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Corporate farming bill gets do-pass recommendation

BISMARCK -- A bill that would partially lift North Dakota's ban on non-family corporate farming to allow for corporate ownership of dairy and swine operations received a 4-2 do-pass recommendation Thursday from the Senate Agriculture Committee.Th...

BISMARCK - A bill that would partially lift North Dakota’s ban on non-family corporate farming to allow for corporate ownership of dairy and swine operations received a 4-2 do-pass recommendation Thursday from the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The vote followed party lines, with Republicans supporting Senate Bill 2351 and Democrats opposing it.
Sen. Terry Wanzek, R-Jamestown, the bill’s prime sponsor, has said it’s intended to give the state’s dwindling dairy and swine industries a boost by giving producers better access to capital and encouraging out-of-state investment.
The bill would allow a non-family corporation or limited liability company to own and operate a dairy or swine production facility on no more than 640 acres, or 1 square mile. North Dakota is one of nine states with anti-corporate farming laws and the only state without a livestock exemption, bill supporters said.
The North Dakota Farmers Union, the state’s largest farmer-member organization, is among those opposing the bill, which is expected to be heard on the Senate floor Friday.

Related Topics: DAIRYAGRICULTURE
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“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.