Court ruling sends chills through ag community
By MARCIA GORRELL/Staff writer
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I usually try to make my columns humorous. However, in the last few weeks, recent events involving agriculture are anything but funny.
In fact, I'm worried about the future of family farms in the United States. I'm also worried about the future of anybody that eats in America. (And that's all of us.)
Despite what some people seem to think, those two things are forever linked together. Pork, beef and milk do not come from a grocery store -- they come from a farm.
A recent ruling by Judge Patricia Joyce in Cole County ruled that no concentrated animal feeding operation could be located within 15 miles of the village of Arrow Rock, nearby State historic sites and national-listed Prairie Park, in the state of Missouri.
However, if that ruling is not appealed and becomes case law or is found to be binding it could be the end of livestock farming in Missouri.
I fear it could also mean the "beginning of the end" for family farmers in the United States.
As I mentioned in my earlier comments on this ruling, if this is allowed to become case law, it could have enormous implications for production agriculture. This decision was a blow to family farmers and ranchers. Exporting agriculture means importing food.