From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes:
Happy Fourth of July weekend…or as we like to say on the farm, “Hope none of those glowing ashes from the fireworks from town fall on my super-dry hayfield.”
Not that we don’t have fireworks of our own, of course, but we don’t count those as dangerous.
Just before the weekend began, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a couple of bills that the Republican General Assembly passed in a fit of hubris at the end of the session. Each included that ridiculous and irresponsible promise to foreign corporations to sell Missouri land to them. This insertion, sponsored by Representative Casey Guernsey, would have given China the right to buy all the land owned by industrial ag in Missouri. China has its eye on Smithfield, a corporation that was allowed to buy land in the northwest part of the state despite laws against corporate ownership of land. Back in the 1970s, see, the General Assembly worried that losing our land meant the end of free enterprise and property rights. Today, Casey Guernsey doesn’t understand that.
The media has run ever so many stories accusing the governor of vetoing “agriculture bills.” “Nixon vetoes two agricultural bills,” say the headlines, as if these bills would have helped farmers. But, in truth, these bills (SB 9 and SB 342) had sections that Guernsey snuck in at the end of session when there was no chance for farmers to think about or comment on them.
The media also frets that Shanghui International Holdings, China’s leading pork producer, will abandon their offer to buy Smithfield in a $7.1 billion deal. Like the sale, which would put more CAFOs on our land, sucking up our water and polluting our air, would be a positive for the state!
The GA has a veto override session in September, and we can be sure Smithfield is distributing dollars around the heartland, so we’ll see where the Casey Guernsey story leads us next.
That’s it for today! July 5, 2013.