By Laci Jones
Commonly known as the Oklahoma Right to Farm amendment, State Question 777 would add Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution if passed in the November general election.
While farmers already have the right to farm, the amendment would prevent state lawmakers from passing legislation to regulate agriculture. However, regulations already in place will not be superseded by the amendment.
Similar amendments have been passed in North Dakota and Missouri.
The proposed amendment states:
To protect agriculture as a vital sector of Oklahoma’s economy, which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security and is the foundation and stabilizing force of Oklahoma’s economy, the right so citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state. The Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the right of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify any provision of common law or statutes relating to trespass, eminent domain, dominance of mineral interests, easements, rights of way or any other property rights. Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify or affect any statute or ordinance enacted by the Legislature or any political subdivision prior to December 31, 2014.
Read more in the October issue of OKFR!