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Kansas State Legislative Session 2014
Mon January 20, 2014
Lobbyists Will Not Push For Kansas Ag Law Revision This Session
The Kansas Agricultural Growth and Rural Investment Initiative was introduced last session. It’s goal was to allow any agricultural business to operate anywhere in the state, but lobbyists say they will not attempt to change the law this year according to The Kansas Health Institute.
- restricts ownership of certain agriculture operations, principally large swine and dairy facilities.
- requires that a majority of partners must be related and at least one of them must live or actively work on the farm
- limits the number of stockholders allowed in a farming operation to 10 for corporations and 15 for trusts
- requires all corporate farms with land in the state to make annual reports to the Secretary of State about farming operations
- requires businesses to gain a county commission's approval to operate a large swine or dairy operation
The proposed bill would have removed these provisions.
The Department of Agriculture and some of the top ag lobbyists in the state urged legislators to remove these challenges. Lobbyists say making changes in the law would help create jobs and economic growth.
Farm Bureau is one of the strong supporters of the reform.
Terry Holdren is chief executive and general counsel for Farm Bureau. He said the group still supports the bills, but is taking a new approach this session.
"We have strong interest in continuing to talk about and pursue some sort of fix to the statute," Holdren said. "I think one of the things we learned last year, and what you'll see this year, is a stronger effort to lay some groundwork in educating the Legislature about this issue. We had such massive turnover after the last election that there are a lot of folks who have never really experienced this issue. You'll see future efforts, but...we're going to slow down the train and talk to folks, get a little better education effort, before we move forward on it."