The Farmer’s Bill of Rights
I have to say I agree with all of this. Missouri family farms need to have opportunities to run their farms in a way that is efficient and economical to them and a little nicer to the animals producing our goods. I grew up on a small farm and have fond memories of my childhood helping tend the small crops, haul hay, feed calves, split firewood and it was all family time. We didn’t make much living off of the livestock but I know it put a large part of our food on the table. Family owned farms are an important part of Missouri culture and livelihoods.
Stopping Foreign Ownership of Farms– Missouri should restore the initial language in the 1978 law on foreign ownership of farmland that detailed “no foreign entity could own farmland in Missouri.” This policy has received bipartisan support. Missouri should also increase transparency by requiring companies or entities to report if they have over 20% foreign ownership.
Improving Country-of-Origin Labeling– We need strengthened country-of-origin labeling. Similar to a bill that was filed in the state of Colorado, Missouri should require retailers selling beef and pork to place placards that clearly state where the product is from.
Transparency for Contract Growers– Missouri can help tilt the balance back in favor of family farmers by increasing transparency for contract growers for pigs and chicken. As it stands, many unfair contracts from monopolies force Missouri farmers “deeply into debt to keep up with dictated standards…and pit them against other farmers in the community.” Contracts should be transparent and filed in the public record so Missouri’s farmers can guarantee they’re not getting ripped off by big corporations. The State of Iowa has passed this into law.
Protect Local Regulation of CAFOs– The Republican establishment in Jefferson City needs to stop passing bad bills that attempt to help big corporations by taking away local counties’ ability to regulate Concentration Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Local communities should have the right to protect themselves from the negative health and environmental impacts that CAFOs can have on family farms.
End Corporate Stacking of the Clean Water Commission– Missouri needs to reverse legislation that Republicans passed in 2016 that stacked the Clean Water Commission in favor of big corporations. Since the commission has “the ability to approve or deny construction permits for facilities that have the potential to damage Missouri waterways,” this move unfairly shifted control away from local farming communities, making it more difficult to hold big corporations accountable for pollution and bad practices that harm family farmers.
I would love to speak with any local farmer to get more acquainted with the issues you face in your operations! Please feel free to message or email me!