Debate about whether “Right to Farm” is right for Missouri

Debate about whether “Right to Farm” is right for Missouri

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It's a heavily debated issue that will come to a vote on the August ballot. It's called "Right to Farm" or Amendment 1.

Many farmers say it would protect them from too much government regulation, but other locals say it would keep the government from protecting the environment.

Allen Rowland farms 2,300 acres in southeast Missouri.

He says voting "yes" on this amendment will help him protect his family farm and others in the state.

Right now, he uses farming practices that he says help keep bugs out of his corn. However, if Amendment 1 fails, he says, the government could regulate those practices, making him change the way he grows his crops.

"We would have to either let the insects eat all they want or go back to some harsh chemicals that I prefer not to use anymore," Rowland said.

He says without the amendment, it's not only farmers who would notice changes.

"[For] consumers, it would protect their food supplies and keep the cost of the food supplies down," Rowland said.

Rowland says voting "yes" on Amendment 1 is about stopping government intervention on his operation.

"[It would] protect me from the environmental groups that seem to think the way we farm today is not correct," Rowland said.

Others, like Carolyn Johnson, disagree. She grows her fruits and vegetables on her property. She says by saying no to the amendment, she's allowing the government to protect her land.

"I mean, would you want something that came in and polluted next to you? And they would say, well, we are farmers too? I don't think so," Johnson said.

Johnson also says the amendment is unnecessary.

"Why are you coming up with this so called fix to fix a non problem?" Johnson said.

Still, Rowland says he wants the amendment in place to protect his farm for generations to come.

"This is a good way of life out here. It's tough a lot of times, but I don't know of any better way of life," Rowland said.

If you'd like to read information on Amendment 1 from both sides of the issue, you can visit websites from the following organizations.

The Missouri Farm Bureau is in favor of the amendment.

Missouri Farmers Care is in favor of the amendment.

The Missouri Sierra Club is opposed to the amendment.

Missouri Farmer's Union is opposed to the amendment.

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