So I have been asked once again to address this issue known as Amendment One by a lot people, if you don’t know I am pro yes. In the past few weeks this amendment has been receiving a lot of opposition from people, to be honest it really breaks my heart. For those that don’t know agriculture is my passion and it’s way life for so many Missourians, agriculture is and will always be a vital part of Missouri’s economy.
So with voting being next week I thought I would take the time to write one last go around before we hit the ballot boxes next Tuesday. I have very dear friend who is a retired ag teacher Tammy Bartholomew who put together a lovely list of what people ask about amendment one, With some help from another good friend Shane Kinne of Missouri corn. The thing I love about this list is it simple for people to understand.
Here is the list
Agricultural producers already benefit from special right to farm “legislation” in all agricultural states. These laws protect farmers from frivolous nuisance suits brought by uninformed or intolerant neighbors who have moved into traditional farming communities.
10 Response: Though there are laws in place to protect against frivolous lawsuits, this does nothing to fight against arbitrary laws and ballot initiatives pushed by HSUS. This amendment is about giving a broader constitutional protection that will cover more than lawsuits.
9. People in rural communities who have the greatest concern for the future of family farms and rural communities are opposing right to farm amendments. National organizations, such as the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Sierra Club, support rural opponents because they don’t think agriculture should be exempt from public accountability for their actions.
9 Response. Nearly every farm organization in the state has endorsed this amendment. These are grassroots groups led by real farmers and family farms. The amendment does not exempt agriculture from reasonable regulation, just as the freedom speech doesn’t allow you to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre. HSUS is an extremist group and their goal is to eliminate animal agriculture.
8. Right to farm amendments are but the latest and boldest tactics of corporate, industrial agriculture to protect itself from growing public concerns about the overall integrity of the American food system. Previous tactics include Right to Farm laws of 1970s and 1980s, Veggie Libel Laws of the 1990s, and Ag Gag Laws of the 2000s.
8 Response. This amendment is specifically for the family farmer. Large corporations already have the financial means to defend themselves, small farms do not. What this amendment does is give small farms solid standing in the court of law when an arbitrary law or regulation is passed. This is why Attorney General Chris Koster has endorsed Amendment 1.
7. No economic justification exists for exempting industrial agriculture from the environmental and public health regulations under which similar industries operate. Industrial agriculture has not reduced retail prices of meat, milk, or eggs in the past 20 years, and about 30% of U.S. production is now diverted to exports, keeping food prices high for Americans. It has driven independent producers off their farms and destroyed the economies of rural communities.
7 Response. Again, Amendment 1 does not exempt agriculture or farms from current regulations, or future reasonable regulations. Again a point brought up by the Attorney General.
6. The primary beneficiary of right to farm amendments would be large corporately-controlled, industrial operations. At the very least, a constitutional “right to farm” would lead to endless, costly litigation which corporate agriculture believes they could win. The corporations are commitment is to their stockholders, not to consumers, farmers, or rural communities. A corporately controlled agriculture would not provide food for the 20%+ of American children who live in “food insecure” homes or the hungry people of developing countries, many of whom have been driven from their subsistence farms by agricultural industrialization.
6. Response: (See # 8). This is a Humane Society of the United States talking point, and simply a scare tactic. It is unfortunate a highly educated professor is so easily influence by their propaganda.
5. Any economic benefits of right to farm amendments would be reflected in increased consumption of animal products among affluent consumers in developing countries, such as China and Korea, while Americans face increased food safety, environmental, and public health risks associated with expansion of corporate, industrial agriculture. They get the benefits, we keep the chemical and biological wastes.
5 Response : Cannot be addressed because it is no way related to Amendment 1.
4. Foreign corporations – including the largest pork, beef, and poultry processors in the U.S. – would be given special constitutional rights; including special exemptions from Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and legitimate nuisance lawsuits – rights that ordinary American citizens do not have.
4 Response: Again, reference 8 and 6. The writer is repeating the same false information.
3. Enshrining farmers’ constitutional rights to use popular production technologies, such as genetically modified organisms (GMO) and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), would preclude future regulations, even if regulations were later deemed necessary to protect public health. This would be like having granted tobacco companies and smokers the constitutional rights to forever continue their practices of the 1970s.
3 Response: See number 7, another repeat point.
2. There are better alternatives for the future than industrial agriculture, for Americans and for the world. An emerging sustainable agriculture, including organically grown crops and humanely raised livestock and poultry, would be capable of providing enough healthful food and affordable costs to meet the food needs of Americans and “feeding the world,” without industrial technologies that pollute the environment and degrade society.
2 Response: Again, this has nothing to do with industrial agriculture. The amendment protects the kind of practices he supports, as much as other practices.
1. Right to farm amendments would deny people of their basic human rights of self-determination and self-defense. People have an inherent right to defend themselves whenever they have legitimate reason to believe their safety, health, and essential well-being is threatened. Constitutions were never intended to give special rights to any particular group of people, but instead to ensure that no particular people, including farmers, are able to deny the inherent rights of others.
1 Response: The writer is correct, everyone has a right to defend themselves.
That is the exact point of this amendment. Farming Rights Amendment gives family farmers the ability to defend themselves
So I ask that as you go to polls next week and vote on an issue that could impact our state in many ways, I ask that you think about the farmer, the food that’s in you store, think long hard about the future… 9 billion people by 2050. WTF where’s the food without the farmer I don’t know about you but I want to farm for the rest life and I don’t want somebody telling me that what I am doing is wrong. I ask that you take the time to review both sides and understand how they will both affect us.
I believe that how you vote is between you, your ballot, and God no one needs to know but I also hope that I have informed you well enough to make the right choice whatever that choice is… I hope it is a YES.
Don’t forget to vote next Tuesday and feel free to contact me if you would like more info about amendment one.
Thanks to Tammy and Shane for this list and for letting me use it,
Vote Yes on One
Lets protect our state
Thanks for all you support, I hope to see y’all on the other side which would be the day after elections. I ask that my friends in other states say a prayer for us farmers and ranchers here in Missouri.
Keep it real Friends,
Don’t forget to vote
The Aggie Hipster