Reiboldt Comments on "Right to Farm" Amendment Passage
An amendment to the Missouri Constitution that supporters say guarantees the right to farm passed last night, but only just barely, with just over 2,500 votes making the difference. Neosho State Representative Bill Reiboldt, a farmer himself, tells News Talk KZRG the work's not over:
"We've got a lot of work to do, and with any right comes responsibility. We have the responsibility as farmers in the state of Missouri to be good stewards."
Reiboldt says the amendment had virtually no support in urban communities, and adds that he and like-minded lawmakers need to find ways to bridge the gap.
Some opponents of the measure say the wording was confusing, to which Reiboldt says:
"A 'yes' meant 'yes' and a 'no' meant 'no.' As for wording, we had to embrace all aspects of agriculture, from rice and cotton to corn and soybeans to cattle."
Another sticking point opponents of the measure had was the belief that it would allow for a large amount of corporate and foreign purchasing of farmland, to which Reiboldt says:
"The idea of corporate farms and misunderstanding of purchase of lands in Missouri by China hurt us, and it's misinformation that got out of hand. Corporate farming is small in Missouri. The Chinese own land in just three counties in the northeast part of the state. The MO Director of Agriculture has to give approval on every foreign sale now, and a lot of people don't understand."