Your Opinion: Imagined threat to farming

Dear Editor:

Is farming really under attack in Missouri?

According to the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) in numerous television interviews, it is. And it appears that the money from MFB and the big corporate farms that they support have convinced our Missouri legislators that it is true.

Missouri citizens’ right to the initiative petition process has been constantly under attack since the majority of citizens voted in favor of Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. These same politicians contend that we the public are too stupid to know what is good for us and that we were misinformed and misled by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS.) So, in their great wisdom, our legislators went about repealing most of the important and beneficial portions of Prop. B. Although, some of the requirements were eventually restored through a compromise coordinated by the governor.

Apparently it is okay for elected officials to receive large donations from out-of-state donors, but it is not okay for Missouri citizens, who are not wealthy, to accept financial support from an out-of-state group. (This sounds like a double standard to me.)

I am not against farming or the consumption of meat. The farmers around whom I live do not abuse their animals and seem to be doing just fine, though the weather is sometimes an issue. But look at the list of House and Senate bills dealing with this imagined threat:

HB205 — affirming the right to raise livestock without undue economic burden; HJR11 & 7 — affirming the right to employ modern livestock production practices; HJR10 – a constitutional amendment requiring 4/7 majority on any ballot initiative relating to raising livestock; HJR27 — a constitutional amendment to limit restrictions on hunting and trapping and would prohibit local municipalities from employing humane alternatives to deer and other wildlife overpopulation problems; HJR29 — would remove the Dept. of Agriculture from the governor’s control; HB564 — would weaken provisions to anti-cruelty statutes; HB785 — prohibits disposition of abuse and neglected animals, and the list goes on!

All of this is to protect the large corporate farms. Why are our legislators wasting our time and money on these issues? In my opinion, it is because they are influenced by big money that can win them elections in the future. If these large farms are doing nothing wrong, why should they be concerned about something that has not happened, unless they are guilty of something?

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