A move to protect the “right to farm” in the Nebraska constitution has been revived at the Capitol after it appeared dead.
The legislature’s Agriculture Committee has reversed course and has voted to send the measure on to the full Unicameral for debate. Earlier, the committee couldn’t muster enough votes to advance the resolution.
Legislative Resolution 378CA would be placed on the November ballot if approved by the legislature. It would provide constitutional protection for farm and ranch operations in Nebraska.
Sen. John Kuehn of Heartwell sponsors the measure and says the Nebraska constitution needs to contain protections for production agriculture.
“It is critical that we understand and protect Nebraska agriculture constitutionally to insure that a runaway idea, a runaway concept that only takes 25 votes in our body does not become law in Nebraska and fundamentally change agriculture and our number one industry,” Kuehn tells reporters during a news conference at the Governor’s Ag Conference in Kearney.
Kuehn has modeled his measure after a ballot proposal in Oklahoma. Missouri and North Dakota have similar amendments to their constitutions.
Gov. Pete Ricketts supports the measure.
“For me, it’s about making sure we do not have outside groups like HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) come into our state to create regulation that will harm our ability to grow, that will put barriers up to our growth by constraining what we do here,” Ricketts says.
The measure, though, has split the agricultural community with some farm groups saying such protections don’t belong in the Nebraska constitution.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this report.