The Missouri General Assembly doesn't return to work until early January. But one of the two parties has already laid out a piece of legislation they're fighting for.
As the minority in both the House and Senate, the Missouri Democratic party knows that when they're pushing a piece of legislation, in this case the Farmers Bill of Rights, they're fighting an uphill battle. But on the topic of foreign governments and corporations acquiring huge chunks of Missouri farm land, Party Chair Stephen Webber says all Show-me State farmers should fight, regardless of their politics.
"Which is our statement of values backed by policies that's gonna stop large multinational agribusiness companies from extracting wealth from rural communities, our goal is to keep the wealth that's being created in rural Missouri, in rural Missouri,” says Stephen Webber, MO Democratic Party Chair.
"When they come in to buy property, chances are you're not gonna know who actually owns it until the property's already sold,” says Bob Glenn, Dade county farmer.
Dade county farmer Bob Glenn signed the Farmers Bill of Rights in Joplin has seen that happen first hand. He says the general assembly should be decreasing the amount of farmland that can be owned by foreign entities, not increasing it. And Webber says that's creating an economic domino effect.
"Wealth is going to foreign owned corporations in China and Brazil, and it's being extracted out of our rural communities. And so we're seeing things like schools that are open four days a week, rural poverty rates that are rising, and this can be reversed and be changed by adopting this Farmers Bill of Rights and strengthen family farmers and keeping wealth in rural communities,” says Stephen Webber.