Agriculture
4:42 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Mo. lawmakers pass farm constitutional amendment

The Missouri House and Senate have passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee farmers and ranchers the right to farm and ranch using "modern methods."

Supporters of House Joint Resolution 11 & 7 expressed concerns that left-leaning interests outside of Missouri are trying to overregulate what happens on a farm or ranch, to the point where it would become economically impossible to carry on.  Opponents say the rights of farmers are not being infringed on, and State Senator Paul LeVota (D, Independence) says he fears the measure will lead to "Puppy Mill Part Two."

"I think you'll get groups from around the country come in and say that they're using the idea of farming to do anything they want to do with puppy mills," LeVota said.  "There's already a sense from a few years ago that this General Assembly didn't follow what the people wanted with that legislation, but I know it was changed to make it more practical...I'm fearful of this."

In order to avoid a Senate filibuster, House and Senate negotiators removed language that could have stripped local governments of the authority to regulate farms and ranches.  The proposal will now go before Missouri voters in November of 2014, unless the Governor chooses to hold the vote on an earlier date.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport