Governor signs bill easing corporate farming ban for dairy, swine operations
BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a bill Friday that relaxes North Dakota's 83-year-old corporate farming ban to allow for non-family corporate ownership of dairy and swine operations.
BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a bill Friday that relaxes North Dakota’s 83-year-old corporate farming ban to allow for non-family corporate ownership of dairy and swine operations.
Nicknamed the “ham-and-cheese bill,” Senate Bill 2351 received final approval on a 29-16 vote in the Senate on Thursday after the House passed it 56-37 on Monday.
The bill would partially lift the state’s ban on corporate-owned farms to allow a non-family corporation or limited liability company to own a dairy farm or swine production facility on no more than 640 acres of land, or 1 square mile. The operation must have a minimum of 50 cows or 500 swine and be permitted as an animal feeding operation or concentrated animal feeding operation by the state Department of Health.
"The bill includes strict limits on the use of the business structure and we do not consider it a threat to the farm sector of North Dakota as we know it,” Dalrymple said in a statement provided by a spokesman.
"Opponents of the bill are right to be vigilant so that mainstream agriculture remains in the hands of family farmers,” he said. “We hope it encourages economic development within North Dakota's struggling dairy and swine industries."
The North Dakota Farmers Union had asked Dalrymple to veto the bill and is mulling an effort to refer the law to voters.