An attempt to protect agriculture from the attacks of outside special interest groups has been shelved for the session.
Sen. John Kuehn of Heartwell decided to give up on his effort to add a “Right to Farm” to the state constitution after failing to secure enough votes to move forward.
Kuehn tells colleagues he wants to stop activist groups which target agriculture.
“There are individuals, activist groups and others who have no regard for what the facts and truth are, but simply have an agenda that says we will impede agriculture in whatever way possible,” according to Kuehn. “It’s not going to be with a broad sword and bold strokes. It will be incrementally, one regulation, one law at a time.”
Kuehn has voluntarily decided to table the measure for the session after concluding he didn’t have the votes needed to end a filibuster against it and move to a vote.
Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha tells colleagues the Unicameral protects Nebraska agriculture, adding that the resolution before the body would give agricultural land a higher right than other property.
“So, my question is why does it need to be constitutionally protected? What makes it so much more special than it is to any other profession?” Harr asks.
The measure caused a split in the rural community. Nebraska Farmers Union opposed it. The Nebraska Farm Bureau was officially neutral. Some rural legislators didn’t like the wording of LR 378 CA and argued it needed to be rewritten.
Sen. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, points to the disagreements within agriculture in stating his opposition.
“If you were asked the question, should we have a right to farm who in agriculture or who in Nebraska would not say, sure, we need a right to farm? What I heard from testimony from most of these agencies, most of these support groups, was we support the concept of right to farm,” Johnson says, adding that no consensus had developed around LR 378 CA.