Farm Bill Sparks Debate

1 decade 1 year 3 months ago Monday, March 05 2007 Mar 5, 2007 Monday, March 05, 2007 10:25:39 PM CST March 05, 2007 in News

The bill would protect farmers from nuisance suits. Some farmers also say it brings consistency to farming regulations.

"The problem is we can't have 115 different regulatory schemes for agriculture. We can't exist with every county having different rules," farmer Blake Hurst said.

"It shouldn't be just only big business, the small family farmer needs to be able to grow, I agree with that, but I do not feel we should bring a lot of corporate agriculture into this state," farmer Ed Sangster said.

In Arrow Rock, Rennolds is concerned about more than just his town.

"[Senate Bill] 364 takes away any ability to sue, or bring any lawsuits, even though I might be harmed financially, healthwise, it totally takes that away," Rennolds said.

The bill is still in committee, meaning the bill must still make it to the Senate floor. If passed, the state-wide regulations would go into effect Aug. 28, this year.  The committee meets again on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 364 focuses on what is called concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFO's. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call CAFO's "agricultural facilities that house and feed a large number of animals in a confined area for 45 days or more during any 12-month period." Many concerns on CAFO's surround the environmental impact of the pollution created by these farms.  The Environmental Protection Agency says CAFO's account for more than half of the manure produced by farms in the country.

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