Do Missouri farmers and ranchers need a constitutional amendment to ensure their “Right to Farm” or do current laws offer enough protection? Supporters and opponents are speaking out in an effort to both pass and kill the proposal that could limit regulations on farming and ranching. KMZU’s Mandy Young had a chance to hear from both sides of this issue.
Wes Shoemeyer is a farmer and former Democratic Senator who created Missouri’s Food For America, which is the main opposition group against Amendment One.
The Humane Society of the United States, the national animal-rights group that bankrolled a 2010 ballot measure implementing tougher regulations on puppy mills, just dished out $375,000 to Missouri’s Food for America to help oppose the Amendment.
Shoemeyer argues that the “right to farm” amendment is a smokescreen designed to benefit large corporations that engage in large-scale farming and animal-producing operations.
Recent Supreme Court rulings state that corporations and people are one and the same.
Gary Marshall – CEO For the Missouri Corn Growers Association supports the amendment and he says that is not the case and their concern is individual farmers that could be sued.
Amendment 1 is confoundingly vague. Even lawmakers who voted for it are conflicted about whether it would stop some or all of Missouri’s counties and cities from exercising local control over agricultural enterprises. Like a couple of other constitutional amendments on the Aug. 5 ballot, the only certain result of passage will be a call for the courts to interpret what they actually mean.
Hear from the Opponents of Amendment 1:
Richard Oswald – President of Missouri Farmers Union
Hear from the Supporters of Amendment 1:
E.L. Reed – Farmer