Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman issued the following statement Friday after committees in both the Kansas House and Kansas Senate took steps forward to addressing the restrictive corporate farming laws in Kansas.
“The Kansas Department of Agriculture is committed to the total support of the state’s agricultural sector and that includes doing everything we can to remove impediments to growth in agriculture. After hearing for two years from folks interested in moving their agricultural operations to Kansas but who had major concerns with our outdated and onerous corporate farming laws and also learning that parts of the current law do not pass constitutional muster, the department began building support to repeal the state’s 82-year old corporate farming statute. Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in the Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Pork Association, Kansas Grain and Feed Association and Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association joined in this important agricultural growth initiative.
“The reality is 82 years of bad policy may take more than one 80-day session to repeal. We are pleased that Chairman Powell and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources held multiple hearings to discuss repealing the law and that the discussion will continue in an interim committee. We also commend Chairwoman Schwartz and her members of the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources for recognizing the critical importance of this issue by asking for a judicial review of the state’s corporate farming laws.
“Agriculture is the largest economic driver in Kansas and there is tremendous potential knocking on our door to grow even further. But every effort to grow agriculture and our rural communities must be done correctly and must have support from the agricultural community and Kansas citizens. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in agriculture and in the Kansas legislature to ensure questions are answered and that we are ready to repeal the state’s corporate farming laws in the 2014 Kansas legislative session.”