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States Putting Ag Protection Bills In Place

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States are trying to protect agriculture with legislation that creates penalties for those who fraudulently gain access to a farm with the intent to cause harm. There are also penalties for organizations or people who aid or abet someone who misrepresents facts to gain access to a crop or livestock farm. The chairs of the Iowa House and Senate Agriculture Committees call passage of the ag protection bill among the major accomplishments of the recently ended 2012 legislation session. It was signed into law in the state in March. House Ag Committee Chair Annette Sweeney says it was also signed into law in Utah; was already in place in Kansas, Montana and North Dakota; and came to the floor in Nebraska. It was also approved in Missouri Friday – the final day of the 2012 Missouri Legislative Session.

Opponents of the measure say it would make ag whistle blowing a crime. But Iowa Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Joe Seng disagrees. He says the main gist of the bill is on fraud. He says the bill is designed to stop people from fraudulently telling a farmer they want to work on his farm when they’re doing it with the intent of taking down his business. According to the Iowa Attorney General – the bill is court worthy and would pass Supreme Court muster.

Source: NAFB News Service