Missouri’s top lawyer backs another issue affecting Missouri’s agriculture industry while Missouri’s governor says he is leaning against it. Attorney General Chris Koster announced his endorsement of Constitutional Amendment 1, known as the “Right to Farm” amendment, on Wednesday at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters. Koster says Missouri farmers need protections from animal rights activist groups and from other pressures that threaten their livelihood, “I understand why Missouri farmers desire the protection of our state’s constitution. And given the events of the past decade, I support the passage of the right to farm amendment. Ten years ago, farmers didn’t think they needed such protections. Today, they do.”
Proponents of Amendment 1 say it will guarantee the acts of farming and ranching in the state in order to protect that vital sector of Missouri’s economy. Opponents say it will give too much power to large farming operations and allow them to ignore regulations and that a constitutional amendment isn’t necessary.
Koster has taken on a number of ag issues from suing the state of California over its HSUS-backed egg standards to supporting the Farm Bureau’s challenge of the EPA’s regulatory plan for the Chesapeake Bay area.
Governor Jay Nixon told reporters earlier this week he is not for amending the state constitution unless there is a compelling argument for it. Nixon says he thinks “Missouri will be fine whether (the amendment) passes or doesn’t.”
The “Right to Farm” amendment will appear on the August, 5th ballot.
~Shannon Yokley and Bob Priddy contributed to this report~