JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - In an effort to protect farmers, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced today that his office successfully defended SB 391, which prevents stringent standards from being imposed on concentrated animal feeding operations, at the Missouri Supreme Court. The Court sided unanimously with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday, March 21.
“As Attorney General, I will always be a champion for Missouri farmers,” said Attorney General Bailey. “Agriculture is one of Missouri’s top industries, and is critical to our state’s success. My office will continue to protect farmers and their livelihoods and legacies from bureaucratic tyranny.”
SB 391 prevents local governmental entities from imposing standards or requirements on concentrated animal feeding operations that are stricter than what Missouri state law allows. The bill attempted to implement consistent rules across the state so that entities can engage in agricultural and farming operations without conflicting local governmental ordinances that are stricter than state law. There were a variety of other constitutional challenges, and the Court rejected all of them.
Missouri agriculture supporters expressed their gratitude to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for defending the law in court.
“The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling is a clear win for farm families and all Missourians,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins. “We are thankful that the Court upheld the constitutionality of SB 391 and provided farmers with much needed certainty to be able to produce food for our neighbors and the world.”
“For 25 years, farm and ranch families have been handcuffed by scientifically unfounded rules and regulations promulgated by rogue bureaucrats,” said Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Mike Deering. “We are thankful to the Missouri Attorney General and his team for their efforts.”
“The Missouri Pork Association is grateful to Attorney General Bailey for partnering with us and Missouri’s other mainstream agricultural organizations to defend SB 391 and the right of Missouri farmers to operate under scientifically based regulations administered by the Department of Natural Resources rather than emotionally and politically driven regulations by other political subdivisions,” said Missouri Pork Association Executive Vice President Don Nikodim. “This ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court is a huge win for Missouri agriculture.”
“I am grateful that the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the ruling for the constitutionality of SB 391. This bill had the support of Governor Parson along with the legislators from both bodies,” said State Senator Mike Bernskoetter, who sponsored the bill. “This ends legal uncertainty and will allow farmers and ranchers to grow their operations to continue to provide food not only for our state but for the world.”
“I am proud to have led this bill’s passage in the House because we have to stand up for our farmers who make our state a national leader in agriculture,” said State Representative Mike Haffner. “I am thankful to Attorney General Bailey and his office for defending this critical bill in the courts and getting this important win for Missouri agriculture.”
The Court’s opinion can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/cedar-county-v-parson-opinion.pdf?sfvrsn=99d6b001_2