Supporters, Opponents Debate "Right to Farm"

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JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of the proposed "Right to Farm" constitutional amendment protested at the capitol Thursday afternoon, starting at 10 a.m.

The group says the amendment set to be voted on on the August ballot, will hurt small family farms by making it easier for big and foreign corporations to own Missouri farmland. They are also concerned the bill will help create "special protection" for puppy mills. 

Speakers at the opposition rally included representatives from the Missouri Farmers Union, Missouri's Food for America, the Sierra Club, Cultivate KC and the Missouri Association of Social Welfare.

Missouri Farmers Care is a group in support of "Right to Farm." It says the amendment will not hurt small farms because it will not overrule state and federal farming regulations that are already in place. Missouri currently has geographical restrictions on foreign ownership and the amount of farmland that can be owned by a foreign corporation is capped at 1 percent.

The proposed amendment would make the right "to engage in farming and ranching forever guaranteed" in the Missouri constitution.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to identify groups represented at the opposition rally.)