COULD NEBRASKA VOTERS DECIDE ON A RIGHT TO FARM AMENDMENT?
On Wednesday, Nebraska State Senator John Kuehn introduced a proposed constitutional amendment in the state legislature which would resemble the perpetually-guaranteed right to farm and ranch that other states have either passed or are currently considering. Much like in North Dakota, Missouri, and Oklahoma (which will be voting on its own Right to Farm Amendment - State Question 777 - this November), this introduced ballot measure is a response to the actions of out-of-state activists who come into the state and attempt to regulate animal agriculture practices and agriculture technology. As Senator Kuehn told Nebraska.tv:
"They can impinge upon the right of our producers to do their business to feed the world. I think providing a constitutional protection to Nebraska's hard working farmers and ranchers is a key part of protecting our industry."
Agriculture is a leading industry in the state, as Nebraska is near the top of national rankings in several categories such as cattle production, pork production, corn, wheat, and soybeans. Nebraska has a unicameral legislature, meaning that the potential bill would only need to pass through one legislative body instead of two before it would go to voters for a final decision. Missouri was the last state to pass a Right to Farm Amendment in 2014 after a hard-fought battle with animal rights groups. Oklahoma was able to get its amendment to the voters for potential passage later this year. We will continue to follow this story as the bill progresses.