LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don't believe scare tactics about farm amendment

Friday, August 1, 2014 | 11:40 a.m. CDT

False claims are being made about where Amendment 1, the Farming Rights Amendment, originated. Well, I can tell you exactly where it started — on the seat of my tractor.

While serving as a state legislator from Osage County in 2009, I was talking with some of my urban colleagues about agriculture. It was obvious they didn’t understand where their food came from and moreover how it was produced.

This just indicates that most people today, urban and even some rural, are several generations removed from living on a farm.

Later as I was spreading fertilizer on my farm, I was thinking about this and the fact that we farmers are experiencing more and more unreasonable regulations and limitations from outside interest groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.

I thought about some language we could possibly legislate to provide protection for family farmers like me, and over the next couple of evenings, I would jot down some ideas for legislation and stick the paper in my pocket.

The next week in talking to some of my legislative colleagues, we decided to write language that would go in the state Constitution. In an effort to help protect our state’s No. 1 industry, agriculture, it seems reasonable to place an additional 62 words (the length of Amendment 1) among the over 50,000 words of our current Constitution.

The proposed constitutional amendment was debated in the Missouri General Assembly over four legislative sessions and finally passed in 2013. I can tell you firsthand that Amendment 1 did not originate with any foreign interests, big farming outfits or agriculture corporations.

It started on a 6080 Allis Chalmers tractor on a beautiful spring evening on a family farm.

Don’t believe the scare tactics of the opponents of Amendment 1 and their propaganda. Please vote for Amendment 1 and help protect small family farms like mine.

Tom Loehner is a former state representative and an Osage County family farmer.

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Kevin Gamble August 1, 2014 | 1:51 p.m.

A mound of folksy manure mixed with its own share of scare tactics, and completely omitting the influence of lobbying interests on the legislative process.

I certainly wish the best for Mr. Loehner and the continuance of his farm, but there are simply too many well-informed voices speaking against this amendment. It's a bad one and needs to be voted down.

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