\"Keep Missouri Farming\" Gains Support of Congress Reps

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JEFFERSON CITY- U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO 3rd District, will join the Missouri Farm Bureau to show his support Tuesday for the proposed "Keep Missouri Farming" amendment.

The proposal has some controversy surrounding it, despite the support of Luetkemeyer and some of his congressional counterparts.

The amendment would add Section 35 to Section A, Article I, it reads:

"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."

Some supporters of the amendment said they believe the ballot proposal will bar a replay of a campaign in 2010, which sought to impose restrictions on dog breeders.

Opponents said the amendment will fail to accomplish anything at all. Advocates and opponents alike agree on one thing, however.

If voters approve the measure in August, the courts would likely decide what "Keep Missouri Farming" actually means. This is what voters will see on the ballot:

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?...The potential costs or savings to governmental entities are unknown, but likely limited unless the resolution leads to increased litigation costs and/or the loss of federal funding."

The amendment bounced between the house and senate several times before a joint resolution could be reached. 

Since the proposal was passed as a joint resolution, Gov. Jay Nixon's approval was not needed to add the measure to the August ballot. 

Representative Luetkemeyer will speak at the Missouri Farm Bureau Center in Jefferson City from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler will speak in Columbia and the MFA Headquarters on Wednesday about the issue.