LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More leverage needed to fight factory farms

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 3:19 p.m. CDT

As an advocate for good food in central Missouri, I'm proud that 67 percent of Boone County residents voted to limit industrial agriculture's power in our state.

However, I’m saddened by the possible passage of Amendment 1 by a few thousand votes last Tuesday. (“Divided electorate narrowly approves 'Right to Farm,'” Columbia Missourian, Aug. 6).

Factory farms bankrolled Amendment 1 so they can impose their unsustainable system of agriculture across Missouri. They blitzed the airwaves for weeks with deceptive ads suggesting that family farmers supported Amendment 1 — even though the farmers I work with every day were strongly against it.

Yet even with their huge financial advantage and deceptive ballot wording, corporate agriculture only managed a 0.2 percent lead, with just 8 percent of the state’s population voting yes.

Unfortunately, because the politicians in Jefferson City scheduled Amendment 1 for the low turnout primary election, one-twelfth of the population was enough to permanently amend the constitution for the worse.

Advocates for good food now need to stand together to stop corporate agriculture from taking over more of the state. And until the Legislature stands up to big agribusiness, consumers must continue making their own sustainable food choices.

Only by refusing to buy from factory farms — and choosing humane and local family farmers instead — will we reclaim our state from the grip of corporate agriculture.

Jake Davis owns the Root Cellar in Columbia.

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