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Right to Farm Bill Debate
By Felicia Lawrence
JOPLIN, MO.--- According to the Missouri Farm Bureau, the "Right to Farm Bill" will permanently protect the rights of Missouri farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices. Representative Bill Reiboldt is a proponent of the amendment and says it will protect small farmers and corporate food companies from animal rights activists. He argues that it will do no harm and can only produce positive results for farming throughout the state. His opponent, Bob Glenn, opposes Amendment 1, calling it quote "an open-ended contract." Glenn argues that the amendment is too vague and because it is a Constitutional amendment, it could limit future regulations on large corporate food companies.
"Do you think the farmers and ranchers rights should not be infringed on? Well, what's the answer to that? Of course nobody wants their rights to be infringed on, but what else does it say? It doesn't say anything," said Bob Glenn, Candidate for Presiding Commissioner of Dade County.
"This amendment is simply to give additional protection to farmers, all farmers, not just corporate farmers. We have laws and regulations that are reasonable. We're opposed to the unreasonable regulations," said Bill Reiboldt, Missouri Representative.
Wes Shoemyer is a member of Missouri's Food for America Organization and says he opposes the new amendment.
"Family farmers already enjoy the right to farm. This is a Constitutional amendment. We do not want to enshrine in the Constitution forever the right of corporations to have my rights that I already enjoy as a family farmer," said Wes Shoemyer, Missouri Food for America.
He continues by saying Missouri farmers do not need more protection and the passage of this legislation would do more harm than good. Also at tonight's meeting, the Southwest Missouri Democrats officially decided they were against Amendment 1. Missouri voters will head to the polls on August 5th to decide the fate of the Right to Farm bill.