North Dakota Voters Reject Corporate Farming Measure

Recall that last week, voters in North Dakota went to the polls to reconsider a ban on corporate farming.

Reuters writers¬†Fiona Ortiz and Karl Plume reported on Wednesday that, “North Dakotans on Tuesday soundly rejected a law enacted last year that changed decades of family-farming rules in the state by allowing corporations to own and operate dairy and hog farms.

“Some 75 percent of North Dakotans who went to the ballot box voted to repeal Senate Bill 2351, according to preliminary results posted on a state website.

“The law, signed into law in March 2015 by Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple, exempted dairy and swine production from the state’s Depression-era corporate farming prohibition.”

The Reuters article noted that, “Corporate and foreign control of U.S. farmland has been a hot-button issue in several major agricultural states in recent years as a multi-year commodities boom that began in 2007 has attracted non-farm investors.

“State laws prohibiting corporations and foreign entities from owning U.S. farmland complicated a $4.7 billion acquisition in 2013 of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods by China’s Shuanghui International. The deal ultimately closed.

“This February, a U.S. district judge issued an injunction barring Nebraska officials from enforcing the state’s ban on farmland ownership by corporations.”

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