North Dakota Inches Toward Corporate Farming

April 5th, 2019

North Dakota Inches Toward Corporate Farming 
 Where do you draw the line?
(BISMARCK, ND) – Today, the North Dakota Senate voted in favor of HB 1388, to let farm ownership be expanded to second cousins by a 35-11 margin. The current law allows the ownership to only be extended to first cousins. Family farming is the backbone of North Dakota, keeping farms in the family is important. One of the great qualities in North Dakota has been the quiet conviction that there are some things more important than profit. Family. Neighborliness. Rural communities.Senator Jim Dotzenrod spoke with Joel Heitkamp Wednesday about his opposition of the bill. “On the face of it, that might seem like a fairly small change, it really is sort of a question of how far do we want to expand, if we do this and go to second cousins…the next time we have an expansion proposed, it’ll be hard to say no if we start approving expansions, how do you draw the line, where do you stop?”

Representative Mitskog pointed out during a floor debate that there was no outcry from farmers for this bill. Senator Dotzenrod went on to tell Heitkamp  “The voters have told us by at 76 to 24 margin, the people are not excited about expanding corporations and corporate farming.  After that vote, most Senators claimed they were done, and not going to touch the issue again.” He hoped that they would just want to leave the law as is, unfortunately, this time they did not.