State Sens. Will Kraus, Ryan Silvey and Ed Emery

State Reps. Mike Cierpiot, Jeff Grisamore, Jeanie Lauer, Gary Cross, Myron Neth, T.J. Berry, Noel Shull, Ken Wilson, Rick Brattin and Donna Pfautsch

To the editor:

Most of us have heard the “So God Made a Farmer” speech from Paul Harvey, delivered back in the late 1970s. It was made even more famous recently by its use in a Super Bowl commercial. If you haven’t heard the clip, it is worth a quick Internet search and a couple minutes of your time. In a few short minutes, Paul Harvey encompasses what the life of a farmer is like. Those brief comments about the toils and trials that America’s farmers go through on a daily basis are still largely true today.

Almost 20 years before Harvey’s words of wisdom, John F. Kennedy said, “the farmer is the only man in our economy who has to buy everything he buys at retail – sell everything he sells at wholesale – and pay the freight both ways.” We know for certain that in today’s economy that has not changed. Missouri’s agriculture community is no longer competing on a community, statewide or even regional scale. Today the farming industry is global.

The Missouri Legislature came together in bipartisan fashion and put the farming rights constitutional amendment on the ballot. On Tuesday, Missourians are going to get to vote on Amendment 1, which would guarantee “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices.” This amendment is simple and specifically exempts local regulations from the amendment.

Not all of the signatories of this letter represent heavy agriculture areas. All of us represent parts of Cass, Clay and Jackson counties. However, we do understand ensuring the future of Missouri’s number one industry gives it the stability it needs to compete in a complex global economy and keep our prices low at our local grocery stores and eateries. I hope you will join all of us in supporting Missouri farmers and supporting Amendment 1 on Aug. 5.