Last updated: August 01. 2014 1:55PM - 622 Views

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Dear Editor:

Missouri has a long and impressive history of having a diverse and large agricultural population. Missourians are proud of this legacy and want to preserve it for future generations. This way of life is under attack from out-of-state animal rights groups.

Amendment I, also known as Missouri’s Farming Rights Amendment, would help farmers and ranchers stop those groups that are seeking to alter traditional farming practices. Those groups’ goals are extreme, non-factual and often counterproductive to farmers’ goals of growing food in efficient, safe and humane ways

One non-factual argument is that Amendment 1 would open Missouri to foreign ownership of farmland. Foreign ownership of Missouri farmland is capped at one percent. Amendment I would do nothing to affect that limit.

Opponents also claim that Amendment 1 is driven by “big corporate” firms. Again, nonsense. Ninety-seven percent of Missouri farms are operated by family farmers. Amendment I is supported by all the mainstream family farm groups (cattle, soybean, dairy, corn) that came together to form Missouri Farmers Care.

Another non-factual argument is this amendment would protect those who are unsafe or unethical in their practices. Nonsense, once more. This amendment does not protect the “bad actors” or those who are irresponsible in the care and well-being of the land and livestock. What Amendment I will do is ensure that farmers may do what is needed to provide and care for animals and livestock in a respectful manner.

Missouri’s farmers and ranchers need assurance that we can continue to farm using the best practices at our disposal, those that are based on unbiased university research. We need to have the freedom to do what past generations of farmers have done-raise healthy and nutritious food for America and the world.

We want Missouri’s agriculture to continue to thrive as the states’ top industry. We are mindful of future generations. Our desire is for our children to have the same opportunities that we and generations before have had.

By supporting Right to Farm on August 5th, you are safeguarding your food choices and ensuring safety in food production while supporting family farms. Don’t be misled by activists.

I ask that you stay informed about this issue. Ask a farmer any questions you have about farming practices. Vote YES on Amendment 1. Protect the future of agriculture.

David Callis

MFA Board member


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