Archive for Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Statehouse Live: State agriculture secretary calls for repeal of laws restricting corporate farms

January 15, 2013


— Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman on Tuesday called for the repeal of Kansas laws that restrict corporate farming.

His comments came at a meeting where Gov. Sam Brownback and his Cabinet members were briefing legislators.

As he left the meeting, Brownback was asked what he thought of Rodman's remark. Brownback, who appointed Rodman to the ag secretary position, said he would outline his legislative agenda during his State of the State speech tonight.

But Brownback added that the state is trying to recruit businesses to rural areas and state regulations have been a problem.

"That is an issue for a number of them (businesses), given the structure of agriculture, particularly the structure of animal agriculture," he said.

Rodman has urged fewer restrictions before. Last year, he said Kansas had a history of turning away certain types of agriculture, particularly corporate hog farms.

"By reshaping our corporate agriculture laws, we can open Kansas up to the economic development these operations bring and become more competitive with other states. These industries are now modern, efficient and excellent corporate citizens," he said.

State law generally limits corporate ownership of land to family farm corporations or partnerships of small corporations formed by Kansas residents.

During his remarks to legislators, Brownback told them they are on the front end of changing government. State government must be more competitive, providing the best services at the lowest cost or people will go elsewhere, he said.


Beth Bird 5 years, 4 months ago

That would help out the local farmers so much! NOT! Not to mention the pull on resources -- the Ogallala aquifer will not last forever. It is being depleted at much too quick a rate now. If you open that up to commercial farming, they will come, use the resources we have, deplete them, and leave us with nothing when they run dry. Bad, bad idea!

Hooligan_016 5 years, 4 months ago

Definitely this. A hog farm (or any animal farm really) takes an immense amount of water to operate.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

It does do a great job of driving away tourism or nearby residents, though.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Brownback and company is trying to manufacture his own modern day version of carpetbaggers. The newly drawn Mason–Dixon line just happens to be the borders of Kansas.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for these excellent comments. I originally come from Hutchinson, where I grew up, and I am very concerned about what corporate farming might do to the land, especially the Ogallala aquifer. You are right, happypill4014 and Hooligan_016 - it will not last forever.

We need some articles on central and western Kansas and on the Ogallala aquifer.

For a start, I've posted here the Wikipedia article, which is really quite interesting:

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

Any chance we can impeach the lot of them for malfeasance and misfeasance?

bevy 5 years, 4 months ago

Only after we let them destroy our land, our water, and our education system. THEN they will have committed impeachable crimes. Hey, now, there's an idea for a constitutional amendment...change the impeachment law.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

This will be as good for Kansas as cross-border banking was. In ten years, the major ag players will own everything west of Salina that isn't a municipality.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like many of you want to do away with the mom and pop liquor stores, but not the family farms... kinda hipocrital isn't it?

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

You smell that? Back in the day I remember visiting a huge hog farm in some God forsaken place. Not a singe human being for miles. But thousands of hogs, all wallowing in their own excrement. The smell was something else. ........ I love the smell of hog manure in the morning. It smells victory.

gatekeeper 5 years, 4 months ago

Just drive through Iowa to experience what corporate farms smell like. There are areas that you can't drive through fast enough and then the stench lingers on you for quite some time.

hedshrinker 5 years, 4 months ago

wrong on SO many levels.... bad for animals raised in despicable, inhumane conditions typical of large corporate "farms" ...think millions of hens in cages no bigger than their bodies, etc., bad for neighbors with contaminated water, soil, etc....think about what's going on with fracking in North Dakota cuz that's where we're headed..,.the corporate interests come in and exploit the natural resources and then run away, leaving us holding the bag with despoiled land and water, ongoing health issues....all for a few bucks for a few people for a few years.....the total lack of long term, big picture thinking by the current idjuts in State gubment is just apparently bottomless.

seriouscat 5 years, 4 months ago

Hey Dale Rodman! How about putting that corporate hog farm in YOUR town! I am astounded....and truly frightened for this state!

DeAnn Seib 5 years, 4 months ago

Attorney General Schmidt wrote a letter rather than issuing an opinion largely due to a previous opinion issued in 1983 by then A.G. Robert T. Stephen. The opinion dealt with K.S.A. 17-5904 which regulates the ownership by corporations of agricultural land in Kansas. No problem at that time with the constitution.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

So, we want to encourage corporate farms? How about we encourage family farms (small businesses, you know).

Yes, I know a lot of family farms have incorporated, but that's obviously not what we're talking about here. And I can guarantee you that more migrant workers (illegal) will be imported to work on these farms, because none of you will be taking on these jobs. So, tell me again, just how this is going to help Kansas?

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

More corporate farms will create more corporate profit. The benefits to Kansas, along with the foul smell and the social costs, will "trickle" down like hog urine to the rest of us.

kernal 5 years, 4 months ago

Corporate hog farms in a state that is in an exceptional and extreme drought (okay, except for Doniphan County) which has a rapidly depleting aquifer and streams drying up? Yeah, that oughta work - for about two years.

Here's what's going to happen, based on hog farming in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Iowa. The lagoons will leak into nearby streams and rivers and move on down the line to larger rivers, algae blooms will increase, the stench will be like Greeley, CO when the wind is strong and people who live near these farms will get sick and need to move away. But that won't be a problem because Rodman has said in the past he's interested in getting work permits for illegals to work farms. The illegals are so desparate for legal jobs, they'll take anything, even jobs that will affect their families health.

Will corporate livestock farming benefit Kansans? No, but it will benefit corporations such as Cargill (85% of which is family owned and based in MN), which is where Rodman worked for years and where his son is now a general manager.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Hmm, your last paragraph is very interesting. Not at all surprising, but interesting nevertheless.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Might as well add the Koch brothers to that list. If there is money to be made, the Koch boys are not bashful about entering new markets, and they certainly have the capital to finance large-scale operations. What is good for the Kochs is good for Kansas, no?

Bradley Kemp 5 years, 4 months ago

Rodman's vision: Most of western Kansas is taken up by ten-thousand acre farms with two or three employees. A few towns survive -- Hays, probably, Garden City and Liberal, maybe -- but no more than are necessary to serve a decimated population. And out-of-state agriculture corporations thrive on revenue derived from Kansas operations. It is that kind of agriculture that he's secretary of.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Of course and this will also help the school budget. No towns. No need for schools. Problem solved.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

That huge stool flushing sound is Western Kansas going farther into the Sewer. The ground water already is contaminated with E. coli, nitrates and a few pesticides just for good measure.

When traveling through the area, the safest thing to drink is liquor.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 4 months ago

Before the Dust Bowl, corporate farmers were called suitcase farmers. They overproduced, left when the resources were used up, returned after the environment recovered.

Watch FOOD, INC to see how corporate farmers intimidate local farmers and overproduce while abusing the animals and the natural resources. The meat is poor quality and hard to digest.

Even if one chose to dismiss these complaints, why would we want to wipe out family farms in Kansas?

Getaroom 5 years, 4 months ago

Not to worry one little bit Conservative Kansans, you won't mind the methane will you? It won't be in your backyard anyway, will it? The Christian Crusader will take care of everything for you and with a bit of further tweaking here and there and the completely unfettered Free Market, Corporate Entitlements and Privatization, it will all be fixed just as he planned. Don't forget! Sam is all for the small business owners, they are the job creators! And Sammy is well on the way to having it HIS way, it is GOD's plan for Sam and he has a direct line to The SupremeKoch's just to scoot things in the Right direction. It's all in the BIBLE, it really is no kidding. Just make sure you get the King Sams version with the big print. Everything is in the Bible, even scripture to guide the faithful on immigration..........

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