Topeka — 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.