By Colby Ferguson, TPPA executive director
On November 7, 2023, Texas voters voted to support Proposition #1, the ballot initiative to amend the Texas constitution to further protect farmers and ranchers no matter how small or large; ensure Texans have safe and affordable food, and further protect environment and animal welfare.
So what does this mean when it comes to the family swine farm in Texas?
Before this amendment was passed, the courts had given great leeway to government regulations, making it the responsibility of the farmer to prove that the agency had no basis to adopt a new regulation. To control regulatory overreach, the amendment now requires agencies to provide clear and convincing evidence that the new regulation is needed before it can be approved.
What does this constitutional amendment not do?
This doesn’t allow a farmer to knowingly harm animals, it doesn’t allow a farmer to misuse pesticides and other pollutants that could harm the environment. It doesn’t allow a farmer to not follow current regulations.
This amendment was designed to cut down on regulatory overreach and ensure agencies have clear and convincing evidence before any new regulations can be created. This also protects farmer’s ability to continue generally accepted farming practices and prevents government agencies from generating regulations to stop or deter those farming practices.
On November 7th, the citizens of Texas made it clear that farmers and ranchers in Texas are essential and need to be protected from government overreach. This is a huge win for the future of production agriculture in Texas.
Photo courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.