Last week, the Missouri House Agriculture Policy Committee voted 15-0 to pass a constitutional amendment to add the Right to Farm to Missouri's Bill of Rights. Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) executive vice president Mike Deering said this move in committee is a step in the right direction.
"This amendment shouldn't be necessary, but thanks to animal rights extremists groups destined to stifle Missouri's agricultural sector, it is not only necessary, it's absolutely essential," said Deering. "This is a proactive step to protect the providers of food and fiber from outside groups wanting to stifle Missouri's farm and ranch families. If activists get their way and stymie food production in this country, consumers already struggling in this economy will be unnecessarily forced to pay more at the grocery store."
The committee combined the two resolutions (HJR 7, HJR 11) that protect Missourians' rights to farm, hunt and fish into one bill that will go on to the House Rules Committee and ultimately the full Missouri House of Representatives for consideration. If passed by Missouri's House and Senate, it would then go before Missouri's voters in 2014 as a constitutional referendum.
The leader on introducing the constitutional amendment to pass the Right to Farm to Missouri's Bill of Rights is Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith (R-120). Rep. Smith said this is an issue that should be on the minds of all Missourians.
"Whether you are from a larger city, the growing suburbs or a small town in rural Missouri, your life has been impacted in a positive way by an agriculture industry whose traditions have been handed down from fathers to sons and mothers to daughters for generations," Smith said. "From the meals you put on the table for your family, to the countless products you use on a daily basis made from the byproducts of animals and crops, to the undeniable effect this $12 billion a year industry has on our economy, the agriculture industry that planted the seeds of our state's success in its earliest days continues to provide our state with a bountiful harvest of benefits in the modern era. Given the importance of agriculture to our state's past, present, and future, it is critical that we take action now to protect the time-honored traditions of family farming."
Source: Missouri Cattlemen's Association