In a narrow margin, Missouri voters passed Amendment 1, a proposed constitutional amendment creating a right to farm.
According to the Associated Press, the amendment had 498,751 votes for it and 496,223 against it with all precincts reporting – a margin of less than three-tenths of a percentage point. The amendment makes farming an official, constitutional right, similar to existing protections for the freedom of speech and religion.
“Our opponents failed to convince people that the thousands of Missouri family farms supporting this amendment were tools of foreign or corporate interests,” Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said in a prepared statement here. “Missourians have too much common sense for that. Missourians also understand that the only huge, outside contributor to this election was the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In the final analysis, the biggest foreign corporation involved was against the amendment.”
Both sides of Amendment 1 were vocal in the days leading up to the Aug. 5 primary election, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach voters.
According to Humane Watch, the opposition to Amendment 1 was funded almost entirely by the HSUS. The group has since suggested the Missouri Pork Association "may" be illegally using check-off money to support the amendment, though no evidence has been submitted to back up these allegations.
Ozark First reports in an article here all 50 states have some form of a Right to Farm law already, including Missouri. Current law says any farm that has been in operation for one year can't be deemed a nuisance if it wasn't one when it first cropped up. It also promises reasonable expansion so long as regulations are met. Right to Farm amendments, such as Amendment 1, gives more broad strength than current law.
Several other states, including North Dakota and Indiana, have enacted similar Right to Farm laws.
A recent case pit neighbors against four Indiana hog farms owned by one of the nation’s largest pork producers; however, a trail-court judge ruled in favor of the pork producers, stating the state’s Right to Farm act is constitutional. See, “Judge: Indiana hog farms protected by ‘Right to Farm’ law.”
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