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Missouri Home Agriculture Committee hears testimony on proposed laws

Story by Matt Pilger, editor.

A listening to was held on the Missouri State Capitol constructing in Jefferson Metropolis on Thursday, March 23, 2023. The listening to was attended by a number of members of public from Audrain, Callaway, and Monroe County, incouding members of the county courts of every county.

The primary invoice, Home Invoice 1044 was on growing the variety of members on the Public Service Fee from 5 to 11 with illustration from all of the congressional districts with 3 members being from agriculture.

This has grow to be a sizzling button subject within the forty third district resulting from Grain Belt Specific being categorised as a utility and thus permitting land to be taken by eminent area for his or her route, The Tiger Connector compounded this subject going from Monroe to Callaway.

One of many opposing testimony heard was based mostly that it’s more durable to handle a bigger board. Consultant Kent Haden from Mexico requested if the smaller board was additionally not simpler to govern by the bigger company curiosity. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Affiliation, Audrain County residents Pat Stemme, G.B. Kaiser and Clarissa Cauthorn spoke in favor of the laws.

Kaiser mentioned in his testimony that having an agriculture background doesn’t solely imply farmers because the trade has many positions concerned in agriculture together with fertilizer corporations, bankers who deal with rural farm accounts, implement sellers, and extra.

Cauthorn mentioned the current PSC fee’s public listening to in Mexico the place 36 folks spoke in opposition to the Tiger Connector venture. She cited that it was held in the course of the day, when working folks couldn’t attend; with a venture that spanned a number of counties, it was solely held in a single location, making it tough for senior residents to seek out transportation to attend; and the Zoom hearings have been skewed in opposition to seniors or these in rural areas because it’s mentioned time and time once more about web reliability in rural America.

Audrain County Affiliate Commissioner Leslie Meyer spoke in favor of the laws on behalf of the Audrain County Fee. Roger Fischer, Affiliate Commissioner of Callaway County and Sid Conklin, Presiding Commissioner of Randolph County each adopted the Audrain County Fee’s testimony in help of the laws.
“There’s a distinction between being aware of agriculture and having data. While you’re sitting down on the Bowling Inexperienced sale barn and so they carry a bovine into the ring and somebody exclaims, ‘That’s the cutest cow ever!’, that’s familiarity with agriculture. It is technically appropriate. Nonetheless, the individual muttering in an irritated tone below their breath saying, “That is not a cow- it is a bull,” effectively, that individual has expertise in agriculture,” Affiliate Commissioner Leslie Meyer mentioned. “People who find themselves not in agriculture lack the data to foresee the influence selections may have on the land, its stewards, and their practices. But, we’re asking these folks to determine the destiny of agricultural land. It would not appear particularly reasonable, does it?”, mentioned Audrain County Affiliate Commissioner Leslie Meyer.

The second invoice being proposed is Home Invoice 1052. This invoice is expounded to altering codifying the power for photo voltaic corporations utilizing eminent area. As a result of intrepretation used within the Grain Belt case eminent area could possibly be used to take land for photo voltaic tasks not but performed, nevertheless theoretically potential. This invoice would forestall his.
Proper now in Audrain County, a landowner can select to work with a photo voltaic firm, for instance, and signal a lease for his or her 40 acres to enter photo voltaic panels. What this laws will accomplish is forestall that photo voltaic firm, sooner or later, from making an attempt to grab the neighbors’ properties by eminent area.

Audrain County resident Pat Stemme testified that her household farm has produced tens of millions in corn through the years. As members of the Poet ethanol plant, a part of the corn they elevate is become power as a renewable gas supply by ethanol. Earlier than Stemme may end her testimony, Consultant Jeff Knight (R) posed a scenario to Stemme. He requested her if her “company” produced power. Stemme corrected him and mentioned her farm was not a company, however a household farm. Knight mentioned however your farm produces power, very similar to GBE or the photo voltaic farms.

“Would you exit and seize your neighbor’s property since you produce power,” he mentioned.
“No, I’d not and I do not see why corporations like GBE can do it to me,” Stemme mentioned.

Knight additional identified the hypocrisy of eminent area being given to the non-public corporations for producing power and seizing farm land.


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