So-called 'Right to Farm' amendment wording creates confusion

Jun 16, 2014

Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

The wording of a proposed amendment to Missouri's Constitution that would guarantee residents' right to "engage in agricultural production and ranching practices" is leading to questions from both sides of the issue – including a question of whether the amendment would have any impact at all.

Supporters of the so-called "right to farm" measure on the August ballot say it gives farmers more legal standing to challenge unfair regulations. Opponents fear it could unravel environmental and animal welfare laws.

The Kansas City Star reports the "right to farm" amendment is the result of lingering wounds from the 2010 fight over a ballot measure enacting strict regulations on dog breeders in Missouri.

North Dakota passed a "right to farm" amendment about two years ago, and several other states are considering similar action.