Farming Rights Amendment – Background Information, Talking Points and Things to Do
Be sure to share with your friends, relatives, and acquaintances.
The following excerpt is from attorney Brent Haden with Haden & Byrne Law Firm in Columbia. Opponents are trying to convince Missourians Amendment 1 is bad for family farms. This is false. Amendment 1, also known as the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, will help family farmers the most by providing a level of protection against overly restrictive laws and regulations being pushed by out-of-state animal activist groups. Read on to find answers to other questions.
The Right to Farm amendment, if passed, will make farming and ranching a right in Missouri, similar in scope and protection to the speech, religion and gun rights already in Missouri's Constitution.
The Right to Farm amendment is critical to ensure the long term future of agriculture in Missouri. It will create the regulatory certainty necessary for agriculture to grow and thrive in Missouri, and help guarantee that families in future generations can continue to farm and ranch across our state. Since the passage of the Right to Farm amendment, I've received several questions about the amendment. Here are some of the most common questions and answers:
Why is this amendment necessary?
Missouri's entire economic history is tied to agriculture, and agriculture remains the state's most important business sector. However, as agriculture has changed fewer people are directly connected to farms and ranches by occupation or through family. This has made agriculture vulnerable to attacks from well-funded outside groups that push misinformation on the public to pass burdensome and expensive regulations. These regulations and prohibitions make farming and ranching less profitable, make our food supply less safe and less secure, and cause increased food prices. We've seen some types of farming and ranching heavily regulated and even outlawed in other states when big spending national groups seeking to damage conventional agriculture have shown up to push an anti-agriculture agenda. These same groups are now targeting Missouri and we are concerned that they will attempt to use the same tactics here. The Right to Farm amendment is intended to protect Missouri farmers and ranchers from these misguided and damaging laws by making farming and ranchinga constitutional right in Missouri law.
What is required for the Right to Farm amendment to become part of the Missouri Constitution?
The Right to Farm amendment must receive a majority of votes cast at the August 5, 2014, statewide election. It is critical all supporters of the Right to Farm amendment turn out and vote for the amendment on August 5, 2014.
Will this amendment interfere with a county or city government's ability to regulate agricultural activity?
No. The language of the Right to Farm amendment specifically leaves the powers of local governments in place under Article 6 of the Missouri Constitution. If the Right the Farm amendment passes local governments will have all the same powers.
What activities are protected by the Right to Farm amendment?
The Right to Farm amendment is very broad in its protections. Nevertheless, like our other constitutional protections, its meaning will be more specifically defined by court rulings and state law. The amendment's language guarantees "the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices," and protects any activity undertaken by farmers and ranchers to raise crops or animals. However, those who violate laws or regulations would still be subject to enforcement action. Bad actors would not be protected.
Brent Haden with Haden & Byrne Law Firm in Columbia
Other things to consider.
Amendment 1, the Farming Rights Amendment, is on the August 5th ballot as result of an extensive public process whereby the measure was fully vetted through House and Senate committees and passed by the Missouri General Assembly with strong bi-partisan support.
Amendment 1 is supported by the over 45 Missouri Agricultural organizations and the family farmers that comprise Missouri Farmers Care as well as a host other interests such as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Grocers Association and Columbia Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Congressmen: Emanuel Cleaver, Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Billy Long, Jason Smith, and Ann Wagner also support Amendment 1. Most recently, Attorney General ChrisKoster, Missouri’s Chief Legal counsel, went on record to strongly support Amendment 1. To see a full list of endorsing organizations and individuals, please visit http://mofarmerscare.com/endorse-amendment/
These supporters all understand the importance of maintaining and advancing Missouri Agriculture by providing a constitutional level of protection from unwarranted laws and regulations driven by out of state, well-funded Activists and Animal Rights Extremists. Bottom line, “The Farming Rights Amendment” helps insure that farmers can do what they do best and that consumers have better access to abundant, affordable, food.
Who is the opposition?
The opposition’s lead advocate is the Vice President, Outreach and Engagement for the world’s largest Animal Rights organization, HSUS, and he’s paid by HSUS to organize and lead that effort.
Remember, this is the same HSUS whose leadership has publically stated:
“Eating meat causes animal cruelty.”- HSUS senior campaigner Paul Shapiro
“If we could shut down all hunting in a moment, we would.” - HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle
“Nothing is more important than promoting veganism.” - HSUS senior campaigner Paul Shapiro
“My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.” - HSUS Director of Animal Cruelty Policy John “J.P.” Goodwin.
Don’t buy the HSUS hype and misinformation - support Amendment 1.
How to Help
1. Become an informed, active participant in the discussion.
Tell everyone you know to vote 'Yes' on Amendment 1.
2. Let us know if there is an event near you.
Missouri Farmers Care is available to give presentations and answer questions at local meetings and events.
3. Request a sign for your home or business.
Contact your local Farm Bureau office, your respective Ag Organization or contact Missouri Farmers Care at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Contact Missouri Farmers Care at email@example.com to volunteer.
5. Vote YES on August 5!