Vote Count Close for Missouri's Contentious 'Right to Farm'

By Matt Lupoli |

Published 08/05 2014 10:44PM

Updated 08/06 2014 06:43AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Amendment One vote tally was very close by midnight Tuesday -- split nearly even with most precincts reporting.

The so-called Right to Farm amendment received mostly a "no" vote in Greene County, 62 to 38 percent. Some voters said Tuesday they were confused by the amendment.

The ballot language asked voters if agricultural production and ranching practices "shall not be infringed?"

"To protect this vital sector of Missouri's economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state," the amendment reads in part.

What that means exactly has been a point of contention.

Full List of Results: KOLR 10 Election Headquarters

Supporters say the right to farm is about explicitly guaranteeing the rights of farmers and ranchers in the constitution.

"Agriculture is under attack in this state by activist groups by outside interest from the east coast. We see them here coming in Missouri. We saw them a couple of years ago with the dog breeding issue and we're just concerned more regulation can't make farming profitable," Dairy Association Executive Director Dave Drennan said.

Related: 'Right to Farm' Continues to Stir Debate

Opponents say it will benefit big business. Several local opponents gathered at Springfield's Farmers Gastropub to watch the vote.

"Many of us since six this morning and standing out in the heat all day, and it's because we are all very passionate about local food and real food and knowing about our food system," Missouri Food For America spokeswoman Sheila Nichols said. "Creating a humane food system and working hard to defeat Amendment One."
Both sides agree, the amendment gives more broad strength to the agriculture industry than the current statutes set in place against lawsuits.

"Right now I want to focus on the great connection that we've put together. We have an amazing collaboration of partners that we've put together across this state, across this region," Nichols said. "We will continue to fight for the family farmers rights."

For a full rundown of all five amendments, click here.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.