Right to Farm Equals No Right to Grow Food

Yesterday, Missouri passed by a .03% margin an undemocratic constitutional amendment cynically called “right to farm.” Big Ag is pushing this in Oklahoma. This is for the benefit of multinational meat companies (Tyson) and chemical companies (Monsanto). They want it to be impossible for local citizens to exercise any control over these global corporations. Practices and products of these companies have been destructive and dangerous for farming and ranching and for our food supply. Now they are attacking our democracy.

In the past 50 years these companies’ monopolistic practices have: (1) driven nearly all U.S. farmers and ranchers out of business; (2) eliminated nearly all but the largest 3 meat packers; (3) eliminate nearly all but the largest seed/chemical company – Monsanto; (4) crippled rural farm economies; and (5) made the U.S. a net importer of food.

These same forces that destroyed the market based farming and ranching economy is now attacking our democracy. They would amend the Oklahoma constitutions to prohibit local citizens from exercising their democratic rights to protect their food supplies, their people, their land, and their economies from the monopolistic business practices of these global companies.

Party leaders in both parties will push this measure to gain support from Big Ag donors. The grass roots on both the right and the left will oppose this because it destroys the democratic rights of Oklahoma citizens and gives power to federal and global political and business interests. Perhaps more importantly, it continues to destabilizes our food supply by further destroying our ability to feed ourselves.

Harlan Hentges
OrganicLawyers.com

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2 thoughts on “Right to Farm Equals No Right to Grow Food”

  1. So, what would it take for a property owner in Missouri to grow their own food in light of this new law? Real-estate interest in Kirkwood, MO have taken over, and view more natural homes as a threat to their long-term plans for turning every house into McMansions targeted toward those who want a “pristine” look in and around their homes. The biggest problem is that these people that move into a community because it has a quirky and diverse aesthetic cultivated by the long-time quirky and diverse residents, destroy the same character that they say they desire by moving into these quickly-built, wannabe HGTV homes that are built with VOC-laden materials and don’t consider how their developments affect the local geology, ecology, or sociology. And if you have the temerity to grow your own food, build your own garden, or raise your own children in a more natural and holistic approach that wouldn’t look shiny and pristine on some “Property-Brothers”-look-a-like clone for the masses of grass farmers across America, then they will use the city’s anonymous code-violation complain system to harass those with said offending properties (and if you think the city code enforcement system hasn’t sold out to the big property dealers around town, then you must have a bad taste of sand in your mouth), until those with these unique properties get fed up and sell their homes, which will fit two, or more, McMansions so that the developers can keep our city officials lucratively happy. So, the question is, how does someone get permission to use the ancient tradition of growing their own food in the state of Missouri, in light of the new ‘Right to Farm’ laws?

    • Hi, glad to know that someone saw this. This notice was written by Harlan Hentges, an attorney in Edmond, Oklahoma. My best advice would be to contact him at his site, http://organiclawyers.com/?page_id=602 He also wrote about the “same thing only different” on cattle monopoly. I do like how you note that people use the city’s code-violation system to harass people. I’ve seen a LOT of that even in some of the smaller towns. And of course I believe that city code enforcement is sold out. My hope is that Harlan can direct you to someone in Missouri that can help you. In the meantime, fight the good fight, raise your own food and family.

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