Missouri’s so-called right to farm amendment will be added to the state Constitution after a statewide recount confirmed the original election results.
Missouri is the second state after North Dakota to enshrine the right to farm in its constitution -- a move meant to protect farmers and ranchers from legislation that would change or outlaw practices they use.
The recount was tight. The controversial measure’s final tally shows the race was 100 votes closer than the August primary results. But the measure still passed by about a 2,400 vote margin.
Farmer and former state Sen. Wes Shoemeyer led a group opposing the measure. He says the vague language in the amendment could invite corporate farms to push out the smaller farms.
“Certainly we are going to be reviewing our options in the court," he said. "We’re certainly going to stay together as a group to oppose these -- what I would call -- 'big ag' moves in the state.”
Commodity and conventional farm groups generally supported the amendment. Animal rights groups, environmentalists and small farmers largely opposed it.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst, who supported amendment 1, said in a statement: "Missouri farmers will have greater protection from unjustified and costly restrictions placed upon them by out-of-state, extreme organizations like the Humane Society of the United States."
Hurst also said the recount was unnecessary and costly to taxpayers.