The Right to Farm

Posted on November 19, 2012


Election Day had lots of good news for ranchers. I already reported on a couple of initiatives that were voted down, but another key piece of legislation was voted in. On November 6, North Dakota became the first state in the union to include the right to farm in their state constitution.

What exactly this will mean for the state is not clear yet.

Some say the initiative, which protects “the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices,” is a way keep the agriculture business safe from “attacks” by outside groups.

But on the other side of the issue, some are concerned that the new amendment will prevent laws helping animals and the environment.

The North Dakota Farmers Union was among groups against the amendment. They said the wording was too broad and could potentially block important legislation.

But Doyle Johannes, president of North Dakota’s Farm Bureau, said it would help protect ranchers and farmers from “outside” special interest groups.