Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jason Smith: Our right to farm has never been more threatened

In his latest report, House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, anointed by the GOP last weekend as its candidate for Eighth District Congress, warns of the dangers posed by those who week to destroy the family farm.


      It may surprise you to know one of the leaders of a so-called “animal rights” group is on record as saying his goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture. It’s a fact many Missourians may not realize, but it’s important that we all understand these out-of-state, out-of-touch groups want nothing less than the destruction of the agricultural traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries.
       As your state representative, and as someone who owns and manages the family farm started by my great grandfather, I am committed to protecting the way of life that has made Missouri the great state it is today. That’s why I have sponsored legislation to give Missouri voters the opportunity to forever protect our right to farm in our state constitution. It’s a change we need to make if we’re going to prevent these overzealous activists from overregulating our farming traditions into oblivion.
       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. 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. We must stand together against groups that fuel their fight with emotion and misinformation under the guise of caring for the health and welfare of animals. All the while, they look for ways to make it harder for farmers to sustain their way of life. Everywhere they go, they push for unnecessary laws and regulations that seek to erode the soil upon which agriculture has grown and thrived in this country for centuries.
       The sad fact is that they have been successful in many of their efforts. Across the nation, they have directly sponsored dozens of ballot initiatives and referendums. Their initiatives have slowly stripped away not only the rights of farmers, but also the traditions near and dear to the hearts of hunters and fishermen. From Florida to Arizona to California, they have struck under the guise of working in defense of animals, and they have used their lies to fuel an emotion-based response from voters who would certainly not support their efforts if they knew the truth. In each state where they have successfully waged their fight we've seen the rights of farmers and animal owners undermined, and with each victory these radicals have become emboldened to continue their assault.
       It seems unconscionable that such an attack could be successful in a nation that owes its greatness to these farming practices and traditions that are now under siege; a nation whose founding fathers were farmers and livestock owners, and who believed farms were the building blocks of this country. But the truth is that we live in a day and age when the traditions and values handed down to us by our forefathers have an enemy that wants nothing less than their extinction.

       That’s why we must stand together as Missourians to defend the values and traditions that have made this state and this nation what it is today. We can do this by following the lead of states like Indiana and North Dakota that have had the wisdom and foresight to strengthen their constitutions with language that will protect and preserve the time-honored traditions that Missouri farm families have carried on for generations, and that will forever enshrine this vital way of life that must be continued if future generations are to have the kind of Missouri, and the kind of America, that our forefathers envisioned.

1 comment:

Jo Ann Brown said...

Conspiracy theorist, Rep. Jason Smith, is trying to pull the wool over uninformed voters. The real motivation behind the anti-drone law isn’t about protecting the right to privacy, but taking further steps to protect large, corporate farming interests. Messing with Missouri’s Constitution is a dangerous proposition. The Right To Farm bill is a “back door repeal of the puppy mill law.” HJR 17, for instance, would take away a valued constitutional right in Missouri, the right to petition the government. If the amendment were to be passed by voters, it would no longer be legal to try to place via the petition process any initiative on the ballot that might be seen as an infringement on the rights of farmers to use “modern practices.”
That would negate the ability of a rural county commission to respond to a massive hog farm destroying the property values of surrounding farms. It would allow the Legislature to gut the puppy mill law that instituted some basic protections for animals, and citizens would have no recourse whatsoever. Missouri once again would become the dog-abuse capital of the United States, and the citizens who voted for the puppy mill law would be left out in the cold.
The real motivation behind the anti-drone law isn’t about protecting the right to privacy, but taking further steps to protect large, corporate farming interests that already have more protections in Missouri than most places in the country. Mr. Guernsey’s law specifically carves out protection for property owned by farms or agricultural industry so that concentrated animal feeding operations, such as large hog farms, can go on polluting the air and water without any interference from government officials who might seek to protect the environment. This is the same spirit behind an even more damaging piece of legislation that has already passed the House and is moving through the Senate: HJR 17, the so-called “right to farm” constitutional amendment.
Take a look at his Jason Smith’s messaging to create fear:
The Federal Government has no hesitation when it comes to trampling on our privacy rights
We take serious issue with these unwarranted intrusions
We actively work to protect our citizens against invasions of their privacy
The EPA spied on farmers in Nebraska and Iowa
White House to create a federal gun owner database (There’s a reason he said White House and not Congress)
We have seen too many attempts to violate the rights given to us by the founding fathers.
We will not allow a government agency, members of the press, or any citizen to violate our rights to privacy through the use of aerial surveillance technology.
Much of Gov. Jay Nixon’s time was wasted on disastrous Obamacare policies that conservative leaders in the House will not support.
The Department of Revenue has a new policy in place that requires license offices to scan and keep the personal documents of Missouri citizens – something that many people are justifiably concerned about considering the information could be used to help the White House (notice once again he did not say Congress) compile a database of gun owners.
We can’t take the chance that the state department of revenue is actually acting in good faith. HB 787, which would prevent the department from scanning and keeping documents and require that all existing scanned documents be destroyed. In addition, we use the budget process to cut approximately $157,000 from the department’s budget. The amount represents the funds necessary to scan source documents and retain electronic copies in a database.
Rest assured that your state legislature will continue to stand in defense of your rights and freedoms.
We will not allow the Missouri way of life to be trampled on by the out-of-touch bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.