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Ellen Linderman, Carrington, N.D., Published October 20 2012

Letter: ND Measure 3 has major flaws

Measure 3 on the November ballot, the so-called right- to-farm amendment, attempts to provide a solution to a problem that does not exist. In fact, this “solution” may create more problems for farmers and ranchers and also provide more work for attorneys.

Measure 3 prohibits any law that “abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.” What does this mean? Who gets to decide? That is a major flaw in this amendment, and no answer is provided. There is no provision in this amendment to require that a farmer use sound agricultural practices or operate without negligence. What if my neighbor does something that will be detrimental to my farming operation, but he/she says that what they are doing is “modern”? Who gets to decide? Do we need to each employ a lawyer?

This amendment to the Constitution would also remove any effort at local and state control. However, federal statutes would still be in force. We would have no local voice in that event. I would rather that rules and regulations could be drawn up on the local level, where I have more input and where the rules are more suited to my area.

Measure 3 would amend the state Constitution, which in and of itself is a bad idea unless there is a compelling reason, which there is not in this case. We have sensible people in charge on the state and local level to ensure that we have a productive and safe agricultural economy in this state. I am a farmer and would urge a “no” vote on Measure 3. At best, it’s not needed, and, at worst, it may create more problems than it solves.