Rep. Hartzler supports Missouri Farming Rights Amendment
By Doug Rich
Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who represents the Fourth District in Missouri, stopped at MFA, Inc., headquarters in Columbia, Missouri, on June 4 to give her official support to the proposed Missouri Farming Rights Amendment.
Hartzler said this amendment to the Missouri constitution is good for producers and consumers.
“We want to make sure that Missouri families continue to enjoy the cheapest, most available, and most reliable food supply in our country’s history,” Hartzler said. “This amendment will ensure that the farmers and ranchers will be able to continue to raise livestock and crops with the commonsense practices that they do now.”
Hartzler said she has seen what has happened in other states where entities with deep pockets have tried to impose their views of how livestock and crops should be grown. When those initiatives pass, they usually end up increasing costs for consumers.
“We don’t want to see that happen here,” Hartzler said.
According to Missouri Farmers Care the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment will protect farm families, save thousands of jobs and ensure families continue to have access to quality food at the grocery store. It will not invalidate county ordinances and it will not give farmers a blank check. All rights are subject to reasonable regulation and that will still be the case, if the amendment is passed by Missouri voters on Aug. 5.
“The amendment protects the entire industry big and small,” said Patty Wood, region 5 vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “The Farming Rights Amendment will ensure that If I follow the law no one can take away my right to farm in the state of Missouri.”
Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Missouri. Nearly 16 percent of jobs in Missouri are related to agriculture.
The passage of Proposition B in Missouri was a wake-up call for farmers and ranchers in the state, according to Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau. Proposition B, or the Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Act, was passed in 2010. The measure limited the number of dogs used for breeding purposes. The measure required that breeders only be able to have up to 50 breeding dogs.
“We don’t attempt to regulate the size of newspapers, TV stations, butchers, bakers or candlestick makers but here we were regulating the size of an agricultural industry, a legal industry and said what size they could be,” Hurst said.
Hurst said this country is having an extended conversation about food production but the opponents of modern agriculture are ending that conversation with litigation and legislation. According to Hurst this amendment will allow that conversation to work out in the marketplace.
“The constitutional status of placing farming rights in the constitution is important,” Don Nikodem, executive vice president of the Missouri Pork Association, said. “It provides new protections that we have never had before and it allows us to move forward and to provide consumers with an affordable and abundant food supply.”
Doug Rich can be reached by phone at 785-749-5304 or by email at email@example.com.