Right to farm clears hurdle, ready for November ballot

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A bill protecting the livelihood of Missouri farmers is one step away from its addition to the state constitution. A collection of more than 40 organizations has until November 2014 to educate voters in the Missouri about the importance of agriculture.

With a vote of 28-6, the Senate passed HJR 7 & 11. The right to farm bill, which also passed the House vote 132-25, will give farmers and ranchers the right to engage in farming and ranching practices.

While guaranteed permission to provide food for others may seem like an unnecessary bill, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports how those in favor of the bill feel the need to get it in writing because of influences by animal rights and environmentalist groups.

“These groups have tried to launch offensives against farm families here and in many other states around the country. Their efforts have prompted states like North Dakota, Oklahoma and Indiana to take action to protect their agriculture industries. It is time for Missouri to do the same,” Rep. Jason Smith told the Post-Dispatch.

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association joined other agricultural groups who are excited about the advancement of the bill.

"This legislation introduces a constitutional amendment supporting the right of Missouri's farm and ranch families to produce food, fiber and fuel for a growing global population," said Mike Deering, executive vice president of the association. “The fact is this benefits consumers just as must as it does those of us directly involved in producing food."



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