FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2013

From the Office of House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith
120th District CONTACT: Rep. Jason Smith 573-751-1688

House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith Pushes for Constitutional Protection for Missourians’ Right to Farm
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith wants to give Missouri voters the opportunity to forever protect their right to farm. Smith took time this week to present his proposed constitutional (HJR 7) to the House Committee on Agriculture Policy. Smith’s amendment was combined with an amendment (HJR 11) sponsored by Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho and approved by the committee by a vote of 15-0. During Tuesday’s hearing, Smith told committee members his legislation comes in response to the efforts of out-of-state special interest groups to erode the traditional rights of farmers. “The agriculture industry here in our state, which is one of the most important parts of our heritage and our economic engine, has been under attack by radical groups that want to destroy the Missouri way of life,” said Smith. “Let’s give voters the opportunity to send a strong, clear message to these subversive special interests. They need to know we will not allow their unscrupulous methods to limit our freedoms or destroy the traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries.” Smith’s constitutional amendment would, upon voter approval, affirm the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices. It specifies that no law that abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and modern livestock production and ranching practices may be enacted. “North Dakota passed a similar amendment last year to repel the efforts of these out-of-state radicals. We need to follow their lead by standing up to defend our farm families here in Missouri,” said Smith. “It’s something I know the people of Missouri will support with overwhelming numbers because it’s the right thing to do for our state.”

The constitutional amendment has been co-sponsored by more than 30 of Smith’s colleagues including House Speaker Tim Jones. -###-

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