MO constitution’s right-to-farm amendment approved by slim margin

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Jefferson City, MO, United States (4E) – A proposed amendment to the Missouri state constitution protecting farmers from farming restrictions won in voting Tuesday by getting 50.13 percent of votes for a slim margin of 2,500 votes.

Under voting rules, the votes are to be recounted because the votes are close.

The Missouri Farmers Care Coalition (MFCC) was pleased with the passage of Amendment One with support from the Missouri Farming Bureau (MFB), which believes the Right to Farm amendment will protect state farmers from restrictions on the use of technology.

“Just in the past few months we’ve seen ballot initiatives passed in California, Oregon and Hawaii that have denied farmers safe and efficient technology. That’s why what we did here this evening is so very important,” said MFB President Blake Hurst, according to KBIA.org.

Missouri Food For America (MFFA) campaigned against the amendment with the help of funding from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It supports a recount as it warned that the amendment’s language.

The amendment reads: “The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in the state.” Missouri State Rep. Bill Reiboldt (R) originally sponsored the amendment.

The language prompted debate with supporters accusing HSUS of trying to restrict agricultural practices in the state while opponents argue that the amendment will make it harder to control farms that harm the environment.

Hurst said current farming practices are proven safe, good for consumers, good for farmers and good for the environment.

“We understand that there’s responsibility to go with that. That we have to continue to be good stewards of the soil and the environment and the animals in our care and we will do that. We understand what a great trust you’ve placed in us as an industry and we’ll be worthy of that,” Hurst said, according to Brownfieldagnews.com.

The Secretary of State will certify the vote to be followed by a recount. The process will take several nonths.

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