Primary Election 2014
6:12 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Blunt: Amendment 1 Won't Put out Family Farms

Sen. Roy Blunt, speaking in Springfield Friday, says he supports Amendment 1.
Sen. Roy Blunt, speaking in Springfield Friday, says he supports Amendment 1.
Credit Scott Harvey / KSMU

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says he’ll vote yes on the “right to farm” amendment this August because he wants “agriculture to continue to be the biggest economic driver in our state.”

Blunt’s remarks were offered to dairy farmers at the Heart of America Dairy Expo in Springfield Friday. He was quick to acknowledge opponents, declaring that this is not a fight between big corporate agriculture and family farms.

“Family farms are critically important to us and benefit from the kind of message that we send when we amend our constitution and say ‘we’re gonna ensure the right to farm.’ We’re not gonna let crazy rules that make no sense put Missouri farming families out of farming,” Blunt said.

The Republican Senator said while Amendment 1 is “not a far reaching amendment” it is one that does add a few protections that farmers don’t have now and restates others.

He told farmers that by approving the amendment, Missouri can send a message that it understands the food needs of people at home and abroad, noting that world food needs are expected to double in the next 50 years. He added that if Missouri doesn’t take advantage of agricultural opportunities, somebody else will.

“What states like Missouri and Indiana and others are doing when they passed legislation like this or make this statement in the constitution, is putting their marker down that we wanna be – we want it understood that we wanna be part of that great opportunity that’s about to engage for agriculture.”   

Earlier this week, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster was in Springfield to express his support for the ballot item before representatives from several of Missouri’s agribusiness sector.

The Attorney General’s speech was attended by a handful of protestors that fear passage of the measure could put family farmers at risk of being overtaken by large corporations. They questioned who will fight for the rights of family farmers in the courts.