Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster was in Cape Girardeau today to talk about Amendment 1 - the “right-to-farm” amendment - at the Kirchdoerfer dairy farm as part of a two-day farm tour.
Koster is concerned about rural Missouri agriculture’s future and supports Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that aims at protecting farmers’ ability to raise crops and livestock.
“I understand why Missouri farmers are seeking the protection of the Missouri constitution. And given the events of the last decade, I support the right-to-farm amendment,” declared Koster.
Koster said what they are trying to do is protect the state’s most important industry against arbitrary and prejudicial regulations that are pushed by out-of-state interests. Voters will vote on Amendment 1 on August 5.
“I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of an agricultural business owner in the state and consider how you’d feel if the voters placed a limit on how successful you could be,” said Koster.
In 2010, Missouri voters passed a measure that would strengthen regulations on so-called “puppy mills.” The measure was heavily backed by the animal rights organization Humane Society of the United States. Despite the approval of Missouri voters, the general assembly and Governor Jay Nixon later scaled back many of the law’s provisions. The “puppy mill” law led the state legislature and the state’s agriculture industry to push for the right-to-farm amendment.
Opponents have argued that the proposed amendment is too vague and aims at preventing any kind of regulations in agriculture. Koster disagrees and said all rights are subject to reasonable regulation.
“Passage of this amendment will continue to allow agriculture to be subject to reasonable regulation across Missouri,” Koster said.
Koster believes that under the amendment, future regulations of agriculture will be more closely scrutinized by the courts of the state.
In light of the botched execution of an inmate this week in Arizona, Koster said the state of Missouri is not reviewing its execution policy.
“The Missouri procedure is different in several respects from the Arizona procedure. The drug protocol, the type of drugs that are used is different and the execution protocol that we have used in Missouri over the last eight months has worked in a way that is consistent with the U.S. Constitution,” said Koster.