Amendment 1 will not protect farmers.
You are right Mr Oswald. Amendment 1 will not protect family farmers from corporate farmers (although you haven't convinced me why exactly I need protection from them.) It will also not protect organic farmers from traditional farmers. It will not protect large farmers from small farmers.
Amendment 1 will not protect farmers from drought. Or floods. Or hail. Or bad prices. Amendment 1 will be hard to enforce with the deer population consuming half our bean crop, even if it's easy to see how they are infringing on my right to farm. Amendment 1 will not protect from your neighbors cows trampling your beans. And it will not protect from cold or wind or hot.
There is a whole list of things amendment 1 will not do.
Mr. Oswald, in response to your article in Missouri Farmer Today, I would like to suggest that if you are looking for blanket protection from all of the risks we face in this business, you may have chosen the wrong business.
You see Mr. Oswald, Amendment 1 wasn't designed to protect from these things. It wasn't designed to wage a war between corporate and family farms, or large and small farms.
Amendment 1 was written to protect against a threat you chose to not even address. A threat that is far greater than any of those you tried to scare us with. A threat that will be the biggest challenge agriculture has ever faced.
A threat that we will continue to under-estimate for years more, until it's too late.
I assume the reason you did not address this threat is because your biggest donor, HSUS, is the main perpetrator of it.
Amendment 1 is designed to protect all farmers from unjust, unnecessary and costly legislation. Something HSUS spends over half it's 150 million dollar budget on trying to pass. (I must give credit to the group for the 0.43% of the budget that helped cats and dogs.)
Amendment 1 was written to stop politicians from telling me what seeds to plant, what times I can harvest, who can provide health care to my livestock. It is written to keep the animal extremists, like your donors, from telling us how to do our jobs.
This threat is very, very real in other states. They get it. They wish they would have passed right to farm before it was too late for them.
And this threat will become very real here if we do not stop it on August 5.
If your neighbor sprays your crops, or the commercial farmer wants to take your land, he will have to take it to the courts. (And any simple legal analysis would tell you that his right to farm could not, under any circumstances, trump your right to farm simply because he is larger). The neighbor who sprays your crops will still be liable for it (just like he is now). The corporation wanting to take your land will not be able to do so (just like they can't now).
I would encourage you to start having a conversation about the real issue Mr. Oswald. I would encourage you to stop using scare tactics to encourage a fight among neighbors.
We are all in this together. We all suffer when it's dry, we all suffer when it's too wet. And we will all suffer if we do not tell out of state interest groups to stay out of our farming policy.
Vote YES on amendment 1.
(Written in response to an article that was published in the Missouri Farmer Today by Missouri Farmers Union President, Richard Oswald.) To see the full article visit here: http://www.missourifarmertoday.com/news/opinion/amendment-one-would-not-protect-missouri-family-farms/article_b1335ef6-0134-11e4-be2f-0019bb2963f4.html
There is a lot of misinformation out there about amendment one. To understand it, you must understand why it was written and the challenge that farmers are facing right now.
99% of farms are family owned. Even the controversial "corporate" farms are mostly family owned farms that have incorporated for tax purposes. (For instance if Matt and his Dad Steve decided for tax purposes to become Lambert Farms, Inc). This would not change how they operate or how much care they put into what they do, it would only change the grounds on which they were attacked and how they file their taxes.
It's very difficult for family farms and corporate farms, who operate on extremely thin margins, to spend any money on PR, or public relations. We don't have time, or money, to explain how we care about the environment as much, if not more, than anybody. Or that our animals are cared for better than a lot of human beings. For too many generations we just assumed people knew this. And now we are being blindsided with the fact that there are groups out there profiting from spreading lies.
Groups like HSUS and PETA make the most money when they scare you. They scare you about animal ag, they scare you about production Ag, they scare you about your food. When they tell these lies, you get out your checkbook. The truth isn't scary or sensational, so it doesn't get any of the Internet or media coverage the lies do.
So, why vote yes on amendment one? This amendment protects our right to farm and will not allow these out of state groups to come in here and pass voter initiatives based on lies and false accusations. It will require new regulations to be carefully analyzed for their effect on farmers before being passed. It will protect us because we don't have the millions of dollars to fight the media war.
This amendment does NOT protect corporations over family farms. It does NOT change ownership laws. It does NOT override any local or state ordinances, even for large hog and cattle operations. It does NOT negate any liability on our part to follow these laws, to protect the environment and to protect the food, water and consumer.
Please vote yes on amendment 1 and if you have any questions, please ask.
The less than 1% of people that are involved in production agriculture need your help to be protected from the misinformed masses.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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