KTVO breaks down the 'Right to Farm' Amendment

The 'Right to Farm' Amendment is one of the ballot measures that Missouri voters will decide during the August 5th Primary Elections.

Farming is the number one industry in the Show-Me-State, and supporters of the 'Right to Farm' Amendment say it would protect Missouri farm families.

"Some farming organizations say that you need this addition of the Missouri Constitution because they have seen farming come under a number of threats," said Dr. Randy Hagerty, Political Science Department Chair at Truman State University.

Extremist groups have targeted agriculture in recent years, and now farmers are joining together to support the amendment to help provide long-lasting legal protections for their way of life. Many producers in the state are showing their support with orange yard signs that read 'Keep Missouri Farming - Vote Yes on 1.'

However those opposing the amendment, say that voting 'yes' will do the exact opposite of protecting family owned farms.

"This would be a horrible thing they say, that it's really going to protect the corporate farms and to the extent that it does that, it's going to further endanger the viability and the vitality of small family farms to maintain their operation," added Hagerty.

Those in opposition say that if the amendment passes, Smithfield, a pork producer formerly based in Virginia but has now been bought out by a corporation in Hong-Kong would see the greatest benefit. Smithfield's parent company currently owns 27 percent of the pork produced in the United States and has plans to build more concentrated animal feeding operations in Missouri.

"Their argument is this will not protect the small family farmer, this is going to protect the large corporate farms like the large corporate hog farms," said Hagerty.

The text found on the ballot for Amendment One reads as follows: 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 the loss of federal funding.

If passed, the amendment would have no impact on taxes.