LINCOLN, Neb. – The Legislature should be cautious and a careful examination is needed before moving forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that would put “Right to Farm” protections in the Nebraska Constitution, said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president, Feb.22.
“No one is more concerned than we are about ensuring our farm and ranch members continue to have the ability to use new practices and employ new technologies in their operations. After considerable input and a great deal of examination by our Board, we have concluded it’s critical we give more thoughtful consideration to any measure that would modify the state constitution as it relates to agriculture,” said Nelson. “We have an obligation to fully explore the pros and cons of these types of initiatives, including how they will impact our members not just today, but well into the future.”
The Legislature’s Agriculture Committee will hear testimony on Legislative Resolution 378CA, Tues., Feb. 23. The measure seeks to protect farming practices in the state constitution. Nebraska Farm Bureau will testify in a neutral position and encourage the Committee to consider placing “right to farm” protections in state statute as opposed to a ballot measure to amend the state constitution.
“Agriculture is vital to our state. It’s important that we make sure we handle this issue the right way and that means having a thorough discussion about what we’re trying to achieve and the best way to go about doing that,” said Nelson. “We already have “Right to Farm” laws in place as it relates to nuisance issues in agriculture. At this point in time, we think exploring legislative actions to similarly protect farming practices is a good place to continue “Right to Farm” discussions.
“We’re confident Nebraskans know the vast majority of farmers and ranchers are good people who care for their livestock and for their land. This is about working to find the best course of action and we need to look carefully at the options available to us,” said Nelson.