We, the delegate body of the Kansas Farmers Union convention, strongly believe the county option should be preserved in Kansas’ corporate farming laws. For over 80 years, corporate farming laws have protected family farms and ranches from the threats of unfair competition by corporate and foreign interests, and all-out repeal threatens the future of family agriculture across Kansas.
The county option, the last remaining protection of citizens’ rights when it comes to corporate agriculture, must be preserved and protected. We find it very disconcerting that both elected and appointed officials, who have touted the virtues of local political control and smaller government, now feel the need to take away this last protection.
We believe Kansas counties should be able to opt out of consideration by any corporation looking to relocate to the state. We also believe Kansas citizens should be able to petition registered voters and bring corporate farming issues to a public vote.
We believe Kansas is better off when those who own and work the state’s farms and ranches are individuals and families who have the opportunity to control their own land and labor, and a desire to create a future for family farming and ranching, and for all of rural Kansas, that is socially just, economically equitable, and environmentally sound.
Family farms and ranches are the foundation that built this state, and they continue to drive and lead its economy. We believe Kansas’ family farmers and ranchers should expect every protection the state can provide.