ND ag group confident in corporate farming vote

Farm Forum

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s biggest farm group says it’s making progress to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to overturn the Legislature’s decision to loosen the state’s Depression-era ban against corporate farming.

North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne tells the Bismarck Tribune ( ) that he’s confident enough signatures will be obtained to get the measure on the June 2016 ballot.

Supporters must gather 13,452 valid signatures by June 18.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed the legislation in March that exempts ailing pork and dairy operations from the state’s anti-corporate farming law.

Supporters say the so-called ham-and-cheese legislation is intended to revitalize dairy and swine farms after years of decline. Opponents believe a ban on corporate farming blocks unfair competition.