Local ranchers talk about Proposition 1, and its potential effects on the agricultural industry

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:45 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Texans are getting the chance to vote on several constitutional amendments this November, including Proposition 1, known as “Right to Farm”.

Proposition 1 would make it a constitutional right for Texans to farm, ranch, produce timber, or manage wildlife on their own property.

Texas has had a “Right to Farm” law since 1981, but it hasn’t been updated since then. According to Smith County Farm Bureau President, Kacy Mitchell’s, as cities grow and more people move to rural areas, things like city zoning and regulations from government can put a strain on existing operations.

“Because at some point, every time you impose city regulation or state regulations, it comes at a cost. And typically, that cost is passed down all the way to the producer or operator”, says Mitchell.

Proposition 1 would raise standards, so that local governments can’t disrupt area farming and ranching practices without clear evidence that they pose a threat to public safety. Something Mitchell says would help smaller farmers and ranchers operate successfully in the long run.

“So that we can continue to raise Texas grown products and feed Texans throughout this state and throughout the United States.”

However, some ranchers say there’s more on the amendment that needs to be considered.

“There is talk in the proposition that is concerning to landowners about the ability of the government to take land for public use”, says rancher J. Scott Herod.

For him, looking at the amendment and what it entails apart from the right to farm is important.

“I’m not saying vote for or against. I’m simply saying there is a lot of research that goes beyond just the words right to farm”, says Herod.

Before voting, both Mitchell and Herod say reaching out to agricultural workers and organizations in your area could help determine the impact Prop 1 would have on them and your community.