Missouri's 'Right-to-Farm' Vote Shows Urban-Rural Divide

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 08/06 2014 09:11PM

Updated 08/06 2014 10:29PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A recount could be requested for Missouri's contentious Amendment One issue, since just about 2,500 votes separate "yes" from "no."

Amendment one, which aims to make agriculture akin to the freedoms of speech and religion in Missouri, narrowly prevailed state-wide with wins in rural regions. Those votes were nearly offset by overwhelming defeats in urban areas.

"They just don't connect with agriculture they just can't visualize it. They don't see it. They're too far away from it," Missouri Dairy Association Director Dave Drennan said.
"Greene County is a great example of an urban and rural community. I think we just have such a strong local food movement here. Many of our constituents are well educated about the importance of supporting our local farmers," Missouri Food for America spokesperson Sheila Nichols said.

Related: Closer Look At Amendment One, Current Law

In Greene County, citizens voted it down by a difference of nearly ten thousand votes, with 63 percent of votes in the "no" column.

"I'm disappointed in Greene County, which has a lot of agriculture. Springfield still is the hub for our dairy industry with Highland and Kraft and Mueller -- just to name a few companies here that rely on our dairymen," Drennan said,

Numbers in other urban areas tell a similar tale. In Kansas City the difference was almost 9,000, with 62 percent voting no. In the St. Louis area, about 66 percent of citizens voted no.

For comparison, in more rural Lawrence County, the opposite was true. A gap of nearly 7,000 voters earned a strong yes vote of 63 percent.

"I hope it really sends a signal to outside influences from the east coast," Drennan said.

Statewide, the difference between "yes" and "no" is just .2 percent. Since the overall difference is less than .5 percent, the opposing side can request a recount.

"We're extremely disappointed and we are also very encouraged almost 50 percent with a no vote on this," Nichols said.

For a full list of election results, click here.

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