Action | July 31, 2014

MISSOURI VOTERS: Vote NO on Amendment 1

AliciaMissouri readers, you have an important vote ahead of you next week!

The so-called “Right to Farm” is a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that will appear on the 2014 primary election ballot next Tuesday, August 5th. It’s caused a lot of buzz among farmers and ranchers.

What will your ballot say? Well, it’s very simple:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?

Sounds pretty harmless on the surface. But lift up the veil and it tells another story: Big agribusiness getting to write all the rules. That’s why we urge you to vote NO on Amendment 1!

Corporate "Right to Farm" bills are making their way into several state legislatures, and Missouri is the latest on the frontline. As Missouri farmer Darvin Bentlage so eloquently reflects:

I am a livestock and grain farmer and have been my entire life and do remember when the right to farm meant something. I remember our right to farm when we didn’t have to sign a growers contract to buy seed, telling us what we could and couldn’t do with what we grew on our farm. I remember when family farmers could load their own feeder pigs in their truck and go to the local auction and sell their livestock at an open and competitive market. So who’s taken this right to farm away from us? The same corporate factory farm supporters, corporations and organizations that pushed this constitutional amendment through the Missouri legislature.

Farmers like Darvin are concerned that the proposed amendment is not only unnecessary, but will ultimately hurt family farmers.

Here’s why:

  • The corporations backing this amendment—including Monsanto, Cargill and Smithfield—want to protect huge corporate factory farms from any accountability or regulation.
  • This amendment provides no additional protections to independent family farmers. Instead, it could allow foreign corporations to own Missouri farmland without limits from the people or the legislature.
  • This amendment will trigger lawsuits from corporate agribusinesses to challenge local control and community protections against irresponsible factory farm practices. And it would deny due process and the right of farmers and landowners to defend their property rights against corporate agribusiness.
  • Missouri farmers already have the right to farm. This is an unnecessary takeover of the state constitution that would forever guarantee the rights of corporations to write their own rules and bypass democracy and local control.

Here’s what you can do:

1) Sign the petition opposing the “Right to Farm” constitutional amendment HERE!

2) Vote on Tuesday, August 5th—And VOTE NO on Amendment 1.

3) Forward this to your friends and family in Missouri!

Don’t let the future of Missouri farming be determined by corporate lawyers, bureaucrats and judges. Keep Missouri safe for family farmers, good food and rural communities.

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