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Agricultural News

Right to Farm Amendment in Missouri Passes by 2,500 Votes

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 05:47:21 CDT

Right to Farm Amendment in Missouri Passes by 2,500 Votes By the narrowest of margins, the Missouri Right to Farm Constitutional Amendment has been approved by a vote of the people in the Show Me state. The final margin of victory was just 2,500 votes out of almost a million cast- the tally according to the unofficial results for 100% of the precincts reporting on the State Secretary's website gave the YES supporters 4989,751 to the NO votes totalling 496,223.

The Amendment One vote will have to be certified by the Secretary of State's office then the process of a recount begins because the final vote was within a one-percent margin. That process could take several months.

Missouri Farm Groups are basking in the glow of this victory, no matter how narrow it was. One Missouri farmer was on Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning after the final margin was posted and called it a victory of "grassroots over big money." That big money reference was the over $400,000 dollars that were poured into the opposition to Amendment One by the HSUS- the Humane Society of the US.

Both Missouri Cattlemen and the Missouri Farm Bureau posted a simple "Thank You" to the voters of Missouri for saying Yes to Amendment One becoming a part of that state's constitution. Farm Bureau tweeted the final vote and added "Amendment #1 has passed! Thank you Missouri for supporting Missouri farming and ranching to #KeepMissouriFarming!"

Steve Dittmer, who writes online frequently about the abuses of the HSUS, described the battle in Missouri as one that has clear lines- "The fight over the referendum has pitted nearly all the mainstream agriculture groups against HSUS, environmental groups, some farm groups purporting to favor family farmers over family farmers who are incorporated and most of the newspapers in the state, according to Jim McCann, Missouri Cattlemen's president. The media, with little more knowledge of modern agriculture than the average citizen, has proven susceptible to HSUS' emotional appeals and radical claims that "Big Ag" wants to take over Missouri agriculture."

Dittmer points out the only farm group he could find in the state that opposed Amendment One was the Missouri Farmers Union. Dittmer says that Missouri Farmers Union President Richard Oswald charged that the amendment's goal is to "change our constitution so that foreign corporations get a free pass to abuse our land, drinking water and animals and we lose our right to stop them."

The actual language that will be added to Section 35 of the Missouri Constitution reads as follows: "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 this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri."

Oklahoma farm interests that were hoping to have their own "Right to Farm" amendment on the ballot this fall in Oklahoma will study the successful game plan in Missouri as it is possible that Oklahoma could push for a vote of the people on a similar proposal in 2015. Both the House and Senate easily passed Right to Farm measures in the 2014 Oklahoma Legislative Session, but differences in the language of the two bills were never reconciled so that proposal in Oklahoma failed to make the general election ballot this coming November.

To learn more about the successful efforts of the Missouri Farm Groups promoting Amendment One, jump over to their website here.



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