The Missouri Farm Bureau’s annual Commodity Conference and Legislative Briefing brought over 200 Missouri farmers to Jefferson City Monday and Tuesday. Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said the event is meant to help inform Missouri farmers of current issues in agriculture.
“Well we hope that they leave here both better prepared for the coming year to try and anticipate what the weather and markets might do, and also better informed about the policy issues that affect them, their farms and their local communities,” Hurst said.
This event also gives attendees the chance to talk with their legislators about the issues that affect them as farmers. Hurst said farmers met with Missouri House and Senate members.
“I’m here really to have some input on what I want Farm Bureau to advocate when it comes to legislation,” Farmer Clay Hempel said.
The Missouri Farm Bureau brought speakers from around the Midwest to share their expertise on issues from climate change to livestock antibiotics.
One of the main issues covered was the Missouri Right-to-Farm amendment, which will be on the November ballot. The amendment guards Missouri farmers’ right to farm, and Hurst said it is aimed to protect Missouri farmers from outside regulations.
“It’s a constitutional amendment that provides some protection to agriculture from some of the pressures, some of the legislation and initiative petitions we’ve seen from outside Missouri interests, so we had a chance to talk to our members about it,” Hurst said.
Farmer Chris Chinn said she supports the amendment because it protects her rights as a farmer.
“What it does is it protects our constitutional right as farmers to continue to use modernization and technology on our farms to help provide food for our families and other families and to protect the future of farming in the state of Missouri,” Chinn said.