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Published October 08, 2012, 11:31 AM

Measure 3 problematic

Measure 3 on the November ballot in North Dakota will actually not protect farmers and ranchers. Instead, it will open up a flood of problems.

By: Link Reinhiller , Agweek

HAZEN, N.D. — Measure 3 on the November ballot in North Dakota will actually not protect farmers and ranchers. Instead, it will open up a flood of problems.

Let’s say your family has been ranching for generations in North Dakota. Your neighbor sells his or her land to someone who shows so little regard that what he does effects your land and the water you use. Your new neighbor could make it almost impossible for you to succeed.

If Measure 3 passes, you and your family’s farm or ranch will have no options to protect your livelihood or your investment.

The language in the proposed addition to the North Dakota Constitution says “no law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices.” While that may sound attractive, it is not needed. Farmers and ranchers already are able to employ agriculture technology and modern livestock and ranching practices.

The amendment actually would infringe upon the private property rights and good stewardship practices of farmers and ranchers.

The public, including many farmers and ranchers, have had little discussion or time to think this through. The real impact is little understood. This is not good government.

A more reasonable approach would be to introduce a measure in the state Legislature and have a thorough and complete discussion. Legislators could send a more thoughtful measure to the people for a vote, if it is actually needed.

Editor’s Note: Reinhiller is a member of the Dakota Resource Council Trade and Livestock Task Force.

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