness corporations. This has no shred of truth and is constantly being repeated by those opposed to Amendment 1. The language of Amendment 1 is as follows:

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.

The language is straightforward and simple. It was deliberately drafted that way so there would be no doubt as to the intent of the amendment. It guarantees ‘The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices.’ There is no mention of the size of the operations, whether they are 10 acres or nine thousand acres. There is certainly no mention of multinational corporations. The simplicity of these words means if you operate a farm or ranch in Missouri, whether it is one acre or a thousand acres, your right to conduct those operations is guaranteed in the Missouri Constitution. And that outside organization like the Humane Society of the US cannot take our rights to farm the land of this great state.

I was honored to have been a part of drafting the language of Amendment 1. In the room were other farmers and ranchers like myself as well as representatives of farm organizations and commodity groups. There was no one representing large corporations, foreign ownership, taking any local control for farmers and ranchers.

It isn’t unusual for opponents of an issue to resort to mischaracterizations when they don’t have the facts on their side. Unfortunately, those opposed to Amendment 1 are closely aligned with the same interests that tried to control a segment of Missouri agriculture with Proposition B. The outcome of this election will affect a large portion of our state’s economy and cultural way of life for generations to come. We owe it to ourselves and those future generations to know the facts of what we are voting on. We should do our part to protect future generations of farmers and ranchers.

“Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong”

Senator Mike Parson State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone: 573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email: mparson@senate.mo.gov

If you have any questions or comments regarding issues in state government or within the 28th Senatorial District, please feel free to contact my office.