‘Right to Farm’ Bill Introduced

| February 15, 2013
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A “Right to Farm” bill has been introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives.  Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott talk with District 51 Representative Dean Dohrman, who co-sponsors House Joint Resolution 7:

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The constitutional amendment affirms the right of farmers to engage in modern practices on their land.  Dohrman said House Joint Resolution 7 is, in part, a response to out-of-state special interest groups.

“There have been rumblings within EPA at the federal level, which comes down to our DNR here in the state of Missouri,” said Dohrman, “Some unreasonable regulations concerning agriculture.  We just want to preserve people’s livelihood and their ability to use their land as they see best.”

Representative Joe Don McGaugh says animal rights organizations often come into states and promote a controversial issues.  He views this as a preventative measure.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with McGaugh:

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If House Joint Resolution 7 is passed by the Missouri House and Senate, it will go before voters in a 2014 general election.

A copy of the bill can be found at house.mo.gov.

Press Release from House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith wants to give Missouri voters the opportunity to forever protect their right to farm. Smith took time this week to present his proposed constitutional (HJR 7) to the House Committee on Agriculture Policy. Smith’s amendment was combined with an amendment (HJR 11) sponsored by Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho and approved by the committee by a vote of 15-0.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Smith told committee members his legislation comes in response to the efforts of out-of-state special interest groups to erode the traditional rights of farmers.

“The agriculture industry here in our state, which is one of the most important parts of our heritage and our economic engine, has been under attack by radical groups that want to destroy the Missouri way of life,” said Smith. “Let’s give voters the opportunity to send a strong, clear message to these subversive special interests. They need to know we will not allow their unscrupulous methods to limit our freedoms or destroy the traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries.”

Smith’s constitutional amendment would, upon voter approval, affirm the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices. It specifies that no law that abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and modern livestock production and ranching practices may be enacted.

“North Dakota passed a similar amendment last year to repel the efforts of these out-of-state radicals. We need to follow their lead by standing up to defend our farm families here in Missouri,” said Smith. “It’s something I know the people of Missouri will support with overwhelming numbers because it’s the right thing to do for our state.”

The constitutional amendment has been co-sponsored by more than 30 of Smith’s colleagues including House Speaker Tim Jones.

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