Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tim Jones: Why we must pass the Right to Farm Act

(In a portion of his latest newsletter, Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka, explains his support for Amendment One.)

Another ballot measure approved by the General Assembly is designed to protect the family farming traditions that are such an important part of our state’s history, and such a vital component of our state’s economy.

Constitutional Amendment 1, also known as “Right to Farm,” would protect the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices. It also would prevent any law that abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and modern livestock production and ranching practices. Together, the additions to our Missouri Constitution would give farm families the peace of mind that their way of life will continue, and that they will be able to continue to farm in the same way their parents, grandparents and great grandparents did.

It is also an important change for Missourians who have no direct connection to farming. We cannot overlook the fact that farmers provide the food we feed to our families and the many value-added products we use in our daily lives. The next time you sit down for dinner with your family to enjoy a juicy steak or delicious corn on the cob, imagine what things would be like if farmers are driven out of business by the special interest groups that are opposed to traditional farming and ranching. It is important to understand that these groups want to put an end to the farming traditions that have been used for generations to feed and clothe millions of Americans.

This year, we need to put these protections in place here in Missouri. Our state has a long and proud agricultural tradition, and it is in the best interest of all Missourians to stand together in defense of an industry and a way of life that are an indelible part of our state. As a proud member of a family that continues to own and operate farming operations across our great state, I have first-hand knowledge of how hard our farming families work and how vital they are to the economic backbone of our state. We cannot allow out-of-state groups to drive the agenda here in Missouri, and we cannot allow them to create laws that would ultimately drive our farm families out of business. The Missouri General Assembly took the first step to ensure our farming traditions are protected. Now I hope the people of Missouri will come together to protect an industry that provides so much for people in every part of the state and all across the country.

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