Saturday, March 9, 2013
Kansas lawmakers have begun weighing efforts to roll back the state's decades-old limits on corporate involvement in farming.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee heard testimony Friday on legislation proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration with backing from some of the state's biggest agricultural interests. Proponents contend allowing out-of-state ownership of farms would create jobs and help expand the Kansas economy.
The president of the Kansas Pork Association testified the existing laws are causing many corporate interests to avoid Kansas. Tim Stroda told the committee that out-of-state companies are put off by the requirement to get approval from county commissions to set up swine and dairy operations.
But Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, testified that allowing large corporate operations would put many family farms out of business.