Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Another push made to repeal limits on allowing corporate farming

March 21, 2013


— Gov. Sam Brownback's administration on Thursday continued to try to push through legislation that would repeal limits on corporate farming.

Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman said current restrictions are driving business to other states, and that is not good for the Kansas economy.

"The people I talk to will not look at Kansas for investment for some of these industries," Rodman told the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

But Paul Johnson with the Kansas Rural Center said the decades-old limits on corporate farms should be studied carefully before changing.

"Kansans deserve better than a rushed, end of the session discussion that is happening today," Johnson said.

He urged legislators to appoint a committee to study the issue, hold meetings across the state during the summer and fall and come up with recommendations for the 2013 legislative session.

The committee took no immediate action on House Bill 2404, but scheduled another meeting for Friday.

Committee Chair Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, said she wanted committee members to become familiar with the issue. Schwartz said she didn't want to rush into a decision but also said she wanted to make sure that Kansas was competitive with other states.

The house bill was introduced earlier this week. A similar bill, Senate Bill 191, was heard by a Senate committee, but that committee has not voted on it yet.

Much of the opposition to the proposal is because it would eliminate the requirement that corporations get approval of county commissioners to set up operations.

The Kansas Farm Bureau testified in support of the bill even though its bylaws state that it supports the ability of county residents to determine whether non-family farm corporations may own agricultural land to operate pork or dairy production facilities.

State Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, questioned Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus on how the Farm Bureau could support the bill given its bylaws.

Baccus said the decision to support the bill was made by the organization's board of directors after many hours of debate.

Kansas law now limits corporate ownership of agricultural land to family farm corporations, family partnerships or corporations with 15 or fewer stockholders, who must all be Kansas residents. The state also requires at least one partner or shareholder to live on the land or be actively engaged in supervising the work.

The Brownback administration contends those restrictions are unfair.


juma 1 year ago

I am canceling my Farm Bureau insurance policy. Suggest all Kansas farmers do the same.


irtnog2001 1 year ago

Even if this passes County Commissioners can still regulate farming via zoning regulations I believe. Correct me if I'm wrong.


grandnanny 1 year ago

I particularly like the part about the jobs created and the workers required for these jobs. It fits right in with Brownback's plan to destroy public education because you do not want people who read, think, or question. Brownback wants an education system that fits the jobs being created by the large corporate farms - brainless, easily manipulated, no questions asked. How do you like being part of Brownback's great experiment? I don't.


Scut Farkus 1 year ago

I believe the Koch brothers own the Matador Cattle Company. They currently have an operation in the Flint Hills but their growth has been stymied by current regulations. The Koch brothers believe they own Kansas and this new bill will give them a lot more leverage to expand.


catfishturkeyhunter 1 year ago

I like the smaller family farms much better. The people are better, more friendly and easy to talk to. Corporate farms means wealthy land grabbers who half of the time don't even live in this state. We need to keep Kansas land, Kansas owned.


globehead 1 year ago

Wonder why he's interested in helping corporate farms? Wonder how many of these are relatives? Sam is from Parker, KS. By the way, he doesn't want to accept money from the federal govt. for the arts because that contributes to the deficit.

EWG Farm Subsidy Database

Individual Subsidy Recipients named BROWNBACK: 1 to 18 of 18 in Kansas Last Name: BROWNBACK Rank Name Location Subsidy Total 1995-2011 (1). Glen R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 395,511.74 (2). James R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 348,400.58 (3). Loyd A Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 233,385.15 (4). Mary K Dare Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 81,562.18 (5). Sam Brownback Topeka, KS 66610 $ 48,852.00 (6). John Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 42,424.04 (7). Leo Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 25,350.01 (8). Carlene L Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 25,263.40 (9). Marion Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 19,760.06 (10). Alan L Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 5,765.00 (11). Keith Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 3,687.00 (12). Herbert Brownback Lacygne, KS 66040 $ 2,831.00 (13). Nancy E Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 2,631.00 (14). Mary L Brownback La Cygne, KS 66040 $ 1,611.00 (15). Clyde Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 1,337.00 (16). B T Brownback Blue Mound, KS 66010 $ 1,273.00 (17) . Leona L Brownback Caldwell, KS 67022 $ 1,199.00 (18). Leora Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 594.00


Joe Hyde 1 year ago

If the Brownback administration succeeds in repealing the current restrictions on corporate farming, corporate farming operations can move into any county they like, anytime they choose. And they'll move in deliberately ignoring the commonsense safety, public health and water supply concerns expressed by local officials.

By pushing so hard for this quick de-regulation measure, Gov. Brownback is trying to lay the whole state wide open to "loot and pollute" abuse by distant corporate boards and stockholders who, bottom line, don't give a damn whether the Kansas environment is profitable, or even habitable, for generations to come.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year ago

The Kansas House Republicans approved a $400 million middle class tax increase. Last week, Senate Republicans approved $500 million middle class tax hike. The Governor's latest tax plan includes a $700 million middle class tax hike. All of these proposals were introduced to pay for tax cuts Governor Brownback pushed through in 2012, which give the top earners in the state an average tax cut of about $20,000 while enabling business owners go income tax free. None of these plans will generate enough revenue to allow for restored funding of Kansas schools. Please share - your neighbors need to know what is happening in Statehouse.


Gotland 1 year ago

Lefties protecting rich white land owners and hiding behind “family values” this is hilarious.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year ago

speedy47 don't give the republicans any ideas!


eatlocalfood 1 year ago

I believe that the issue of contradictory testimony is in reference to the Kansas Farm Bureau Policy, not the organization's bylaws. Policy, if I am not mistaken, is revisited annually by delegates at an annual meeting. Delegate vote, section by section, on policy positions. The end result serves as the member-approved policy until the next annual meeting.


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

Corporate Farming = Monsanto Round-Up Laced GMO foods = contamination of the soil and weeds becoming immune to Round-Up which means a more powerful weed killer will need to be applied.

How are toxic chemicals healthy to the food chain? I know I know go ask ALEC.


1Dem 1 year ago

The Brownback administration contends those restrictions are unfair

Since when did the Brownback administration care anything about being fair?


IKU57 1 year ago

The way I see it, more corporate farms, means, more work for in-state tuition graduates. More laborers, means, more spending by workers, to improve the velocity of money, which improves the economy.
It's sort of like unemployment benefits, that improve the economy. As some national leaders have said in the past.


ibroke 1 year ago

how can this issue help send kansas to the bottom?


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year ago

"Committee Chair Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, said she wanted committee members to become familiar with the issue. Schwartz said she didn't want to rush into a decision but also said she wanted to make sure that Kansas was competitive with other states."

Yea, we wouldn't want anybody to get ahead of us in the race to the bottom.


speedy47 1 year ago

How about disposing nuclear wastes here also? It'll be great. NOT


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