I’m a Farmer and I’m voting Yes on Amendment 1

I stand to benefit from Missouri’s constitutional amendment 1.  I know that.  What you might not know is that you will benefit too.

I just finished reading dozens of articles saying that we don’t need excess legislation, farmers are fine, agriculture shouldn’t be afforded special rights, and by the way, if you farm with your brother or father and have an LLC you’re probably a bad guy anyway.

My favorite so far was a comment on Facebook by a lady telling me I should take some time and learn how food in our state is produced.

My farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

My farm family is voting Yes on Missouri’s Constitutional Amendment 1


But in all seriousness, why has agriculture suddenly lit up your Facebook feed?

The ballot amendment itself is short and sweet.  It reads: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?

So what are people worked up about?

This farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

This is the Chinn family, hog farmers in Missouri who will be voting Yes!

Well, some say its about Chinese ownership of farms in Missouri.  I think many of us would prefer Missouri businesses to stay in the hands of Missourians, but unfortunately this is an entirely separate ballot issue.  But the Chinese are already here and in this regard, Right to Farm will change nothing that isn’t already happening.  Make no mistake.  This really isn’t about China.

This farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

The Brays farm row crops and cattle in Missouri. They are voting Yes!

Others are really concerned about “big ag.”  Huge corporations who care nothing about the environment could run amuck with this free license to earn a profit however they like.  So consider this.  Ever since the Civil War federal law has superseded state law.  Farmers, organic and conventional, small and large, moral and unethical, still abide by The Clean Air and Water Acts.  Plus the actual constitutional language states that farmers and ranchers are “subject to duly authorized powers.”  It’s not about the environment.

My farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

This girl’s family knows the importance of ag. The Browns will be voting Yes!

On the other hand many are worried about the “little guy.”  They say this will do nothing to protect the small farmer.  On the contrary.  The language was specifically chosen so that anyone earning more than $1000 annually is covered.  That’s a pretty small “little guy.”

My farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

The Cope family is voting yes! They are ranchers in MO.

And then there is the issue of being vague.  To clarify, here is the constitutional language.

That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy.  To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in the is sate, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”

A few years ago a county in Missouri tried to stop farmers from running equipment after 10:00 PM because it was “noisy.”  The case went through several layers of litigation before being resolved.

My farm family is voting Yes on Missouri's Constitutional Amendment 1

The Durhams are row crop farmers and they are voting Yes on August 5!

But what next?  Can you predict what crazy will look like?  I’m grateful for the protection and you should be too.  Here’s why.

Remember how I said you would benefit from Amendment 1 too?  Lots of people don’t get that.  They see this as unnecssary.  They wonder why farming deserves the same rights as speech or bearing arms.

I guess I believe eating is a fundamental right.

This farm family is voting Yes on Missouri Constitutional Amendment 1!

The Riekhofs are voting Yes!

I don’t remember it but I’ve heard healthcare was a different world before doctors worried about being sued constantly.  Before malpractice insurance hit the roof and prices sky rocketed.  Before everything a doctor did was measured against what a lawyer could do with it.

That day and age is coming for agriculture.  Actually it’s here.

This farm family is voting Yes on the Missouri Constitutional Amendment 1!

Her parents are voting Yes to give her the chance to stay on the Hackmann family farm if she wants to.

What will a world full of red-tape and insurance premiums look like for you?  Money.  Scarcity.  Sort of what health care looks like today.

Yes, I want my kids to come back to the family farm in 20 years if they like.  I want my husband to do the work he is passionate for.  I want to look out my window at the amber waves of grain and the fresh cut corn stalks.  But mostly I want to feed those kids, my husband, even the world.

This isn’t about China, or big ag, or little guys.  It’s about food security.  And I’m voting Yes.

Categories: Science | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “I’m a Farmer and I’m voting Yes on Amendment 1

  1. Farm girl at heart

    can anyone explain what will happen if it doesn’t pass. I have tried to get others to understand the we need to yes but they say what actually happens it does not pass

    • Nothing happens tomorrow, but this is a safe-guard for the future. Remember when HSUS wanted to protect Mo from puppy mills? That bill had implications for other livestock farmers. In CA HSUS brought laws about the care of laying hens. The price of eggs has increased 20-30%. Imagine if that happened to pork, beef, chicken, dairy products etc.. That’s what could happen if this doesn’t pass.

  2. Pingback: Farm Picture Friday #46 – Right to Farm « COUNTRY LINKed

  3. Jerri Crawford

    The Crawford’s at Crawford Family Dairy/3C Cattle Co., in Ozark County MO will be standing strong with our YES Votes as well. We’ve milked cows and raised beef cattle our entire lives, and now, our children, the 5th generation, are farming with us……we’ve grown from milking 25 cows to over 300, raising more beef cattle than ever, plus ownership of a livestock auction and we want to ensure that the 10th generation has this chance if they want it!

  4. The amendment will add a paragraph to the Missouri state constitution to include farming as a “right.” If you read part 2 you’ll see there are animal activist groups that would like to end animal agriculture altogether; this would ensure Missourians may continue to raise livestock, as well as prevent laws that would make farming difficult. The first set of italics is what will appear of our ballot, the second is what will be added to the constitution if it passes.

  5. Jane

    Yes please specify exactly what protection it will give when it will be up to the courts and out of the hands of the farmers to define what this amendment really means and how it will be applied!

    • This means new laws, especially ballot initiatives, will not be allowed to be made in the first place, like laws preventing free speech can’t be bought for a vote because they are already prohibited. I mention in the post that oversight is build in under article VI and federal law, so environmental regulations, even new ones still apply.

      • Jane

        Well just consider what might happen should HSUS’s well-funded legal teams comes in and challenges what will be defined as a ranching/farming practice in the state of MO. Which they will – then it will be part of the MO constitution. All those “all in” for this amendment speak about all the protection – there is nothing but a broad statement in the ballot language. I didn’t read that it will protect us from ballot initiatives etc. I think it’s over promising and we will all be surprised but what will happen next – in the courts. But by that time it will be out of MO farmers/ranchers hand in the hands of the court system.

      • You’re right. This isn’t a perfect piece of legislation that will prevent all future problems. I’m sure HSUS will be back. But I’d rather face them with a little help from the voice of the people than nothing at all. Allowing all farming practice (currently within the confines of the law) is what this amendment is all about. You’ve hit the nail on the head perfectly.

      • Jane

        But because of its broad language – leaving nothing defined it could open the doors for HSUS to challenge every single word of this bill from what is a farmer to what should be considered a practice? It’s like giving them a blank check to influence what is MO Agriculture in one big swoop than what they have done in the past(1 ballot issue at a time.) How will we defend ourselves when it’s the courts deciding how to apply this bill?

        We will suddenly have ‘standard’ HSUS influenced practices large and small producers must abide by it goes on and on…
        I want to protect MO Ag as well – but passing a flawed piece of legislations does not seem like the answer – instead it seems very reckless.

      • I guess I’m a little confused. You think they will make a list of things that define a farmer or rancher? Currently the definition is someone earning $1000+ per year from food or fiber. Somehow I’m missing what you believe they can do with this…

    • Jane

      Yes – to file a schedule F you must make $1,000. I’m saying what would stop them from putting restrictions on how you farm as part of the definition of a current farming and ranching practice.

  6. Ok so sorry I read this a couple times… can you specify what the amendment actually say and what it helps? Is it about keeping family farms running? Sorry I tried to read and understand the best I could. Thanks for any clarification you can provide. 🙂

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