Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is lending his support to the Amendment One ballot initiative to be voted on next month. Koster tells Brownfield the so-called Farming Rights Amendment is necessary.
“We have seen from the eminent domain threats of 2005, to the Proposition B restrictions on the size of dog breeders, to the California egg case, situations where pressure is being put on agriculture from within and from outside the state that could impact our economic future,” Koster told Brownfield Ag News, while traveling between stops where he was discussing the issue.
Koster uses as an example the ballot measure a few years ago to limit the number of dogs allowed to breeders. He says it’s conceivable that similar limitations would be attempted for livestock producers.
“We have seen actual threats against agriculture over the last ten years that have cause the industry to stand up for itself and to ask for the protection of the Missouri Constitution in Amendment 1,” said Koster.
Koster made stops in several parts of Missouri supporting passage of the amendment.
Supporters of Amendment 1 are meeting resistance from the group Missouri’s Food for America, which recently got help from the Humane Society of the United States in the form of a $375,000 contribution.
Don Nikodim, the chairman of Missouri Farmers Care, which favors the ballot measure, Amendment 1, says the contribution proves that Missouri is a target for activist groups opposing animal agriculture.
Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, which is also pushing for passage of Amendment 1, says that opposition is being financed by a major out-of-state extremist organization. On the other hand, he says funds to support passage of the amendment, also into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, have been financed by family farmers and ranchers across Missouri.
Meanwhile, members of Missouri’s Food for America maintain that food safety and the ability to regulate GMO foods would be harmed by the amendment. They also say that sustainable farming practices would be threatened and that animal abuses on farms would go unchecked.
Amendment 1 is on the August 5 ballot.