Right to Farm – Should There Be a Law?

All states have some kind of "right to farm" legislation but only two have amended their constitutions to include this kind of language. The first was North Dakota.  The latest is Missouri where, two weeks ago, about a third of registered voters turned out to approve the amendment by a slight margin of just 50.13% of the vote.  The low turnout combined with the narrow margin indicates that there may be a lot more debate about this amendment and others like it in the future. What is "Right to Farm?" A 2004 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report defines right to farm laws as denying "nuisance suits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practices, even if these practices harm or bother adjacent property owners or the general public.  Agricultural nuisances may include noise, odors, visual clutter and dangerous structures."  They typically cite the importance of agriculture and its products to the state and its citizens, and some point to the need for this kind of legal protection because of non-agricultural land use moving into traditionally agricultural areas. Missouri already had this kind of legislation in place.  But in 2010, Proposition B was passed in the state with the support of the Humane Society of the United States.  This proposition covered so-called "puppy mills" requiring owners of 10 dogs or more to meet certain requirements, and limiting owners to no more than 50 breeding dogs.  Some saw this as undue influence on the state

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