Ten hours of negotiation have produced seventeen agreements among farming interests on a plan to put big livestock farms under state regulation. The Missouri Senate has started work on a bill that revamps regulation of corporate farms. Sponsor Chris Koster of Harrisonville says the bill establishes a "completely new generation of environmental protections that will be placed on the CAFO system."
He would get rid of the 20 county health boards that now regulate CAFOs. He says Confined Animal Feeding operations could be trying to operate under three times that many regulatory structures. He says he cannot think of any other important industry that tries to operate under those conditions. Koster argues those corporations should be under a single state regulatory system.
Debate has been suspended with an amendment pending that would forbid confined animal feeding operations from locating with five miles of state parks, historic sites, or any place on the national register of historic places. Koster and others say that idea could destroy most animal farming in the state.
Koster grew up in St. Louis and now lives in the Kansas City suburb of Harrisonville. He admits his only farming experience was growing a potato when he was in school.
(The bill is SS/SCS/SB364)