WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2014 – In Missouri, Amendment 1 is the law of the land.
A recount from the Aug. 5 balloting confirms that a slim majority of voters in the state approved the controversial “Right to Farm” provision.
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, the recount shows the measure passed by a margin of 2,375 votes out of almost a million cast. The original tally had the amendment passing by 2,490 votes.
“The voters have spoken and the votes have been counted – twice,” said Don Nikodim, chairman of Missouri Farmers Care, which backed the amendment. In a news release, he said it was “unfortunate” that taxpayers’ money was wasted on the challenge by the Humane Society of the United States, which advertised heavily against the amendment.
The measure changes the Missouri constitution to read:
“That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri's economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri's economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”
The amendment was supported by dozens of Missouri agricultural organizations that comprise Missouri Farmers Care along with groups such as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Grocers Association, Missouri Vocational Ag Teachers Association and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
“This is good news for anyone who eats,” Nikodim said. “Thanks to our supporters, agricultural organizations and farmers for their hard fought efforts in passing this constitutional amendment. Now Missouri farmers can move forward with providing a diverse food supply without the threat of out-of-state activist groups impeding our state's number one industry.”
Opponents claimed that the amendment would encourage foreign ownership of farms and allow farmers to evade existing regulations. They included Joe Maxwell, former lieutenant governor of Missouri and now a vice president with HSUS, and former Missouri senator Wes Shoemyer, Missouri's Food for America president and an HSUS adviser.
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