Missouri Amendment 1 will help preserve farm traditions

Posted: Jul. 21, 2014 8:58 am Updated: Aug. 11, 2014 10:15 am

To The Herald-Whig:

Farming and ranching today differ vastly from 50 years ago; so does every other industry. Today's farmers and ranchers wear many hats to provide financial security for their families and farms.

Family farms can also be legally structured as corporations for many different reasons, including tax liability, ease of transferal of ownership and the transfer of power. Some of today's modern operators choose to market a part of their labor through contracts with other ag businesses. This provides stability and a steady source of income for the producer and their family. Contracts from other ag businesses are the equivalent of one member of the family working off farm, however, in many cases, the use of these contracts allows the family to work together on the farm as a family, rather than forcing one to be gone from the operation.

Amendment 1 will not only protect family farmers and ranchers, but also consumers by giving them the choice to purchase food raised in the safest most cost effective manners. Others can purchase organic and non-meat based protein food raised by whatever standards they like as long as they are willing to pay the additional premium.

Opponents of Amendment 1 would like to have total control of the food supply chain thus dictating the type of food and the price the consumer pays for said product. Finally, those opposing the bill claim to be for the small farmer. They claim that they want to see more young people in agriculture.

If we really want to see an increase in small farms and an influx of younger generations in farming, we need to ensure that these young folks are allowed to make economically based decisions about their operation, without fear of retaliation from outside interest groups imposing non-scientific, non-practical, regulations on their operations.

Consumers need to be aware that a vote for Amendment 1 is very important to provide a safe stable cost effective food supply.

We will be having bipartisan informative meetings in the near future. Watch this local paper for dates and times or call the Marion County Farm Bureau office.

Ralph Griesbaum

Marion County

Farm Bureau president

Taylor, Mo.